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Sunday, January 21, 2024 

Superman/Batman will enter public domain in about a decade (and at least a few Marvel characters too)

John Nolte at Breitbart comments on the entry to come of the Man of Steel and the Masked Manhunter into public domain within the coming decade, and why that's a good thing:
In about ten years, Batman and Superman will enter the public domain. This is good news. When these icons are wrenched from the grasping hands of leftist multinational corporations we have a much better chance of once again seeing both in some decent content.

The Disney Grooming Syndicate lost control of “Steamboat Willie” this year and, by extension, that version of Mickey Mouse.

And now…

“A sad fact of Hollywood is that while superheroes never truly die, all copyrights do,” laments the far-left Hollywood Reporter. “The DC characters are the next major expirations looming on the horizon. Superman and Lois Lane will enter the public domain in 2034, followed by Batman in 2035, the Joker in 2036, and Wonder Woman in 2037.”
There's a typo in the above paragraph - that's Variety he's linked to - but important points are made that if anybody truly cares, they'll take the challenge of producing comics starring these icons with merit once again. It may not be mentioned here, but at least a few Marvel-owned characters for starters should enter public domain in the coming decade, including Sub-Mariner, the Golden Age Human Torch, the Golden Age Ka-Zar, and Captain America. And in 1943, Marvel produced Miss America/Madeline Joyce Frank, co-created by Otto Binder and Al Gabriele, and that's bound to become public domain too in time. Why, back on the DC side, the Golden Age Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and even the Sandman are bound to enter public domain in the following decade too.
After “Steamboat Willie” and Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain, we were hit with some cheapo horror movies based on those characters. I’m fine with that. Still, let’s hope a serious artist takes advantage of this public domain windfall of Superman and Batman and creates some serious art that honors these characters and creators instead of perverting them into drag queens and post-modern smugs.
Correct. Anybody who's a talented artist who really admires Siegel/Shuster and Kane/Finger's creations is going to have to prove they're willing to pen a tale that doesn't rely heavily upon darkness, which the former has fallen victim to over the past decade or so, and they're also going to have to prove they're not obsessed with emphasizing the LGBT propaganda Tom Taylor did in the past few years in Son of Kal-El.
Come 2034, Superman will be available, but not everything associated with the Man of Steel. Initially, Superman didn’t fly. He could only leap. The genius idea of kryptonite came later. Those things will pop into the public domain one at a time.

Over nearly 50 years, Warner Bros. has delivered a few good movies from these characters, but a whole lot more garbage, especially of late with the crummy DC Universe.

As far as the comics, who doesn’t want to see the rights wrenched from the sickos who made Superman gay?
While it may have only been the son of Superman and Lois who was turned gay, it still casts a terrible pall upon Siegel/Shuster's original creation, and the failure of the editors to apologize for the spite they expressed speaks volumes. Let me raise my hand in agreement here that DC as a whole doesn't belong in the hands of such sickos, and that's why a vital query need be asked here - why wait even ten years for some of the first DC superhero creations - and even Marvel creations - to become public domain? Why not buy out the publishing arms and see what you can do with the material involved even before all that?

Let's also consider there's plenty more famous comic creations who deserve far better whose copyrights won't expire for another 2 decades who could use a better owner, like Marvel's Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, Dr. Strange and plenty more, right down to even the simplest co-stars. Even DC has creations coming much later, like Teen Titans, Swamp Thing, and there's also at least a few characters at both publishers from the 1990s who could use a better owner too, and not have to wait ages until they enter public domain status for a better portrayal. As I've argued before, and will again, it's a terrible shame nobody sensible who may be able to afford buying out these properties is willing to do so. A total embarrassment.

So here again is a plea for anybody who really cares to buy out DC/Marvel, and not put us all in positions where we have to wait ages past our lifetime for promising news to happen. And if it does happen, those who do buy them out will have to prove they can jettison much of what came up in the past 2 decades from continuity, distinguish between the better and the worse, and filter out some of the worst storylines ever produced, like the disgraced Gerard Jones' hack job on Green Lantern from 1990, to name but one of the shoddiest examples. And, there's also Identity Crisis and Avengers: Disassembled to consider as being among the worst, and shouldn't be considered canon. If anybody with a heart who's wealthy and into publishing is willing to buy out the Big Two, that'd be a blessing. They could even buy out the creations of the now defunct Crossgen publisher, which is still under Disney ownership, and work wonders with those too.

So again, when will somebody with common sense step forward and prove they can make more sensible people happy and proud for a change? Until then, yes, it's great to know the Man of Steel and the Masked Manhunter will become public domain. But if the same horror filmmakers who soiled Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh are planning to make cheap "tributes" to these comic superheroes as well when the time comes about, that'll be bad news. So the sane crowd would do well to make there'll be good news to follow in time.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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