‘He-Man’ Toy Comics Writer Claims Stake In ‘Masters Of The Universe’ Copyright
It's a pretty good time for Masters of the Universe comics, what with DC's line of MOTU books being shockingly terrific. Those new comics aren't what has toymaker Mattel and its attorneys' attention, however. They're looking back to a handful of minicomics from 30-plus years ago, the writer of which is claiming he has a stake in the MOTU franchise.
Writer Donald Glut says Mattel gave him the task of creating backstories for He-Man and other toy characters, and that he owns the copyrights to them. He says he only licensed the stories to Mattel. Mattel says it owns MOTU outright, and that Glut's stories were work-for-hire.
Mattel commissioned Glut to write four minicomics to be packaged with its MOTU toys: "He-Man and the Power Sword," "The Vengeance of Skeletor," "Battle in the Clouds," and "King of Castle Grayskull." Glut says in his claims that Mattel showed him what the toys could do and simply asked him to have the characters do those things as much as possible (which may explain why He-Man constructed his headquarters via punching).
According to Glut, Mattel's license to his character backstories would expire in 2016. Mattel says his claims are "baseless and stale."