Dynamite Entertainment Settle with Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc for Rights to John Carter, Tarzan

In a press release, Dynamite Entertainment have announced that they have, surprisingly, reached a settlement with Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. This would be the company who own the rights to John Carter, as well as several of the ownerships associated with Tarzan. Dynamite had been running books based on both properties for several years when ERB Inc started legal action against them, accusing the company of copyright infringement for their books ‘Warlord of Mars’ and ‘Lord of the Jungle’.


Dynamite responded that they were using properties which fell into the public domain – as do most Dynamite comics – and that they were within their rights to publish both series. They also noted that other companies had put Tarzan-related material over the last few years without any legal response from ERB.

It was expected that this would be a long-running legal fight with little outcome in sight – but this week the companies announced the surprising settlement deal. As well as ending all legal action, the result of the settlement is that Dynamite will be able to rebrand their ‘Warlord of Mars’ title as ‘John Carter: Warlord of Mars’ later this year. Presumably they will be allowed to do the same if they choose to put out new Tarzan titles.

Dynamite will also begin to reprint the original run of John Carter comics from the 1940s, which were written by Burroughs’ son Coleman Burroughs. Both sides of the dispute offer quotes for the press release, suggesting that this chapter in their respective histories can now be closed off:

It was important to us that we reacquire the comic book and comic strip rights from Marvel Entertainment so we could reintroduce them in the market place. We’re excited to see the exploits of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first science fiction adventure hero brought to life in their fullness by the passionate creative talents assembled by the folks at Dynamite. They’re true fans — and it shows on every page and in every idea they’ve shared with us. 

–  James Sullos, president of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.

“Working together with Jim and the team at ERB, we will be taking the worlds of John Carter and The Lord of the Jungle publishing initiatives to a new level. There’s a rich history, and an incredible amount of archival material in the ERB library, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to the fans around the world.”

– Nick Barrucci, CEO of Dynamite Entertainment.


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