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Post By
Ancient One 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,649
In Reply To
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: Big news on Superman comics!
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 at 12:38:43 pm EDT (Viewed 99 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Big news on Superman comics!
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 at 06:12:18 am EDT (Viewed 95 times)

    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.

I agree that they weren't swindled. I'd go a bit further and say it wasn't even a bad choice. No one wanted to publish Superman. They tried everyone and it was rejected by everyone. DC was literally the only game in town, and they signed the same deal everyone else did in those days.

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

They did get back some of the rights. To the stories in Action Comics #1 and 4, and part of Superman #1. However the courts ruled that in every other story Superman was different enough he could no longer be considered the same character Siegel and Shuster created.

Plus, in 1948 DC settled out of court to the tune of $94,000.

    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.

That wasn't a court case. As a result of bad publicity Siegel and Neal Adams were drumming up over the Superman movie, DC gave Siegel and Shuster a stipend of $20,000 per year for life (It increased to $30,000 later), creator credits and health cover.

    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.

These two instances were both the Clark Kent Superboy.

    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.

Neither of these are the Clark Kent Superboy. Given the Killer Frost situation it's possible that these two were created with the intention of being 'legacy characters' that could sidestep royalty payments and still carry the Superboy name. I don't know. I haven't heard about any kerfuffle surrounding these two.

    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.

Indeed they are. But winning or losing court cases isn't the only criteria to take into account here.

As far as I can gather (And I may be wrong here. I know this WAS the case, but the situation may have changed), but as of the 1992 agreement, the Shuster heirs are getting a 'pension' of $25,000 per year, while the Siegel heirs after the 2001 agreement got $3 million up front, and an ongoing 6% of gross income on Superman.

Add to that the $94,000 from 1948, the $20/30,000 per year stipend and astronomical court costs for decades, and DC have spent an absolute fortune on retaining the rights to Superman. All while winning the cases.

Many creators have stated in the last decade or so that out of the big two, DC are by far the most generous with royalty payments to creators. And what big company doesn't cut costs and penny pinch wherever and whenever it can?

But, I don't even think royalties are the prime motivating factor in revealing Jon to be gay.

The announcement that Tim Drake is bisexual gave DC a lot of free publicity. Everyone was talking about it all over the internet, and it even made column inches in newspapers.

This may be just a simple publicity stunt for a book that nobody's talking about any more. If it does happen the publicity will go through the roof, and if nothing else DC will shift a cartload of the issue where Jon 'comes out'.

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