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Comic twist: How blues enforcers made millions in court

ST. LOUIS – Tony Twist is one of the most well-known enforcers in St. Louis blues history, but a fight on the ice that unfolded decades ago led him to some great fortunes.

22 years ago this week, on July 5, 2000, a judge awarded Twist $24.5 million in a lawsuit over his likeness.

Litigation began after Todd McFarlane, Edmonton Oilers shareholder and animator of the Spawn comic book series, created a mob enforcer character named Antonio Twistelli.

The shortened name for the antagonist was “Tony Twist,” and the character was portrayed as a mafia boss who consistently planned crimes and attempted to steal power from others. Corresponding comic empirethe fictional character was first introduced in 1992, when Twist was already several years into his NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques.

In 1997, Twist played for the St. Louis Blues filed a John Doe lawsuit claims McFarlane created the character via his name without executor consent. The lawsuit also targeted HBO, which aired a version of the character in an animated series based on the comic book series.

Finally, a Missouri-based jury returned a unanimous verdict against McFarlane and his companies, claiming that the Antonio Twistelli character gave Tony Twist a negative image and hampered his ability to secure large endorsement deals. A year after Twist retired from the NHL, he was initially awarded $24.5 million in the lawsuit for damages related to his image.

The fine was severe enough to potentially oust McFarlane from the comics industry, so he hit back. McFarlane initially appealed the November 2000 court decision that led to a back-and-forth court case between the two sides. An appeals court later reversed the $24.5 million decision, invoking First Amendment protection.

In 2003, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a new trial on Twist’s behalf. A year later, a jury approved a $15 million award for Twist. Following this decision, McFarlane and his productions submitted Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004.

McFarlane tried two more times to appeal, both unsuccessful. Eventually, McFarlane and Twist settled the lawsuit in 2007 and settled $5 million, according to the out-of-court settlement St. Louis mail delivery via Comicsbeat.com.

The $5 million settlement is bigger than Twist’s NHL career earnings. During his ten-year NHL career, which ended in 1999, Twist earned $3.05 million a year HockeyZonePlus.com. Twist had 10 goals, 18 assists and 1,121 penalty minutes in 445 NHL career games.

https://fox2now.com/sports/st-louis-blues/comic-book-twist-how-blues-enforcer-scored-millions-in-court/ Comic twist: How blues enforcers made millions in court

Nate Jones

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