We’re used to seeing Hulk Hogan in the ring and The Hulk alongside The Avengers, but the former has now revealed a decades-long legal battle with Marvel Comics that ultimately saw him emerge with the win!
Even if you’re not a pro wrestling fan, chances are you’ll have heard of Hulk Hogan. He’d gone by many names over the years, but it was in WWE that he first became known as “Hulk.” The was way back in the 1980s, though and Marvel Comics had already spent decades publishing Hulk comic books.
Their larger-than-life characters don’t have anything in common beyond an impressive physique, but a legal battle ensued which saw Hogan and WWE (WWF at the time) forced to submit to the publisher’s whims.
However, Hogan ultimately walked away with the win…after several years of fighting.
“Right when Hulk Hogan takes off, we get a call from Marvel Comics. ‘You’re infringing on our mark. Reasonably similar. We’re going to sue you, put you in litigation.’ We let them have the name, didn’t license the name. I only had to pay them one-tenth of 1%. That went from 1985 to 2005. In 2005, it’s over.”
“Now, I can’t use Hulk Hogan anymore, and I’m red hot in 2005. I went to my attorney, ‘I don’t give a damn what deal you make, you’re going to make a deal because I need the name.’ What happened was, I got a one-year extension and I had to pay them 30% of everything I made. Movies, TV wrestling, they got 30% of everything, but if they decided to sell the name, they had to give me first shot at it. They couldn’t sell the name or do anything.”
“All of a sudden, Marvel Comics gets in a bitchfest with WWE about intellectual properties, that they can’t re-air old Hulk Hogan matches. Marvel Comics lost. They owe Vince $35 million. They made a huge mistake. They said, ‘Instead of paying $35 million, how about we give you the Hulk Hogan name.’ I heard about it and went, ‘You screwed up now.'”
“Now, I don’t have to pay $35 million for the name, you have to sell it for me for fair money value,’ which is only $750 grand. I bought the name back. Vince wanted to buy the name from me. ‘Nah, I got this one.’ I bought the name back and I own everything. I own Hulk Hogan, Hulkamania, Hulkster. I’m one of the few guys who own the name, rights, trademarks, and licenses.”
Copyright law is tricky at the best of times, but this is an interesting situation and one we’re not shocked Marvel failed to win. It’s not like anyone is going to get these two confused and, for Hogan, it means he can now likely make a living from merchandise sales alone.
Disney is believed to be among the companies hoping to acquire television rights to WWE shows like RAW, SmackDown, and NXT (likely for ESPN) so this previous legal battle is unlikely to have caused too many hard feelings on the House of Mouse’s part.
As always, you’ll want to keep checking TheRingReport.com for the latest WWE, AEW, and pro wrestling news!
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We’re used to seeing Hulk Hogan in the ring and The Hulk alongside The Avengers, but the former has now revealed a decades-long legal battle with Marvel Comics that ultimately saw him emerge with the win! Read More