Stan Lee has filed suit against POW! Entertainment, a company with which he’s been associated since the early 00s (see "Stan Lee’s Movie Ideas Get a ‘Look’"), and executives Gill Champion and Shane Duffy, alleging that the company forged or otherwise fraudulently obtained exclusive rights to Lee’s name, image, and likeness and seeking $1 billion in damages.  The suit notes Lee’s long history of granting non-exclusive rights to his name and argues that he never would have signed away exclusive rights if he knew what he was signing.  Lee, who is legally blind from advanced macular degeneration, normally has documents read to him before signing and was never read any exclusive rights agreement to his name and likeness, the suit alleges.

POW! also took control of Lee’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts without his permission, according to the suit.  On May 12, Lee apparently regained control of his Twitter account, posting, "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."

The suit comes in the wake of the sale of POW!’s assets to Hong Kong-based company Camsing International Holding last year (see "Geek M&A Round-Up").  After that transaction, Camsing’s Duffy took over as CEO, and Champion, who’d been an executive at POW! for years, was moved to President.  In the suit, Lee alleges that he did not agree to the terms of the sale to Camsing, and notes that he is now being sued by shareholders of POW! over the deal.

This is only the latest in a series of unfortunate events surrounding Lee, including, most recently, a lawsuit against Jerardo Olivarez alleging that Olivarez transferred $4.6 million out of Lee’s Merrill Lynch account without permission (see "Stan Lee Sues Former Manager").

Problems with the companies with which Lee has been associated did not begin recently, however.  An earlier company, Stan Lee Media, went down in 2000, with the co-founder fleeing the country after a high-priced political fundraiser exposed financial shenanigans (see "Political Fundraiser Sank Stan Lee Media").