When digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million in March, Marvel and DC issued a severe warning to other artists not to experiment with Batman or other heroic characters from their comics universe.
Marvel and DC’s decision to prohibit artists from developing NFTs is motivated by the firms’ desire to enter the very profitable NFT industry while maintaining strict ownership of their intellectual property.
In February, Marvel began selling an NFT of Spider-Man for $25,000 on Portion.io, a rare art platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. More than 20 other pieces by Marvel artists such as Dan Panosian, Matteo Scalera, Dave Johnson, Andy Kubert, and Eric Canete have been auctioned off on Portion.
However, the ban is viewed as a significant hurdle for artists who sell valuable memorabilia based on derivative work of Marvel and DC characters, preventing them from accessing an essential source of money. To lessen the pain, Marvel appears to be open to providing artists with supplementary revenue opportunities through VeVe, a digital collectibles app.