have thought that the battle over a comic book would produce such
an incredible story. A page turning delight."
page-turner that is both a valuable cautionary tale about shaky
junk bonds and other unwise investments, and a rollicking good read."
-- Marshall Loeb, Marketwatch.com, former editor of Fortune
Raviv turns his well-known investigative skills to something new:
the hidden story of the bankruptcy that had all us comic fans worried.
So dramatic and true-to-life, that I couldn't put it down."
--Steve Geppi, President, Diamond Comic Distributors
reveals the tragic consequences of financiers with supersized personas
on a collision course with creativity. Moguls, wannabe moguls, and
the countless victims of moguls will appreciate this mythic tale
that really happened."
--Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Associate Dean, Yale University School
is a great book. It tells an incredible story that will keep you
on the edge of your chair."
--Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor
Contact: David Drake
the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Every Spy a Prince,
The riveting behind-the-scenes story of the real life superheroes
who rescued A beloved icon of American popular culture from bankruptcy
How Two Tycoons Battled Over the Marvel Comics Empire--And Both
by Dan Raviv
is a wizard. Though COMIC WARS is a factual account of the origins
and aftermath of a corporate bankruptcy, he's managed to make it
as suspenseful and exciting as the superhero thrillers over which
most of the battle was fought. Even though I've lived through those
harrowing days, thanks to Dan's book, I've gained a new understanding
of the whole incredible event." -- Stan Lee
1996, Marvel Entertainment, legendary creator of Captain America,
X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and the amazing
Spider-Man, had accumulated a staggering total of $1.6 billion in
debt and was headed straight for bankruptcy. Today, Marvel has risen
from the ashes of financial ruin, reinvigorated and raring to become
a media powerhouse. Friday, May 3, the date Sony/Columbia Pictures'
Spider-Man hits theaters nationwide, will mark not only the arrival
of a blockbuster movie, but also the triumphant return of a world-class
COMIC WARS: How Two Tycoons Battled Over the Marvel Comics Empire--And
Both Lost (Broadway Books; On Sale: April 30, 2002; Hardcover;
$24.95), award-winning investigative journalist Dan Raviv goes beyond
the headlines to tell the colorful, dramatic, and frequently comical
story of the fight for control over a company cherished for more
than half-a-century as an icon of American popular culture. Combining
meticulous research with a gift for riveting storytelling, the author
brings to life a cast of colorful real-life characters and traces
their cunning maneuvers in the boardroom and the courtroom. While
unveiling the financial and legal machinations, Raviv brilliantly
illuminates the personal stakes for the four men pitted in a unique
Wall Street showdown: Ronald Perelman, Carl Icahn, Ike Perlmutter,
and Avi Arad.
sometimes astounding, and thoroughly entertaining, COMIC WARS follows
Marvel's fate over a turbulent decade--from takeover titan Perelman's
ownership in 1989, through ruthless raider Icahn's chairmanship
in 1997, and on into America's most vicious bankruptcy battle. The
tortuous tale culminates with the company's ultimate salvation in
the hands of Ike Perlmutter and Avi Arad: two Israeli immigrant
entrepreneurs with a passion for the toy business--and the nerves
of steel to take on two determined billionaires.
dedicated duo at the top of Toy Biz, Perlmutter and Arad, saw the
lucrative potential of a business alliance with Marvel and its famous
fictional heroes. In 1993, Toy Biz signed a partnership pact with
Marvel chairman Ron Perelman--touted "Wizard of Wall Street,"
celebrated owner of Revlon, and one of the most abrasive, profit-ravenous
dealmakers in corporate America. In 1995, the Toy Biz visionaries
made an impassioned plea to the Wizard, in his high-security headquarters
known as The Townhouse, to "start doing things"--like
TV and and movies--to leverage the beloved Marvel characters and
get the public talking and buying.
Perelman, however, did not seem to appreciate the untapped value
of the distinctive piece of American culture that he owned. To him,
Marvel was merely another platform for manipulating creditors and
selling junk bonds. In less than a year, the comic book icon would
wind up in federal bankruptcy court and embroiled in dozens of lawsuits.
Battles present opportunities to men such as Icahn, the voracious
marauder of TWA infamy. A man with scant interest in comic books
or national icons, Icahn was driven by one burning goal: defeating
and humiliating his rival in the booming hostile takeover business,
gripping tale of greed, profanity, and power, of conviction, ingenuity,
and perseverance, COMIC WARS deftly captures all the twists and
turns in the conflict--and the hopes, ambitions, and egos of its
How Perelman procured the trust of a respected banking group led
by Chase Manhattan, lost a bundle on his brash acquisitions of sports-card
subsidiaries, and still managed to pocket nearly $500 million while
driving Marvel to devastation.
Icahn risked $70 million on a personal vendetta, how he wrested
control of Marvel away from Perelman, and how the formidable corporate
shark eventually got swallowed by a minnow of a toy company.
How Perlmutter's fierce talent for negotiation and Arad's creative
genius and belief in comics as an authentic American art form combined
to save and reinvent Marvel--with some help from a grassroots movement
of comic book fans and a determined attorney.
How Perlmutter and Arad navigated the convoluted maze of copyright
and licensing agreements that nearly foiled the making of Spider-Man,
the movie--and why the only clear winners in the whole Marvel saga
are the lawyers.
fans of business thrillers and superheroes--both cartoon and human--COMIC
WARS is a rollicking, compelling, and instructive read.
the Author DAN RAVIV is a national correspondent for CBS News,
based in Washington, D.C. Winner of two Overseas Press Club of America
Awards for his coverage of the Persian Gulf, he has contributed
articles to the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,
Boston Globe, Times of London and other major newspapers
worldwide. He is also the co-author of three acclaimed books: Friends
in Deed, Behind the Uprising and the New York Times
bestseller, Every Spy a Prince. He lives with his family
in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
How Two Tycoons Battled Over the Marvel Comics Empire--And
By Dan Raviv
Published by Broadway Books
On Sale Date: April 30, 2002