BRADENTON, Fla. -- It's enough to make Batman retreat to the Batcave.
A Florida man has been sued by DC Comics for selling figurines that resemble Batman characters - though he says they're meant to portray actors from the 1960s "Batman" television series.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tampa, DC Comics accuses John Stacks of committing copyright and trademark infringement, among other violations, with his resin composite figurines. The characters in question include Batman, Robin, Catwoman, the Joker, Batgirl, the Penguin, the Riddler, Egghead and King Tut.
New York-based DC Comics claims they wrote Stacks and requested that he stop selling the figurines, but that he continued.
"They come after little people like me," Stacks told The Tampa Tribune. "I don't have anything."
Stacks told the paper he has contracts with all the actors represented by his figurines. Several of the actors in the show are now deceased, and other who could be reached did not immediately return requests for comment.
Christina Gorshin, wife of the late Frank Gorshin, who played the Riddler, recognized Stacks' name but couldn't say whether her husband had consented to the use of his image.
"I have no clue what their contact was," she said.
A spokesman for Burt Ward, who played Robin, said the actor has no affiliation with Stacks "whatsover."
Stacks operates his company under the name "Johnny's Resin Kits" out of Bradenton, Fla., about 50 miles south of Tampa. Reached Monday, Stacks repeated his intentions to portray the actors, not the characters.
"It was never meant to be Batman, never," Stacks said.
On a screen grab of Stacks' Web site presented in the complaint, a disclaimer notes that the figures are meant to portray an actor and not any characters owned by DC Comics.
"We're trying to work it out," Stacks said of the suit. He declined to elaborate.
DC Comics' attorney would not comment on the case. A company spokesman would not comment on Stacks' claim that he is representing the actors, saying only, "We have every reason to believe this matter will be resolved amicably."
The company is asking Stacks to stop making and selling the figurines and that he deliver any remaining products, molds, and other materials for destruction. They are also seeking monetary compensation.