NEW YORK (AP) – Cartoonist Stan Lee, who gifted Spider-Man with his powerful “spidey-sense,” is feeling larger than life himself after reaching a settlement with Marvel Enterprises.

Lee had sued in November 2002 to share profits generated by the company’s television and movie productions – particularly the box-office smash “Spider-Man,” which earned more than $800 million worldwide, and its super successful sequel.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

“We are very, very happy with the resolution,” Lee’s attorney, Howard Graff, said Thursday. Graff had said previously that the potential payday from Marvel could be in the tens of millions of dollars.

John Turitzin, Marvel’s general counsel, called Lee “one of the founders of today’s comic book industry” and said the company was happy to have resolved the dispute.

The 82-year-old legend, who also created the indelible Marvel heroes Incredible Hulk, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, had claimed in the lawsuit that his contract with Marvel gave him a 10 percent share of the Hollywood profits. He said that specifically included proceeds from the movie and television productions and DVD sales and other movie-based merchandise deals.

Marvel attorneys had vigorously contested Lee’s claims.

In January, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan ruled that Lee was entitled to 10 percent of Marvel’s proceeds generated since November 1998 from any movie or television production based on a Marvel character.

Graff said previously that Lee, who already earns a $1 million a year salary from Marvel as part of the contract signed four years ago, was saddened that things became so acrimonious.

He said the agreement, reached April 22 and made public on Thursday, cements Lee’s future relationship with Marvel.

Lee’s “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” turned out to be quite a friend, says Graff.


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