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Marvel get to keep Spider-Man & Dr. Strange ownership, and reach an agreement with co-creator Steve Ditko's family

The surviving family of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange co-creator Steve Ditko have reached a deal with Marvel.

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Ownership in two of the largest pop culture franchises has been decided apparently, as one of the heirs to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange co-creator Steve Ditko has decided to call off attempts to take control of the characters' copyrights.

Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko
Image credit: Steve Ditko (Marvel Comics)
In a brief write-up by The Hollywood Reporter, its said that the estate of late comic artist/writer Steve Ditko have notified US Courts that it and Marvel Entertainment have come to an "amicable settlement" over the dispute thats been in courts for the past two years, and that they anticipate to be able to ask for a complete dismissal of the various court cases in "the coming weeks."

Ditko, one of the pillars of Marvel Comics, for decades talked of issues in working with Marvel Comics' chief writer/editor in the '60s and '70s, Stan Lee, over proper crediting and ownership of the comics and characters they created together. Following Ditko's death in 2018, one of his heirs - nephew Patrick Ditko - joined with other Marvel creators (and their heirs) in 2021 to attempt to claw back ownership of Marvel characters they were involved in. Those included Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and Thor, which were co-created by Ditko, Colan, Heck, and Rico.

Marvel responded quickly to the creators' attempts with a series of lawsuits in a response.

Stan Lee himself sued Marvel in the early '00s regarding profits on characters he created for them, with him reportedly settling with the company for something north of $1 million dollars in 2006.

The terms of Ditko and Marvel's "amicable settlement" have not been disclosed.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)


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