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Friday, April 03, 2015 

How copyrights work with civilian characters

The Huffington Post wrote about some tongue-in-cheek situations in Marvel history where nods to Superman were written in about a dozen times (I own two trades of Thor and Excalibur featuring 2 of the cameos they speak about), because copyrights weren't as serious then as they could be now:
Claremont explained the reasoning behind avoiding confrontation, noting that "civilians in the background" were "not quite as seriously trademarked or tracked as they might be today." DC was the "competition," but the corporations were smaller at the time and it was possible to get away with this kind of thing.
Back at the time it was originally done, they had published at least two crossovers between universes featuring Superman/Spider-Man, and Batman/Hulk, and that's another explanation why they could pull it off at the time without many objections from their rivals.

But today, with a widening rift between Marvel and DC that Bill Jemas was most instrumental in causing, that's why the chances either company would do a serious nod to each other's creations is far less likely. One of the last joint projects they published to date was the JLA vs. Avengers crossover from the mid-2000s, and after that, they effectively ended their friendly relations. But with such awful writing quality in much of their modern output, that's why it's not easy to feel sorry the party's over for now.

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You hear that Nigel Farage is being turned into the villain for the next Judge Dredd book?

I've just posted a topic about that too.

All right, what's your take on what Bill Jemas did wrong to prevent more DC/Marvel crossovers?

What Jemas did was deliver alienating conferences at conventions where he boasted Marvel's staff was better than everyone else, belittled DC with descriptions like "AOL-DC" (even though AOL is no longer part of Time Warner's conglomerate), and all the while, under his stewardship, Quesada and company were putting out some of the worst, pretentious dreck of the century. He also insulted some of DC's own staffers, and this finally led to a point where they wouldn't do any projects with Marvel anymore. The irony being DC wasn't doing any better than Marvel in the mid-2000s, so it's difficult to feel sorry for them either.

Jemas was a bad lot, and the worst part is that his successor, Dan Buckley, is no better.

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