An Original ‘Masters of the Universe’ Comic Writer Loses Ownership Suit Against Mattel
U.S. District Judge Manuel Real has determined that toymaker Mattel owns the franchise and all its characters lock, stock and barrel, just in time for a proposed movie reboot from Sony.
Glut asserted that he had an ownership stake in the characters because of four 1981 mini-comics he wrote: “He-Man and the Power Sword,” “The Vengeance of Skeletor,” “Battle in the Clouds,” and “King of Castle Grayskull.” Those comics, which were packaged with the MOTU toys, established backstories for He-Man, Skeletor Teela and the rest of the gang.
Glut said Mattel couldn't produce the work-for-hire agreement he signed, and contended that he licensed the stories to the company. Mattel argued that Glut waited far too log to assert ownership -- 33 years, in fact -- and had definitely created the characters under a work-for-hire agreement.
Currently, DC Comics holds the Masters of the Universe comics license.
Beyond writing the MOTU comics, Glut has worked on cartoons including Transformers, DuckTales and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. He also just plain has a thing for dinosaurs. He wrote, directed and co-produced the movie Dinosaur Valley Girls and co-founded Fossil Records, whose output includes the album "Dinosaur Tracks." His other film credits include The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula and Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood. He also created a surprisingly coherent Spider-Man fan film back in 1969.