Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, and Black Panther, lives in a world of heroes and villains, but now he is claiming his former company, POW! Entertainment, has become a villain itself. The Marvel comics legend is filing a $1 billion lawsuit against the company he helped co-found back in 2001 with Shane Duffy and Gill Champion.
According to CNBC, the 95-year-old Lee is claiming that these co-founders “forged or fraudulently obtained” his signature to allow his name and likeness to be sold to China-based Camsing International back in 2017. The comics creator claims he was falsely led to believe he was signing a different contract, but he ended up signing over his naming rights because of his poor eyesight. The lawsuit is asking for $1 billion in damages, but he also wants the court to toss out the exclusive rights agreement for his name and likeness.
This contract also allowed for POW! Entertainment to take control of Lee’s social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. On May 12, 2018, Lee claimed that the official Real Stan Lee Twitter account had been managed by someone other than himself for quite a while.
“Today was the first day I ever did a tweet myself. Before today, my account was done by others. I still do not have control of my Facebook. Someone else is doing it, NOT me,” Lee tweeted out.
On May 15, 2018, Lee sent out a cry for “help” and claimed that someone had “hijacked” his Facebook and Instagram.
“I want everyone to know whoever is writing them is a fraud and is impersonating me. How do I get them back? Can you guys help?” he wrote.
By May 16, 2018, Lee had apparently regained complete control of his Twitter account thanks to the help of fans.
“From now on, I will depend on you, my dear fans, to protect and defend me. I love you guys and am so happy I have control of my twitter account back. You guys are my true superheroes,” he wrote.
Thank you twitter. I finally learned how to post a video thanks to you guys. pic.twitter.com/SiSqnNakd9
— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 16, 2018
Lee is apparently planning on doing live streams to answer the “questions of my lovely fans.” The first video stream went live late last night along with a photo showing Lee hanging out with Vin Diesel during the film premiere of Avengers: Infinity War.