Disney owns Marvel, bought for around four billion dollars. But a few decades ago the relationship was rather different, as Disney sued Marvel over their publication of Howard The Duck, an unlikely cult hit comic book, rather mature for its time, even if it had a walking talking duck trapped in the Marvel Universe.
But there was another battle going on, between Marvel and Howard The Duck creator Steve Gerber, who claimed creator ownership and eventually settled with Marvel acknowledging their ownership of the character. Though as they still had differences, Gerber woule engineer an unofficial crossover with Image Comics’ Savage Dragon – and in doing so see Howard kidnapped and renamed in the Image Universe, and a clone sent back to Marvel.
Decades later, archivist Robert Stanley Martin has done the heavy lifting in collating the legal paperwork from that time, from the original cheque paid to Steve Gerber, through the contracts, legal letters and summations, as well as providing a comprehensive timeline of the character and the ups and down of Marvel Comics, the company and its staff, and some of their more… let’s call them “entertaining” hijinks of the time.