Superhero creator extraordinaire Stan Lee has filed a supersized lawsuit in excess of $1 billion against the company he co-founded, Pow! Entertainment.
Lee filed the suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Pow! conspired with two employees. The suit states, per CNN: Pow! Entertainment CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion "conspired and agreed to broker a sham deal to sell POW! to a company in China and fraudulently steal Stan Lee's identity, name, image, and likeness as part of a nefarious scheme to benefit financially at Lee's expense."
- The suit centers on the 2017 sale of Pow! to Camsing International. In the suit, Lee also claimed they fraudulently obtained his signature to gain "the exclusive right to use Lee's name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity."
- He also claimed that his former business manager Jerardo Olivarez took advantage of his grief over his wife of 70 years’ death to gain control of his assets.
- "The allegations are completely without merit," read a statement from Pow!. "The notion that Mr. Lee did not knowingly grant POW! exclusive rights to his creative works or his identity is so preposterous that we have to wonder whether Mr. Lee is personally behind this lawsuit. There is no question Mr. Lee -- who, along with his daughter, was and remains a substantial POW! shareholder -- clearly understood the terms of the agreements he signed. The evidence, which includes Mr. Lee's subsequent statements and conduct, is overwhelming and we look forward to presenting it in court."
- Olivarez was not named in the suit but has previously denied the charges against him.
- Lee helped create many legendary characters, including Black Panther, Iron Man and the X-Men.
- Lee is also wresting control of his social media accounts back. After posting on Twitter that previous posts made under his @TheRealStanLee account weren’t made by him, he asked for help posting videos. After fans helped him, he posted his first effort.