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"A WILD-RIDE ACCOUNT" —The Hollywood Reporter
"EPIC" —The New York Times
"INDISPENSABLE" —Los Angeles Times
"DEFINITIVE" —The Wall Street Journal
"SCINTILLATING" —Publishers Weekly
"AUTHORITATIVE" —Kirkus Reviews
"GRIPPING" —Rolling Stone
"A MUST FOR ANY SUPERHERO OR POP-CULTURE FAN" —NY Post
"ESSENTIAL" —The Daily Beast
"A SUPERPOWERED MUST-READ" —USA Today
"REVELATORY" —The Miami Herald
"AS FULL OF COLORFUL CHARACTERS, TRAGIC REVERSALS AND UNLIKELY PLOT TWISTS AS ANY BOOK IN THE MARVEL CANON" —Newsday
(Pictured: one of Marvel Comics’ infamous rubber-stamped checks, this one issued to Dick Ayers in 1974)
In the spring of 1978, Marvel’s lawyers, faced with new copyright laws going into effect, decided that the company needed proof that its publications were being produced as work-for-hire. Previously, a legally questionable “contract” had been rubber-stamped on the backs of paychecks—if you signed the check, you signed the contract. But now Jim Shooter, at the direction of Marvel’s legal department, began handing out single-spaced one-page contracts that granted Marvel “forever all rights of any kind and nature in and to the work.” When freelancers read the contract, they flipped.