While a Legal battle looms over Marvel Comics Spider-Man character copyright, a similar trademark battle begins to unfold in the Marvel comics.
Within November 10 Miles Morales: Spider-Man # 32 by writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Christopher Allen, something is happening in what amounts to a comic book post-credits scene that could be the start of something big – something Marvel Comics mentioned was happening Somehow would produce in August.
Spoilers ahead for Miles Morales: Spider-Man # 32.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man # 32 ends with the titular Spider-hero and his colleague Starling successfully fending off an attack from Taskmaster, only to be faced with something you can’t fight with your fists: the meaning of legal papers.
An anonymous legal team operating from a limousine with hover capabilities descend to the rooftop where Miles Morales / Spider-Man and Startling are located, and a colleague looking for a lawyer comes out and hands over a case with papers that Miles soon becomes engulfed.
“Unknown individual operating in an unauthorized capacity under the brand name Spider-Man!” The lawyer said there. “We represent Beyond Corporation in legal matters.
“This notice is to let you know that by operating under the Spider-Man name you are violating our client’s legally registered trademark,” he continues. “You are required by law to forgo the use of Spider-Man’s name and likeness … immediately.”
Asked by Starling about what is going on, Miles replies “I don’t know … but you better believe that I will find out …”
In the mainstream continuity of Marvel Comics, Miles Morales shares the Spider-Man name with his creator Peter Parker – with his blessing. But back in October 6 Amazing Spider-Man # 75, it was revealed that Beyond Corporation had purchased the trademarks and copyrights of Spider-Man.
During the time that Doctor Octopus took over the body of Peter Parker and became Spider-Man (the so-called ‘Superior Spider-Man‘), Otto, still the businessman, officially registered the Parker Industries name – the company Peter (and Otto as Peter) ran. When Peter regained control of his body, he wound up the business by Amazing Spider-Man # 790 – without knowing that with this went the mark of his superhero name for Spider-Man.
Turns out Beyond Corporation stepped in and bought him, and found his own person to be his new corporate Spider-Man: Ben Reilly, the ’90s clone of Peter who replaced him for a while. time as Spider-Man.
In Amazing Spider-Man # 75, Ben officially became Spider-Man again – and while breaking the news to Peter, he didn’t ask that the original Spider-Man cease to be, you know, Spider-Man… he expressed ownership of Beyond and Ben’s right to the mantle.
Now, it looks like Ben Reilly’s benefactors, Beyond Corporation, are applying their newly purchased brand to have at least one Spider-Man, Miles Morales, stop using the name.
This story will apparently come back on repeat with the December 15th title Amazing Spider-Man Amazing Spider-Man # 81, starring Miles Morales: Spider-Man writer Saladin Ahmed steps in to write a story the company describes as “the new Spider-Man vs. the new Spider-Man !!!”
According to prior solicitations from upcoming comics, Beyond will follow this portion of legal documents with Ben Reilly serving punches to get Miles Morales to drop the mantle. But as the Arthur Adams and Arist Deyn covers show, Miles Morales responds.
As this story coincides with a Spider-Man trademark dispute happening at the same time, the estate of the late Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko filed a lawsuit against Marvel over the issue. copyright of these same characters, is difficult to understand, sources inside Marvel tell Newsarama that this fictional story set in comics was conceived before the trial of Ditko’s estate was known to the creators involved.
Find out more about it fictitious Spider-Man branded fight in Amazing Spider-Man # 81 from December 15th.
There have been more than a few Spider-Men in Marvel Comics, and we’ve tried to categorize them all with our best Spider-Mans article.