Stan Lee's daughter, J.C. Lee, is suing her father's former company POW! Entertainment. The beloved Marvel comics creator passed away last November at the age of 95. Following reports of elder abuse and a severe case of pneumonia, it was later confirmed that Lee had died from heart and respiratory failure. It was a loss felt by many individuals around the world, but especially within his Marvel family, who paid tribute to Lee by compiling a behind-the-scenes video that featured his various cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unfortunately, months after his passing, Lee's name was still making headlines. It was reported last May that his former manager, Keya Morgan, was charged with elder abuse and later arrested on the charge. A report was initially filed in 2018 that detailed how the Marvel creator was being taken advantage of by Morgan; his former publicist, Jerry Olivarez; his former road manager, Max Anderson; and his daughter. The warrant for Morgan's arrest was on five accounts of elder abuse, including false imprisonment, fraud, and forgery. Now, months after Morgan's arrest, Lee's name is coming back into the spotlight.
According to THR, Stan Lee's daughter, J.C., is "picking up an intellectual property battle" with POW! Entertainment, which was filed on Thursday in a California federal court. Before Lee had passed away, he had filed a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! that "detailed [his] deteriorating medical condition" and claimed that the executives, "took advantage by either inducing him to sign documents under fraudulent pretenses or forging his signature." The initial suit, "sought to reclaim name and likeness rights," but was eventually dropped by Lee. J.C.'s current lawsuit is resurfacing that old battle. The complaint states that both her and the Estate, "seek to perform the covenant Stan Lee made with his namesake company," while also remedying, "the wrongs inflicted by trusted business associates over the last two decades." After her father's passing, J.C. gathered a "forensic team of lawyers and accountants," and had learned the "extent to which the rights to Stan Lee's intellectual property had been looted, muddied and entangled by POW!."
Lee helped found POW! Entertainment alongside Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman in 2001 as a holding corporation for the Marvel legend's many intellectual properties. Though this current lawsuit resurfaces Lee's previous battle with POW!, it also goes far beyond that, before the company's formation even. J.C.'s hope is to also gain access to parts of her father's intellectual property that's currently stored in a self-named holding that was created in the wake of his firing from Marvel in the mid-'90s.
The co-creation of POW! happened not long after Lee's departure from Marvel. Even though Marvel and Lee made amends later on, obviously, both companies still owned a fair share of the creator's properties. It's unfortunate that, many months after his passing, headlines are still appearing that are showcasing how messy and complex his final years were. Hopefully, this lawsuit will be the final battle that the comic creator's name has to be a part of. More importantly, hopefully, he'll finally be able to rest in peace once it's all said and done.