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Post By
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Ancient One 
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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,649
Subj: Re: Big news on Superman comics!
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 at 06:12:18 am EDT (Viewed 96 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Big news on Superman comics!
Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 at 07:23:52 pm EDT (Viewed 139 times)

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    Quote:
    What I don't understand (unless I read it wrong) is why he's seemingly implying that DC would somehow get out of their agreement with the Siegels and the Shusters by having a new Superman. They still created the concept of Superman. You could have some all new character become Superman and it doesn't get you off the hook with the two families.


Gerry Conway tells a story about the use of the Killer Frost character in the Flash tv show.

Conway and Al Milgrom created Killer Frost (Crystal Frost) back in 1978. He heard Killer Frost was going to be used in 'The Flash', and sat back and waited for his royalty check to come in. When it didn't appear, he contacted DC to rectify the apparent oversight and was told: 'Oh, you created Crystal Frost, but we're not using her. We're using the Caitlin Snow version created by Dan Jurgens, and as only the name is the same, there's no royalties to be paid to you on it'.

Annoyed as he was, he got in touch with Dan Jurgens - who'd created Caitlin Snow - and told him to make sure he got paid for use of his character. Jurgens duly contacted DC and was told: 'Oh. No. Killer Frost is a legacy character. You didn't create her, Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom did. It's just the same character with another name, so there are no royalties to be paid to you on it'.

So DC screwed everyone on a technicality.

Now I'm no legal expert, but I'd bet it all comes down to what's in any given creators' contract, and who owns what trademark, but it seems that legacy characters might be a way of sidestepping rights issues and royalty payments.

Maybe not in all cases, but Jon Kent is a very recent creation, and you can bet that after all the legal challenges DC have fought since the 1970's, they've dotted the 'i's, crossed the 't's and have everything sewn up tighter than a drum in contracts issued to creators today.

The only problem with that theory is that Seigel and Shuster signed away the rights to Superman back in the 40s. And they weren't tricked either, they were told the price it would be ($130) and they signed it away. They were not swindled. They made the choice, a bad one, but one they made of their own free will.

In fact, the courts have ruled multiple time that the descendants cannot reclaim the rights.

Jerry and Joe DID win a case in the 70s that said they had to be credited for the work, and Superman: The Movie was the first time that happened.

It was also likely not antisemitism, because the publisher of DC Comics was also Jewish. He also lived to be 100, and had mob backings.

Which is part of what makes the whole thing suspect to me, on these points alone, because Van Sciver is either wrong or lying.

However, it is worth noting the Seigel and Shuster family's DO get money from the character and name of SuperBOY. I know that is weird, but it is why there was an issue about the Smallville TV show in the courts and why Superboy Prime had a name change to SuperMAN Prime.

This could be a part of it. Jon's moniker was Suerboy before he stepped up to Superman status, and Connor now in the Suicide Squad may end up getting a new name. I mean, I am not reading the book, but I know he is in it, and think they might take the opportunity.



The thing to remember is that Gerry Conway signed a contract (and as a freelancer, I have signed my share and know what is in them), so there is quite possibly some murky language or legalese that could be interpreted.

Siegel and Shuster owned all the rights as creator, and gave them away.

The two are very different.


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