Stan Lee Media sues Marvel, Lee

Company claims it owns all interests in certain characters

The long-running battle over Stan Lee's comic book characters is heating up, with the shareholders of a company bearing his name announcing a new lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment, Lee and others over profits.

The shareholders of Stan Lee Media Inc claim in a lawsuit to be filed in New York that Lee, creator of Spider Man, Ironman and Incredible Hulk, transferred all his interest in Marvel characters to SLMI. That entity was placed into bankruptcy by Stan Lee in 2001 and re-emerged in November 2006 with new shareholders, who claim they are owed as much as $750 million.

Lee denies the allegations and has filed his own $50 million lawsuit against SLMI claiming the company has hijacked his name and image and is thwarting his effort to develop such properties as "The Accuser" and "The Drifter" and others via his first-look deals with Disney and Virgin Comics.