Sunday, January 01, 2012

"Ghost Rider" Sticks With Marvel In A Firestorm of Blood, Oil and Vengeance

Rights to the Marvel Comics' character "Ghost Rider", adapted into two feature films starring Nicolas Cage as a demonic, bike-riding, flaming skull-head, belong entirely to Marvel Comics and not to the character's freelance creator, writer Gary Friedrich, according to Manhattan federal court judge Katherine Forrest.

Friedrich developed the original 'Ghost Rider' character with Marvel editor Roy Thomas and illustrator Mike Ploog.

Although the character debuted in 1972, in "Marvel Spotlight" #5, it was not until 2004 that Friedrich began considering legal action against Marvel, after first learning about development of a movie adaptation.

In his lawsuit, Friedrich claimed Marvel infringed on his rights and that he owned the character and its use in films, toys, video games and other merchandise.

The judge disagreed, finding that Friedrich had relinquished his rights to "Ghost Rider" as soon as he started cashing checks from Marvel.

"If Friedrich... had any rights to the character or the work at the time he endorsed the checks... he relinquished those rights to Marvel," the judge said.

The second movie adaptation, "Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance" opens February 17, 2012.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Ghost Rider" and "Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance"...