Comic book creator Stan Lee recently filed a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment. The 95-year-old pop culture icon issued several grievances against the company.
Lee vs. POW! Entertainment
On Tuesday, May 15, attorney Adam D.H. Grant of Alpert, Barr, and Grant filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lee through Los Angeles' western district of California's Superior Court. In the suit, Grant addresses that the Spider-Man and X-Men co-creator is suing the company that he co-founded in 2001. Lee believes that his business partners, Shane Duffy and Gill Champion, conspired to take away his identity through a business transaction.
Lee's lawsuit mentioned that in 2017, POW! Entertainment was sold to Hong Kong-based Camsing International. Lee's lawyers suggested that both Duffy and Champion, along with former business manager Jeraldo Olivarez, convinced him to sign a document that he thought to be a non-exclusive license with POW! Entertainment. However, the Marvel Comics icon allegedly signed a document allowing the entertainment organization the rights to use his name and likeness when it comes to a branding perspective. The agreement also allowed POW! Entertainment to have access to his numerous social media accounts.
Lee stated that he signed the document at a tough time in his life. The Fantastic Four co-creator lost his wife of 70 years, Joan, in 2017. Also, he was dealing with macular degeneration, which is causing him to permanently lose his eyesight. Due to this condition, Lee's lawyer stated that he could not read the document himself. Lee and his legal team are looking for the California courts to make the agreement illegal and seeking up to $1 billion in damages.
POW! Entertainment Speaks
A POW! Entertainment representative contacted The Hollywood Reporter regarding the lawsuit. The company spokesperson stated that the allegations were outrageous. Also, the company wondered if the Black Panther co-creator was behind the trial. They also said that they looked into presenting their case in court.
"There is no question Mr. Lee - who, along with his daughter, was and remains a substantial POW! Shareholder - clearly understood the terms of the agreements he signed," said the POW! spokesperson.
Marvel Movie Madness
As Lee and his legal team prepare for court, several of Lee's classic characters made appearances in the box office film Avengers: Infinity War. The film, which featured 30 leading characters, followed the success of Black Panther. Both films featured cameos from Lee, who has made a habit of popping in Marvel-related movies since 2000's X-Men.
Lee made a cameo appearance in Deadpool 2's official 4-minute teaser trailer. In 2016, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that Lee filmed four Marvel Movie cameos in one day.
Tech Times contacted POW! Entertainment for a comment on this story.