Marvel Worldwide, Inc. filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan on Friday asking a judge to invalidate 45 notices sent by the heirs of artist Jack Kirby that aimed to terminate Marvel’s copyrights. The notices said Marvel’s copyrights would terminate on dates ranging from 2014 through 2019. The heirs notified several companies last year that the rights would revert from Marvel to Kirby’s estate. Marvel argues that Kirby’s work on the comics were “for hire,” which makes the heirs’ claims invalid.
According to the lawsuit, Kirby contributed to titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, The Avenger, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and The X-Men. Marvel shareholders recently approved the acquisition of the company by The Walt Disney Co.