Marvel Comics has dropped its lawsuits against writer Larry Lieber and the estates of Don Heck, Gene Colan, and Don Rico, but legal proceedings are continuing with the estate of Steve Ditko, Reuters reports. The four lawsuits were dropped with prejudice, which means Marvel cannot refile them, and both a Disney spokesperson and an attorney for the artists said that the parties had reached an “amicable resolution.”

On May 19, 2023, both Marvel and Ditko’s estate filed motions for summary judgment in that case, essentially asking the judge to find in their favor without a trial.

Marvel sued all five creators and estates in 2021, after they filed copyright termination notices on work they created or co-created for the publisher (see “Marvel Files Suits in New Rights Battle”), including the characters Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. 

The works in question were created in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and the creators were attempting to reclaim their copyrights for the work. Marvel claimed that the works were done for hire and therefore the copyrights could not be reclaimed.

Marvel settled a similar suit with the estate of Jack Kirby in 2013 (see “Marvel Settles with Kirby Heirs!”).