Ghost Rider creator gets the shaft from Marvel

Just when you thought another Ghost Rider movie with Nicolas Cage was bad enough, now reports have hit the web that Marvel’s sued Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, and won.

Actually he sued them first, Marvel sued back, and now he’s being forced to pay $17,000 in damages to the comic giant, and it’s got comic fans pretty upset.

According to ComicbookResources, there was a long legal fight between Friedrich and Marvel Characters Inc that started back in 2007, when Friedrich sued Marvel, Columbia, and Hasbro over Ghost Rider, because he said the rights reverted back to him in 2001.

Friedrich claimed Marvel didn’t register the copyright when the character debuted in Marvel Spotlight #5 back in 1972.

In 2010, Marvel sued back, claiming Friedrich sold unauthorized Ghost Rider merchandise. The way the case wound down is Marvel will drop their claims if Friedrich pays up the $17K for damages, stops selling Ghost Rider merchandise, and stop promoting himself as the character’s creator. However, Friedrich is still allowed to sell authorized Ghost Rider merchandise with his signature on it.

Fans are also getting the word out that you can contact Friedrich through Facebook and donate to help him pay off the judgment. 

Horror writer Steve Niles is also helping to get the word out via his website, and is encouraging comic fans to help.

On his Facebook page, Friedrich stated that in spite of health problems and financial difficulties he will appeal the case “and continue to fight this as long as I am able…”