With Marvel Studios going cosmic and using some of the more obscure characters for their movies we are hearing more about creator owned rights.
The Avengers movie saw Thanos appear, and it seems as if Marvel and Jim Starlin are now coming to some sort of deal over that character and perhaps others that might be used in future Marvel Studios movies, such as the rumored appearance of Adam Warlock and The Magus in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Speaking of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, fan-favorite character Rocket Raccoon will be amongst the cosmic assemblers.
Comic book scribes Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Keith Giffen brought Rocket Raccoon out of obscurity with Annihilation: Conquest and the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic book, with Giffen on the Conquest: Star-Lord mini. From there, Rocket Raccoon went to star in the Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 video game (even plastered on the outside of the NYCC) as well as appearing on the popular Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Disney XD animates series, with the episode written by DnA. Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige has also stated he is a big fan, and there is also a Rocket Raccoon action figure and T-shirt line as well.
Rocket Raccoon was created by Bill Mantlo back in 1976, and with Rocket's popularity skyrocketing, we now we learn there are talks with Mantlo's representative and Marvel over the character rights.
Bill Mantlo suffered brain damage in 1992 as a result of a hit-and-run accident and now requires full time care. It's being reported that Marvel and Bill Mantlo might come to a deal over the rights, purportedly a lump sum in the five figure range.
We tend to agree with Bleeding Cool and think it should be at least six figures.
A BC user sent them the following:
I was approached by a lawyer friend about a case he was working on with others regarding comic characters. Apparently a relative – the creators brother- is in contact with Marvel over some sort of reimbursement- to receive a lump sum for characters he created. He asked me about a few obscure characters that was created by this guys brother, but the one name that jumped out was “Rocket Raccoon”. I was told that the brother was trying to get some money for medical expenses, and was offered a five figure sum so far. I asked if the name was “Mantlo”- but my friend smiled and said he couldn’t say just yet.