After years of lawsuits, Disney, who owns Marvel Comics, finally decided to make the Kirby estate an offer to head off a trip to the Supreme Court. The financial offer was not disclosed.
I read the transcripts of the lower court hearings. The lawyers for Marvel made everything seem like Jack, that as a freelancer who literally created or at least co-created every early character at Marvel, was nothing more than a pair of hands that dragged a pencil across a piece of paper on company demands.
Yet the salaried "company" man, who worked out the stories with Jack, was none other than Stan Lee, who was on payroll and should not have been rewarded in anything other than his weekly paycheck, until his promotions kicked in, was rewarded with a contract about 15 years ago that gave him a deal that (according to the AP story) has benefitted him with over a hundred million dollars.
Being a writer myself, I understand the unfairness of the "Work-for Hire" contract that most freelancers are forced to sign, so I'm happy for the family of Jack and Roz Kirby to finally get their financial recognition. Oh, there's been recognition, especially after all of the hit Marvel movies lately have started with the credits, "Created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby." But that line put absolutely no bread on the Kirby table at night. So yes, it's good that the Kirby's are finally receiving the financial end of all those accolades.
Now you might say, "Jack and Roz have passed away, how does that help them?" Well from the beginning, Jack stated over and over, that this legal battle was to leave a financial legacy to his grandkids and it has. So it seems that one of Jack's heroic characters has won the day yet again. Only this time the heroic character was...himself.
Take care and read a (Jack Kirby) comic today!