Thanos Creator Jim Starlin Planning To Launch A Lawsuit Against Marvel?

Thanos Creator Jim Starlin Planning To Launch A Lawsuit Against Marvel?

Rumour has it that Jim Starlin will be pursuing Marvel over the fact that Thanos (a character he claims to have created before he started working for them) was featured in Marvel's The Avengers without any of the the box office gross heading his way.

Digital Spy reports that Jim Starlin has come forward with what appears to be proof that he created Thanos before he started working for Marvel. This has resulted in speculation that he may be planning to launch a lawsuit against the publisher following the big screen debut of the villain in billion dollar box office hit, Marvel's The Avengers. He has released the following concept image of the villain which may be used as proof in a claim that he owns the rights to, or at least has an interest in, the Mad Titan.

However, it can't be denied that his decision to come forward after all these years in order to make such claims may be influenced by the fact that there's now be a lot of financial interest in the villain. After a brief appearance in The Avengers, Thanos has had re-emerged in the comics, and rumours run rampant that he will appear in the planned big screen adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel is reportedly finding it difficult track down the records from the period in which he was created, but Starlin took to his Facebook page a few months ago to say the following. "This is the second film that had something I created for Marvel in it - the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor being the other - and both films I had to pay for my own ticket to see them. Financial compensation to the creators of these characters doesn't appear to be part of the equation."

While he arguably makes a valid point, should Marvel compenstate every single creator who comes up with a new character or idea for them which later appears in a film? Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch (creators of The Ultimates) were thanked in the credits of The Avengers, but neither have asked to be paid simply because their creations influenced several aspects of the film (the Chitauri or Samuel L. Jackosn as Nick Fury for example). Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place.

Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Avengers" 7/7/2012 Source: Digital Spy
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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lapress - 7/7/2012, 10:10 AM
Avengers 2: The Infinity Lawsuit
BlazinTexan - 7/7/2012, 10:13 AM
I like how he waited until it grossed well over a billion dollars. What a asshat.
LoudNoises - 7/7/2012, 10:22 AM
Maybe he will settle for a cameo in the sequel, lol.
CyberBishop - 7/7/2012, 10:26 AM
Why did he not want to sue before (this is my point).. Oh that is right, they had not had a movie make over 600 million domestic 1.4 billion worldwide.. He had no vested reason to sue before but now the dollar signs are there lookout.. The leech comes to suck blood.
StrangerX - 7/7/2012, 10:28 AM
hmmmmm good luck with that
Moakynubs - 7/7/2012, 10:30 AM
"I have this image that I did without Marvel for Thanos!"

"Oh look, Iron Man is in the background!"
kelethin - 7/7/2012, 10:30 AM
Was Thanos even named or was it just a purple guy at the end credits?
pitbull76 - 7/7/2012, 10:30 AM
People need to stop jumping to conclusions he has yet to sue and nowhere does it say he will this is pure speculation.
kingshnake - 7/7/2012, 10:31 AM
He may have monitary resons for suing now but that doesn't mean it isn't his right...Looks to me like that's Thanos before Marvel in the picture
MisterFixit - 7/7/2012, 10:32 AM
dear Starlin.. Do you know these? ----> © ®
have you registered your character?
capMO - 7/7/2012, 10:33 AM
well it does seem kinda weak to wait this long to claim your so-called right, unless it's all about the money.. which it obviously is, as CyperBishop points out, he didn't bitch when Thor came out, but all of a sudden with The Avengers, there's A LOT more in it for him.. Thx for Thanos, awesome character, but this is just plain pathetic and greedy of Starlin
manthingnitsuj - 7/7/2012, 10:35 AM
Pay the man.
SoupKitchen - 7/7/2012, 10:35 AM
Moakynubs- Thank you for pointing that out. I was wondering if anyone saw that.
MisterFixit - 7/7/2012, 10:38 AM
@Moakynubs he isn't iron man, he is steel-man. Starling created him before marvel. lol
ClarkFarley2012 - 7/7/2012, 10:40 AM
So I'm confused. I thought all of the creators of these comic heroes got paid. Or is three comic book rights, and movie comic book rights?? I mean he'll if I created Spiderman man I would think I would get a % of movie profit since you created him. Seems quite silly to not a least give him some $$.
NateHawk89 - 7/7/2012, 10:41 AM
he's full of himself and needs to stfu
ThunderCougarFalconBird - 7/7/2012, 10:44 AM
The name Thanos is not used in the movie so Marvel can easily claim he is an original character designed for the cinematic universe. He hasn't a leg to stand on as far as that goes. But it's there's more than the movie here.

Has he been getting royalties for the comics, Superhero Squad cartoon & game and other merchandise? If yes, then he is entitled to his cut. If no, then he is either in for one HUGE back payment or can't stake a lawful claim so will get sweet FA! The question would also need asking, "why wait until now?".
Wildaniel - 7/7/2012, 10:45 AM
OK, no one went to see The Avengers because Thanos is in it for 5 seconds, lol.

He should sue if he dosent get any money in the second movie.
pud333 - 7/7/2012, 10:46 AM
While he arguably makes a valid point, should Marvel compenstate every single creator who comes up with a new character or idea for them which later appears in a film?

= = =

Doesn't Marvel own the rights to every character ever created for them, or created by artists that at the time work for Marvel? Wasn't the main issue with the guys in the 90's splitting away and creating Image Comics because of the fact that Marvel wouldn't give them control of the characters they created, and wouldn't compensate enough when those characters were used in other properties?

If Starlin did indeed create Thanos before he started working for Marvel, then he probably has a case. Other artists, however, who create characters while working for Marvel, probably don't have a leg to stand on, hence Marvel won't have to compensate every artist under their banner in any special way. I guess it all depends on how their contracts are written.

At any rate, if Starlin can prove this, I have nothing against him going after his share of the money. Marvel made a KILLING on this film. It's only right that the creators should get some credit and compensation, since there would be no Marvel without the creators.
OhGawDuhhh - 7/7/2012, 10:47 AM
Pay the man what he's due. Now.. how does Marvel calculate what he's due?
JatevinM - 7/7/2012, 10:49 AM
As I recall anything you create for a company while you work for that company is that companies. So Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet belong to Marvel. He was paid while he worked for Marvel and shouldn't be paid after considering he knew the way rights worked.
sbdc1939 - 7/7/2012, 10:50 AM
if he created the character and was never compensated for it i agree with him, but that doesnt justify him trying to do this now. To be honest i never heard of Thanos before the avengers b/c most of comic knowlegde came from cartoon shows that he was to dark of a character to be apart of. This better not ruin the avengers 2 because i was looking forward to seeing the character in the movie
Spidey91 - 7/7/2012, 10:51 AM
so,he didn't say anything until now, that the movie is a huge success? seems legit.
TheMfayz - 7/7/2012, 10:51 AM
I feel like Thanos is too powerful to go against just the Avengers. I want Marvel to make an Infinity Gauntlet movie after "phase two"
95 - 7/7/2012, 10:53 AM
Go get that money, pal!
pitbull76 - 7/7/2012, 10:55 AM
I totally agree if any one on here were in the same boat the would do same.
Supes17 - 7/7/2012, 10:56 AM

There's money for everyone..... The Avengers made a shitload of cash
Nubase - 7/7/2012, 10:58 AM
thats the rule if you want to sue someone, you see if they got money first, if they have then you sue otherwise whats the point!

Mugwamp - 7/7/2012, 11:01 AM
Lots of vitriol on both sides of this argument. You can't have the characters without the creators but it took the big corporations to make them popular with the masses and mega hit films that we all enjoy. I think there is room on both sides for some give. I'd guess that Marvel will likely settle, or at least they should if he has a legit claim to that character.

Certainly if you created that character and a lot of people were getting rich off of it, it would seem right that you'd want a piece of that pie. Nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for your work.
BlazinTexan - 7/7/2012, 11:03 AM
I would have said something the moment I found out they had used my creation. He waited on purpose its not science.
BlazinTexan - 7/7/2012, 11:05 AM
He deserves his cut. But waiting to see how much it made to sue is pretty shady.
JatevinM - 7/7/2012, 11:06 AM
Also considering the fact that Thanos was only in the movie for a second he shouldn't be given a penny. If anyone deserves to get some money from the Avengers its Stan Lee considering he created most of the characters that were in the actual movie and not just cameoing
beane2099 - 7/7/2012, 11:06 AM
I feel for the guy, I do. But he was working for Marvel. They own whatever character you create while working for them (if it's produced in their comics that is). This is why McFarlane didn't introduce Spawn at Marvel. If Starlin didn't know it when he first created Thanos he had to by the time he left Marvel. I mean if he can make it stick and get some money for it then go for it, I guess.
MarkV - 7/7/2012, 11:15 AM
Once he decided to share his original creation in a marvel story-line, he ceded his rights to the character.
AlSimmons - 7/7/2012, 11:18 AM
The creator is entitled to the copy right regardless of whether he register's it or not. The registration is only proof of the right, not right giver. If he created Thonos and the Infinity Gauntlet on his own time, then he has valid copy right claim. If they were work for hire, then Marvel would have most of the copy rights.
Ichaos - 7/7/2012, 11:19 AM
In the golden age of movies actor's didn't get royalties unlike today. Comic artists/creators/writers should consider a royalty agreement for comics so these kinds of claims are legit. If they created a character for the company they work for without some kind of copyright protection or agreement then the company is pretty much owns it. If he created something prior and then its published without some kind of copyright, then its pretty much entered into the public domain. There were a number of old movies the copyrights were omitted in the credits which tv stations end up airing for free.

The timing is obvious. Cameo of Thanos, Avengers making big bucks, lets only now sue for big bucks. If he had issues with Marvel using that character all these years it would have come up sooner.
Ichaos - 7/7/2012, 11:21 AM
At the same time Marvel should give him and others like him the courtesy of buying them a ticket if not a private showing for them and the other contributors of these characters.
capfan88 - 7/7/2012, 11:21 AM
People who create intellectual property that leads to enormous profits should be adequately compensated for their creative property. In this case, Marvel has a disappointing history of doing this. I believe not only Mr. Starlin but also the estate of Jack Kirby shold receive reasonable pay for their contribution to the film. As should Stan Lee, despite his claims that he's content to get cameos in the film.

This is the problem with big corporate ventures like this - too often they take advantage of the creators and the workers. I'm a big, big fan of the Marvel films, but it disappoints me to think that they have a reputation for this kind of stuff. SHAME ON THEM.
superotherside - 7/7/2012, 11:23 AM
Just make a settlement with him. Although, if that's his proof he made Thanos "before" having Marvel influenced in it, then what is Iron Man doing in the background?
miggz - 7/7/2012, 11:30 AM
SUE THEM!!! screw marvel!!!
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