Marvel icon Stan Lee has dropped his $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, in which he claimed his former production company stole his name and likeness rights. It's been a rough year for Lee, starting last July when his wife of 69 years, Joan Lee, passed away at age 95. Bad news continued to hit Lee in 2018 with claims allegations of sexual misconduct against him (which he denied), followed by health scares including an irregular heartbeat and pneumonia, and reports that he was allegedly the victim of elder abuse, which he also denied were true.
One of the biggest bombshells of Lee's tumultuous 2018 came in May, however, when he filed a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, the production company he co-founded in 2001. In the massive lawsuit, Lee alleged he was tricked into signing away the rights to his name and likeness after POW! Entertainment was acquired by the Chinese company Camsing International last year. Lee filed the suit against POW! executives and his former business manager, claiming they took advantage of Lee after he became distraught over his wife's death, as well as macular degeneration, which caused serious vision problems, resulting in him signing over the exclusive rights to his name and likeness (instead of the non-exclusive agreement he thought he was signing).
Now, two months after the legal action was filed, Lee has decided to drop the suit. According to THR, Lee released a statement Monday saying that he was dismissing the lawsuit against POW! He says: "The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans, but I am now happy to be surrounded by those who want the best for me. I am thrilled to put the lawsuit behind me, get back to business with my friends and colleagues at POW! and launch the next wave of amazing characters and stories!"
POW! Entertainment released a statement reacting to Lee dropping the lawsuit, in which Lee also claimed the company hijacked his social media accounts and were impersonating him. In the statement, POW! CEO Shane Duffy says: "We are ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed and we look forward to working with Stan again to develop and produce the great projects that were put on hold when the lawsuit was filed. We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and [parent company] Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction."
The dismissal of the lawsuit and the apparent amends Lee has made with POW! is no doubt a huge, positive step ahead for Lee, who will, hopefully, get back to business and become the vibrant part of Marvel that he was before his wife's passing a year ago. And while Lee is still embroiled in legal actions – he recently obtained a second restraining order against his former business manager Keya Morgan after the first one expired – at least he has one less legal issue to worry about.
The timing of the dismissal of Lee's lawsuit against POW! comes not long after the comic book legend and fans all over the world mourned the loss of Lee's Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, who passed away at the age of 90. At age 95, it's reasonable to think Lee was troubled by the loss of one of his former creative partners, and equally got him thinking that he wants to make the best of the years he has left and get back to making a positive impact on the world he has so greatly influenced.
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3 June 2018