In the Marvel Universe of Stan Lee, disputes are settled by aerial battles above the city, hurling large objects at one another, and, of course, mutant vs. mutant combat. Then again, in Lee's imaginary realm massive doses of gamma radiation cause you to become The Incredible Hulk -- and not, you know, drop dead.
In San Francisco, sadly, disputes are settled via lawsuit. And Lee is on the receiving end of a suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court for the very unsuperhero-like matter of trademark infringement
The suit was filed by Super 7, the San Francisco company best known for crafting the gorgeous models of Star Wars or comic book characters that induce grown men (and, theoretically, women) to spend large amounts of money on kids' action figures.
The point of contention is a forthcoming comic book series Lee is hyping that marks his debut as a character: "Stan Lee's Super Seven." You needn't have the clairvoyant abilities of Professor Charles Xavier -- or even a law degree -- to see the basic conflict here. By the way, the one-sentence premise of Lee's new series, which now may never see the light of day, is "Stan Lee makes his debut as a featured character in 'Super Seven' when he befriends seven aliens who find themselves stranded after their spaceship crashes."
Perhaps in Edition No. 1, they'll all get sued.
The toy company claims it had twice sent letters of concern to Lee -- and, twice Lee's counsel replied stating his clients had either chosen to not release the series or wanted to negotiate more. So it came as some surprise to Super 7 that, at last month's Comic-Con in San Diego, Lee and partners Archie Comics, A Squared Entertainment, and Pow! Entertainment (Lee's company formed to market his creations) announced they were going full speed ahead with "Stan Lee's Super Seven" comic books, animated specials, and merchandise.
The toy company is asking for an injunction and the destruction of all materials with the words "Super Seven" printed on them. But we have an easier solution: How 'bout Lee befriends another alien or two who crawl out of the flaming wreckage? "Stan Lee's Super Eight": Who could possibly object
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