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What was true of The Incredible Hulk seems true of its creator: Angering Stan Lee is a risky proposition. The creator of such comic book characters as Spider-Man and The Hulk, Lee filed suit in November in Manhattan federal district court against Marvel Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiary Marvel Characters Inc. Lee charges his employer of 60-plus years with not honoring the terms of his employment contract. Lee, who first joined Marvel’s predecessor company, Timely Comics, as an errand boy in 1939, currently holds the title of chairman emeritus. He claims that under the employment agreement he signed in November 1998, Marvel owes him 10 percent of any profits from film or television productions using his characters. But what constitutes profit is the question. Lee claims that Marvel should pay him at least $10 million for last year’s Spider-Man: The Movie. Marvel has stated that it has not realized a profit as defined by the employment agreement. The prospect of additional revenue from three more films slated to open this year and based on Lee characters-Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, and X2, the sequel to X-Men-makes the issue even more pressing. For plaintiff Stan Lee (Los Angeles) Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky (Washington, D.C.): Howard Graff and associates Judith Cohen and Victoria Kummer. (All are in New York.) Lee’s regular counsel, Arthur Lieberman of New York’s Lieberman & Nowak, recommended Graff to Lee because of Graff’s extensive experience in the communications industry. For defendants Marvel Enterprises, Inc., and Marvel Characters, Inc. (New York) In-house: Executive vice president-legal and business affairs Allen Lipson. Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Los Angeles): David Fleischer and associate Jodi Kleinick. (Both are in the firm’s New York office.) Fleischer has worked with Marvel, through predecessor company Toy Biz, Inc., since 1990. Outlook The defendants had not yet filed a response at press time.

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