The Conan license will pass from Marvel Comics
It was a note to a fan page on Facebook that did just that, with a well-connected fan pointing to an upcoming Conan cover by Esad Ribic as his last, as Marvel no longer owns the rights to the character. So, at the Lake Como Comic Art Festival, I dug a little.
Marvel published Conan comics in the 70s, 80s and 90s based on the Robert E. Howard stories, and under license from his estate. Dark Horse Comics published them in the 90s and teens, with Marvel taking over the license from 2019, while also including Conan along with the rest of the Marvel Universe in the series. savage avengers.
Now Conan the barbarian is in the public domain in much of Europe, as Robert E Howard died in 1936, and here the work enters the public domain 70 years after the author’s death. The United States, however, has a 95-year rule for anything published after 1922, which still covers Howard’s work. But there have been disputes over different versions of the work, copyright extensions needed before 1978 and others that have muddied the waters over the years and seen a number of court cases arise. unroll.
The Conan comics are created and published in Europe without a license under public domain rules, and Ablaze has republished them in the United States, again in English, but only as The Cimmerian, without infringing on the use of the Mark. The trademark for the Conan name and the names of other major Robert E. Howard characters is maintained by Conan Properties International and licensed to Cabinet Entertainment. Both companies are controlled by the CEO Fredrik Malmberg., previously co-founder of Swedish role-playing game publisher Target Games and CEO of Paradox Entertainment. They also hold rights to Bran Mak Morn, Kull, Solomon Kane, Mutant, Mutant Chronicles, Warzone, Kult, and Chronopie.
Bleeding Cool understands that this company, or new owners, now want to self-publish Conan comics. And therefore will not renew the Marvel Comics license. I understand, however, that this will not affect the Conan backstock of collections and omnibuses that Marvel will continue to release. And that they might even use the character of Conan to continue savage avengers comics. We will have to see that. But for the ongoing Marvel Conan series? King Conan #5 is released by Marvel on June 1 and #6 is released on July 6 and it might just be your lot.