Just as the title asks; does Stan Lee have any creative control over his characters?

Case in point: I was watching Iron Man 3 (2013) last night and was curious about the comic origin of The Mandarin. So I looked it up online and discovered that, as his name might indicate, he was from China (as "Mandarin" is the name of the Chinese language). Now, I get that terrorism is a hot topic these days, so having a terrorist be the "beard" for Killian sorta makes sense. However, The Mandarin in the comics was apparently a really powerful character and a central foe of Iron Man, and in the movie his name doesn't even make sense! The Mandarin is from the Middle East??

Does Stan Lee have the capability to say to writers, "No, you've gone too far off the mark with that", or has he lost complete control of how his characters are used?

1 Answer 1




Stan Lee Media can’t claim ownership to any of the iconic comicbook characters Stan Lee created for Marvel, a federal court judge ruled Thursday, giving full control of superheroes like Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men to the Walt Disney Co.


Disney has said that Stan Lee Media failed to specify to which works it claims to own the copyright, instead referring “vaguely” to “comicbook characters…that (Lee) had previously created or would create.” It also added that Disney “is a holding company and as such does not conduct business in Colorado or anywhere else,” the company said in a motion to dismiss the suit. “There is no conceivable basis on which the plaintiff can state a viable copyright claim against (the Walt Disney Co.) in this court or, for that matter, any other.”


Note that even though Stan Lee receives an Executive Producer credit this is honorary

"I hate to admit this, but I do not share in the movie's profits," Lee told CNN.com in a recent interview. "I just share in the interviews, in the glamour, in the people saying, 'Wow, I love that movie, Stan' -- but I'm not a participant in the profits... [The executive producer credit] is an honorary title."


  • Looks like this came from a news article. Can you dig up the date it was published? Dec 12, 2017 at 14:05
  • It's at the link... 09/2013
    – Paulie_D
    Dec 12, 2017 at 14:06
  • Thanks! I assume any subsequent retrials (assuming he didn't give up immediately) resulted in the same outcome? Dec 12, 2017 at 14:07
  • 1
    That's covered in the article...he's basically out of appeals and as I recall, he is being sued for a share in the money he received for selling the rights in the first place.
    – Paulie_D
    Dec 12, 2017 at 14:09
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Lee_Media
    – Paulie_D
    Dec 12, 2017 at 14:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .