The Avengers Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Will Supreme Court weigh in on Kirby heirs’ fight with Marvel?

kirby marvel charactersIn an interesting analysis, Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter sees signs the U.S. Supreme Court might consider the five-year dispute between Jack Kirby’s heirs and Marvel over the copyrights to many of the company’s most popular characters.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in August upheld a 2011 ruling that Kirby’s Marvel creation in the 1960s were work for hire, and therefore not subject to copyright reclamation by his children. (They had filed 45 copyright-termination notices in September 2009, seeking to reclaim what they saw as their father’s stake in such characters as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk; Marvel fired back with a lawsuit.) In their March petition to the Supreme Court, the Kirby heirs took aim at the Second Circuit’s “instance and expense” test, arguing that it “invariably finds that the pre-1978 work of an independent contractor is ‘work for hire’ under the 1909 Act.”

Gardner points out the the justices discussed the petition at a May conference, and then requested that Marvel respond (the company initially didn’t file a response). Those p0tential portents were followed by a pair of friend-of-the-court briefs: one filed by Bruce Lehman, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, on behalf of himself, former U.S. Register of Copyrights Ralph Oman, the Artists Rights Society and others, and the other by attorney Steven Smyrski on behalf of longtime Kirby friend Mark Evanier, Kirby historian John Morrow and the PEN Center USA.

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Agent Coulson drops in on KCRW’s ‘Guest DJ Project’

clark gregg

If you ever wondered how actor Clark Gregg prepared himself for Agent Coulson’s death scene — or, rather, “death” scene — in The Avengers, you only need to listen to KCRW’s “Guest DJ Project.” Hint: It’s music, but any additional information is probably above your clearance level.

For this week’s episode of the Los Angeles radio show, the star of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. compiles a track list that includes Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” Public Enemy’s “Caught, Can We Get a Witness” and Radiohead’s “Go to Sleep.”

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Hero worship takes on new meaning with stained-glass prints

stained-glass-batman-croppe

If you’re a comics fan with a near-religious devotion to your favorite superheroes, do we have a window treatment for you: Marissa Garner has created a stunning series of prints that imitate the look of stained glass and features everyone from Batman and his allies to Spider-Man and his rogues to Sailor Moon.

What’s more, they’re printed on transparency paper, and can be attached to a window, creating that instant cathedral effect.

Check out some of Garner’s print below, and even more on her Etsy page, where they can be purchased.

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First look at ‘Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.’ exhibition

Thor’s Cosmic Observatory at "Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N" at Discovery Times Square

Thor’s Cosmic Observatory at “Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N” at Discovery Times Square

The first official renderings have been revealed for Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Discovery Times Square, the upcoming interactive exhibition that brings visitors into the Marvel Cinematic Universe..

Presented with Victory Hill Exhibitions and Marvel, in collaboration with NASA and the National Academy of Sciences, the exhibit is designed to bring to life the science behind the superheroes: Visitors are recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. and granted access to the headquarters of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. — Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network — and its classified files exploring the history and scientific origins of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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New manga introduces Japanese kids to the Avengers

avengers-manga1-cropped

Despite a 50-year history, a record-breaking movie and several video games and animated television series, there apparently still are some in Japan who don’t know who the Avengers are. A little surprising, maybe, but that’s what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes discover when they travel to that country in the latest issue of CoroCoro Comic.

Kotaku spotlights the 12-page story from Shogakukan’s monthly manga magazine for elementary school-age boys, which finds Captain America, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man and the Wasp facing several obstacles on unfamiliar shores: Thor can’t get his armor and hammer through customs, the Hulk can’t stomach Japanese food and, worse still, no one is familiar with them.

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Want Avengers Mansion? You’d have to assemble $113 million

Avengers Mansion, by Stuart Immonen

Avengers Mansion, by Stuart Immonen

For decades, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes called home a city block-sized mansion at 890 Fifth Ave. in New York City that was initially occupied by the Stark family. Of course, the sprawling building underwent a few minor changes before it could become Avengers Mansion, with the third floor gutted to make way for a hangar deck and the three-level basement complex renovated to accommodate a combat simulation room, a robotics lab, cryogenics storage and a submarine pen. Y’know, the usual stuff.

So if you were a billionaire interested in picking up your own stylish superhero headquarters, how much might Avengers Mansion set you back? A cool $113 million, according to the real estate blog Movoto. Butler not included.

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Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon filling up quickly [Updated]

avengers half-marathon

Registration opened this morning for runDisney’s inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, and it’s nearly sold out already. You’d almost think this was Comic-Con International.

Announced last month, the Nov. 14-16 event brings runners to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, for kids races, a 5K, a half marathon, a pre-race pasta party featuring the Marvel characters and a merchandise expo. It marks the first such collaboration since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009.

At the time of this post, the kids races and Avengers 5K were sold out, with the Avengers Half Marathon at 98 percent; there’s still a little room at the pasta party, however.

Update (11:25 a.m.): And just like that, the Avengers Half Marathon is sold out.

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Disney & Marvel assemble Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

avengers half marathon-logo

Fresh from Sunday’s Disney Princess event, runDisney has announced the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. It marks the first such collaboration since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009.

Planned for Nov. 14-16 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the event includes a kids race, a 5K and half marathon — it’s a new 13.1-mile route through the theme park –  a pre-race pasta party featuring the Marvel characters and a merchandise expo. Registration opens March 25.

“RunDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,” Dan Buckley, Marvel’s president of TV, publishing and brand management, said in a statement. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.”

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Avengers owe their existence to a missed ‘Daredevil’ deadline?

avengers1The Motley Fool marks the 50th anniversary of the Avengers with an article that’s part history lesson, part early celebration of Disney’s potential box-office haul from films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron (it is a financial website, after all). But the interesting part of the piece is a bit of trivia I’d never read before: that The Avengers #1 was thrown into production only because of a major delay on Daredevil #1.

While the article doesn’t provide a source, that tidbit may have come from Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, who explained in 2011 that the company planned to follow The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man in 1963 with The X-Men and Daredevil. However, between his day job and his drinking problem, artist Bill Everett fell far, far behind on Daredevil #1, leaving Marvel with a printing deadline but no comic.

“In those days, you booked print time way ahead of time — and if your book wasn’t ready, you paid for the printing time anyway,” Brevoort wrote.

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The Avengers do Black Friday in webcomic by Sairobee

avengers-bf

Black Friday has come and gone, and whether you were one of those who waited in line or simply scoffed at those who did, you’ll surely get a kick out of this great one-off comic strip by a storyboard artist known online as Sairobee. In this one-page strip, titlted “Happy Belated Black Friday, Y’All!”, the Los Angeles-based artist depicts an engaging and imaginative scenario: What if the Avengers went to Black Friday?

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Ben Oliver’s Avengers: Earth’s Most Adorable Li’l Heroes

littlethor-cropped

I’m a sucker for pint-sized versions of superheroes, ranging from Skottie Young’s “baby” Marvel variants  to Dustin Nguyen’s Li’l Gotham to Art Baltazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans, but my new favorite may be Ben Oliver‘s adorable “little” take on the big-screen Avengers.

When ROBOT 6 contributor Tim O’Shea spotted some of the illustrations on Cully Hamner’s Facebook page, he contacted Oliver, who was kind enough to send them our way. In his email, Oliver said this is the set “so far,” which I hope means we’ll be treated to child-sized renditions of Loki, Hawkeye and Agent Coulson.

The art is, of course, terrific (don’t dwell too long on the idea of kids with facial hair; that way lies madness), but it’s Oliver’s perfect and hilarious word balloons that will win over even the most stonehearted superhero fan.

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Comics A.M. | Jeff Smith on CBLDF; Archie’s ‘hardcore horror book’

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

Creators | Jeff Smith, who was named last week to the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, talks briefly about the importance of the organization, and the 2010 challenge to his all-ages graphic novel Bone in a Minnesota school. [Comic Riffs]

Comics | Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla have a few things to say about the new zombie series Afterlife With Archie. “We are taking a series of characters known to be lighthearted and young adult-oriented and doing a horror comic with them, so the mood, atmosphere, and setting are very important to make this a believable horror and not a comedy horror,” says Francavilla, who’s also the creator of The Black Beetle. “Fortunately, I am really good at making things dark and ominous.” [The Associated Press]

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Comics A.M. | Viz Media expanding into India; the Avengers at 50

Naruto, Vol. 62

Naruto, Vol. 62

Publishing | Viz Media, the largest U.S. publisher of English-language manga, is poised to jump in to a new market: India. Kevin Hamric, the company’s director of publishing and marketing, was there this week, and he says the demand is there. “With India’s growing book and reading sector we have identified it as key to our growth,” Hamric says. “We receive many, many requests each and every month from fans in India to bring our product here.” [The Hindu Business Line]

Comics | As the Avengers turn 50, Noel Murray recounts their history and explains why they work so well as a super-team. [Hero Complex]

Conventions | The founder of this month’s incredibly successful Salt Lake Comic Con — it drew about 70,000 attendees in its first year — is planning a spinoff event for Jan. 9-11, the weekend before the Sundance Film Festival. [Salt Lake Tribune]

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Avengers face their greatest threat in ‘Endless Wartime’ trailer

avengers-endless-wartime

Marvel has released a trailer for Avengers: Endless Wartime, the upcoming original graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone.

Announced in June, the hardcover is set within current continuity, as a mysterious threat arises in the nation of Slorinia with ties to the pasts of Captain America and Thor. Avengers: Endless Wartime arrives in October.

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Appeals court upholds Marvel victory in Kirby copyright feud

kirby marvel charactersThe Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed Marvel a significant victory this morning, upholding a 2011 ruling that Jack Kirby’s contributions to the publisher in the 1960s were work for hire, and therefore not subject to copyright reclamation by the artist’s heirs.

However, as Tom Spurgeon first reported, the appellate court vacated the New York district judge’s summary ruling against two of Kirby’s children, California residents Lisa and Neal, on jurisdictional grounds; the judgment against Susan and Barbara stands.

Secondarily, the Second Circuit upheld the lower court’s exclusion of expert testimony offered by John Morrow and Mark Evanier on behalf of the Kirby heirs, agreeing that “their reports are by and large undergirded by hearsay statements, made by freelance artists in both formal and informal settings, concerning Marvel’s general practices towards its artists during the relevant time period.”

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