We’re in the beginnings of a new decade, and as such, a variety of new legal issues have surfaced. Specifically, many rightsholders are losing the rights to their iconic characters or properties. This has spawned legal battles such as the one that the Friday the 13th film franchise is stuck in. Although there have been some smooth exchanges, such as the case with the Predator franchise, where Disney was able to pay off the original creators so they could keep the rights. As for Marvel, however, it looks like they’ll be losing the rights to one classic character.
This particular character is none other than Conan the Barbarian. Fans of the character know that the rights tied to Conan are very tricky, with various different subsidiaries of Cabinet Entertainment holding rights depending on each media format. For example, Heroic Signatures actually licensed the rights to the character to Marvel Comics. This has allowed Marvel to develop their own Conan comic book series, titled King Conan, which will conclude this year with its sixth issue.
The character has also been used in mainstream Marvel Comics, where he’s fought alongside such superheroes as Wolverine and Venom. As such, it really is unfortunate that the character will likely be phased out from these appearances. But considering that Marvel has had the rights to publish the character off and on since 1969, we’ll probably see them have an opportunity again at some other point in time. As for now, however, the rights will be moving on yet again.
A multitude of comic book publishers have used Conan the Barbarian for their stories over the decades. While Marvel is one such publisher, so too was Dark Horse. All of these publishers used the initial Robert E. Howard stories to create their respective versions of Conan. Similarly, there have been film adaptations based on the character as well. The most popular of which is the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular character.
It looks like fans eager to get their Conan-Marvel fix will have to keep up with King Conan and his appearances in Savage Avengers.