Judge rules penniless Ghost Rider creator owes Marvel Comics $17K

Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich was already broke, but now that he's lost a lawsuit with Marvel Comics, the poor guy can't even afford a ticket to see his character retake the big screen in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance next week.

Friedrich was facing off with Marvel over whether he is owed any money for Nicolas Cage's latest film based on the Ghost Rider comic, a followup to the 2007 Ghost Rider flick.

Friedrich is credited with creating the character we now know as Ghost Rider in the 1972 comic Marvel Spotlight #5, and he claimed the rights for the character reverted back to him in the early 2000s.

That claim apparently didn't hold up, and the court has now ruled in favor of Marvel—meaning they owe Friedrich nothing for the use of Ghost Rider and the subsequent universe built around the character.

But, adding insult to injury, the judge also ordered Friedrich to pay Marvel $17,000 for selling Ghost Rider prints, following up on a Marvel counterclaim that he was not permitted to use the likeness at all. The $17,000 number stems from Friedrich's approximate earnings from selling the (apparently unlicensed) Ghost Rider merchandise.

The only problem? Friedrich has since fallen on some hard times and is reportedly penniless.

Rights ruling or not, it's always sad to see the talent get the shaft. Can't we all just get along?

(via Bleeding Cool).

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