DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:11 pm

George Peréz Leaves Superman Behind
Rich Johnston wrote:Newsarama is reporting that George Peréz will leave the ongoing relaunch Superman comic after issue 6 as writer/layout artist, to be replaced by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens. They suggest Peréz may stay on, as in inker or finisher.

The DC books seem to have been planned in six issue chunks, certainly when it comes to creators on the book, so this may fit in with original plans.

But if this true this will be the latest in a run of post-DC Comics New 52 relaunch changes, including John Rozum leaving Static Shock, JT Krul leaving Green Arrow, Ken Lashley leaving Blackhawks, Alessandro Vitti still announced but not actually drawing a page of Blackhawks, Roger Robinson off Mister Terrific with a few fill ins here and there to boot…

And Rob Liefeld? Still on Hawk & Dove...

Newsarama doesn’t give a clue as to the source of the story, something I’m encouraged to see as part of the ongoing Bleedingcoolisation of the comics industry.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:27 am

Gail Simone Quits Firestorm?
Rich Johnston wrote:The hottest rumour burning down the pre-NYCC parties is that Gail Simone, co-writer of DC Relaunch title Fury Of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men with Ethan Van Sciver, has walked off the comic.

The reason being given by the Manhattan tittle tattlers is over editorial conflicts over the book, the kind of thing alluded to here.

This only applies to Firestorm however, this is not the case with the bestselling DC relaunch comic Batgirl, also written by Simone. But for many, Simone is not just a good writer, but seen as fighting the case for female creators and characters at the company. If indeed she has left the series over the reasons suggested, that won’t play well for DC this week. Expect it to be a topic of converation at the DC party, certainly.

Because it seems that Simone did have plans for Firestorm, if this panel from today’s Batgirl #2 is any indication…


Neither Gail nor Ethan returned emails. DC Comics declined to comment.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:51 pm

So, I have read each of the first two issues of the DCnU. In short, I think it is successful. Certainly, it is a major financial success as the Diamond #'s and recent articles have made clear. But more importantly, I think that it has been a creative success.

The major highlights for me have been the "Dark" corner of the DCnU. Swamp Thing, Animal Man, JL: Dark, DCU: Presents, Frankenstein, Demon Knights and most significantly: I, Vampire.

Seriously, I, Vampire is magnificent. By far the biggest surprise of the 52 books. Right behind that, though, is The Flash. That book is delightful.

Other highlights: Men of War, Batwing, Batman, Batwoman, Supergirl, Stormwatch, the absurd O.M.A.C., Aquaman, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.

The biggest failure, from my view, is the lack of "fun" present in the entire line. I could really do without the pervasive "grit" and especially the gore.

But, as long as DC employs Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemiere, Paul Cornell, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Geoff Johns, Peter Milligan, Paul Jenkins, and Brian Azzarello I will be content.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby DennisMM on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:05 am

A lengthy rundown of my DCnU experiment. I could only afford to buy about 20 books, though I'd have preferred to read all 52 #1 issues. So it goes.

Action Comics : This is my favorite of the new hero titles and one of my favorites of those I've read. Grant Morrison may get lost up his own ass when he goes big (Final Crisis is an excellent example), but his character work is outstanding. The art by Rags Morales is very solid, with a most human protagonist. Here, we're five years before the current DC continuity, meeting a Clark Kent who's new to Metropolis and working for The Daily Star, using his connections as a reporter and his new secret identity as Superman to take down crime families, crooked industrialists, and other, earthbound miscreants. He's introduced in these stories to the as-yet-unnamed Brainiac. We saw him shrink Argo City in Supergirl, and now he's come for Metropolis. A fun bit has the shrinking process referred to as “dwarf-star lensing.” On my hold list.

All-Star Western: Another of my favorites, it brings Jonah Hex to Gotham City, seeking a trio of badmen. Very much against his will, he's sucked into conspiracies and secrets, alongside Dr. Amadeus Arkham, at this point years away from designing (and being confined in?) the asylum that bears his name. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray wrote the Jonah Hex title that preceded this, and they are continuing nicely. I'm not familiar with artist Moritat, and he's sometimes a bit rough for my taste, but very effective. #1-3 feature a new version of El Diablo, based on the original. It's written by Palmiotti and Gray, and drawn by Jordi Bernet! On my hold list.

Animal Man: Some books, the art keeps you reading. Some books, the art repels you. Animal Man is the latter. It's well-written by Jeff Lemire and capably illustrated by one Travel Foreman. But there's something in Foreman's line, and his use of cross-hatching, that makes it difficult for me to look at the title, and not in a good way. Dropped after #2.

Batgirl: Barbara Gordon is out of the wheelchair after three years of surgery and therapy. We aren't told if she ever was Oracle, but she was shot by The Joker. This is not a spectacular book, by any means, but it's written well by Gail Simone and ably drawn by Ardian Syaf. Watching Barbara readjust to life outside her shell is interesting, as she's not quite up to snuff yet in civilian life or in tights. On my hold list.

Batwoman: The most beautiful mainstream book on the stands, in my opinion..Co-writer and artist J.H. Williams III is a man of vast graphic talent. It's unfortunate that, even with co-writer W. Haden Blackman, he isn't able to pull his characters together in a way that makes them truly interesting. Greg Rucka handled story chores better on Detective Comics. That the red-haired, bleached-skinned Kate Kane and the red-haired, bleached-skinned Batwoman both have been seen by law enforcement but haven't been connected, stuns me. Ongoing try-out as of #4, risking being dropped.

Blue Beetle: This is the character featured in the last book of the same title, but with a slightly different origin. I never developed a liking for the character and still haven't. Dull. Dropped after #1.

Captain Atom: Not the character from any previous version, so far as I can tell. He's a little bit like Firestorm and looks a bit like Dr. Manhattan, and I couldn't get into it. Dropped after #1.

Catwoman: I suppose this is considered feminist by some, but I found it tasteless and I'm not among the anti-Judd Winick brigade. Selina is running from someone who wants her dead Lots of breasts hanging out of clothing and sex as a weapon. That never struck me as Selina's style, even when she was an ex-hooker. They set the clock back so that neither she nor Batman knows the other's identity. And, at the end, she and Batman fuck on a rooftop, in costume. Bruce does that? DUMPED after #1.

The Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Men: Yes, “Men.” The two halves of Firestorm from the previous incarnation of the book are now both nuclear men, and when they join, it's ugly. Gail Simone co-writes but doesn't seem to have much control over another title co-written by an artist. Dropped after #1.

Green Arrow: Remember the Green Arrow origin where Oliver Queen was a spoiled playboy who got stuck on and island and grew up while learning to be self-sufficient? Here he's a rogue industrialist who uses high tech gadgets in his fight against crime. But he's about 25 years old and wears stubble instead of a goatee. Dan Jurgens pencils and George Pérez inks (!), so it looks great, but it's nothing special. Dropped after #1.

I, Vampire: Well-written and drawn by two people I've never heard of – Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino – this is an interesting updating of the House of Mystery feature by J.M. DeMatteis. Andrew Bennett and Mary are still antagonists in the war against vampire apocalypse. This is rather more explicit than the 1980s stories and tosses around more modern concepts such as colonialism and the idea of racial superiority. Still on the try-out list as of #4, leaning toward adding to holds.

Justice League: I couldn't bring myself to keep reading after #1, It starts five years ago, with Gotham police after Batman, who then encounters Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. In spite of the setting, Superman appears in his current-day “Kryptonian armor” costume rather than that seen in Action Comics, also set five years ago. It's written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee and Scott Williams, so it has a superficial slickness that wasn't enough to draw me in. The cover, however, is telling as to the costume redesigns; there's lots of armor and, for some reason, high, notched collars.

Mister Terrific: Michael Holt, third-smartest man in the world, Is back in action, but he seems younger and rather angry. He also isn't wearing sleeves these days, the better to display his “FAIR PLAY” tattoos on each arm. (The old Michael Holt wore the slogan down both sleeves of his jacket, but I guess that's not “urban” enough.) Oh, and he's banging software millionaire Karen Starr (AKA Power Girl) when they both want a little. Dull, dull, dull. Dropped after #1.

O.M.A.C.: Kevin Kho doesn't know why he was selected, but the signal from satellite Brother Eye activates him as a One-Machine Attack Construct tasked to defend Brother Eye against Maxwell Lord and the forces of Checkmate. What is Brother Eye? What do this Maxwell Lord, Sarge Steel and Mokkari have to do with those in previous continuities? Who knew the much-reviled Dan Didio could contribute to a piece of comic art this much fun and entertaining? Wonderful Kirby-inspired-but-not-aping art by co-writer Keith Giffen pulls it all together. My favorite of the new 52! On hold list.

Resurrection Man: Cliff Shelley rises from the dead, always with a new supernormal ability, and somebody wants to stop that. This seems to pick up from the original run of this title, no origin story. That seems odd for such an obscure title, even if it had a cult following. I, Vampire gets an introduction of sorts, but this starts in media res?

The Savage Hawkman: Carter Hall is a cryptologist, not an archeologist or law officer. And, once, he was Hawkman. He wants that to be over, but the Nth metal that powers his wings appears to have other ideas. This is yet another book written by an artist, Tony S. Daniel, and it just doesn't grab me in spite of Philip Tan's interesting art. Dropped after #1.

Supergirl: Kara Zor-El awakens on Earth, her last memories of a party with her mother, ravaged by something she can't remember. Then she's attacked by armored men who speak a language she can't understand, and, naturally, she lashes out. Who is the man who stops her, who wears her family crest? How can she return to Argo City? What happened? Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson, nicely drawn by Mahmud Asrar, this was a pleasant surprise that went on my hold list after #2.

Superman: This takes place in the present-day continuity, so Clark has joined the Planet and Superman wears the requisite “armor” with a high, notched collar, raised insignia, red highlights and no briefs. Written and laid-out by George Pérez, penciled and inked by Jesus Merino, this is another agglomeration of fine talent that can't pull off what it plans. Pérez was never the most subtle writer, but his work on Wonder Woman developed real emotion and made the characters seem genuine. Here, voice over narration covers pages filled with small panels, rarely more than six on a page. What happened to Pérez the visual storyteller who so effectively used a variety of panel sizes but didn't seem cluttered? This is bothersome in its busyness. Dropped after #1.

Swamp Thing: Following the events of Brightest Day, Alec Holland has been raised, his soul apparently recalled from heaven to once more walk in the world. The Swamp Thing is gone – never, we are told, truly an agent of the parliament of trees, but the best possible option at the moment. Alec Holland, to save the world, must give himself over and join the battle. This is nicely drawn and well-written, and I've added it to my hold list as a title worth following. However, some things are so good that trying to follow them is a bad idea. Changing them drastically is even a worse idea. While there is room for differing interpretations of Swamp Thing, one should show respect for the near-perfection of “The Anatomy Lesson” and the notion of the parliament.

Wonder Woman: A more savage view of the Amazons is part of a generally harsher approach to the title. Diana chops men to pieces, the Amazons are ready to kill the strangers Diana has brought to the island, and one of Diana's detractors is ready to fight to the death. And then there is the retcon in #3, which I won't spoil except to say that the queen of the Amazons is not quite so chaste as previously suggested. Very well-written-and-drawn by Brian Azarello and Cliff Chiang. On my hold list, despite misgivings.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:40 pm

Glad to read your thoughts, Dennis. I actually did read all 52. I am bummed that you didn't get to do that. Of all of your reviews, I have to say I am really sorry to see you ditching Animal Man. I rate it as one of the best books of the relaunch. Further, the interplay between it and Swamp Thing have been extremely enjoyable. Other than that, I REALLY love the Catwoman book. I seem to be in the minority, though.

I think you are missing out by not reading the new Batman book. Scott Snyder is a real talent. And I am really surprised to see you didn't read The Flash. Art wise, that book is a revelation. Some of the most inventive Flash visuals I have encountered. Oh, and I am glad that you enjoyed I, Vampire! Gosh, I love that book.

I never put my DCnU thoughts down, so why not give it a try? These are in no particular order, just kind of as they popped into my head. Hopefully, I didn't miss any.

BEST OF THE BEST
Animal Man
Swamp Thing
I, Vampire
Action Comics
Batman
Flash
Wonder Woman

VERY GOOD
Catwoman
All-Star Western
Men of War
O.M.A.C.
Batwing
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Demon Knights
Aquaman


GOOD
Batgirl
Birds of Prey
Superboy
Supergirl
Green Lantern
Green Lantern: Corps
Green Lantern: New Guardians
Justice League
Batman & Robin
Legion of Superheroes
Detective Comics
DC Universe: Presents
Justice League Dark
Blue Beetle (should be better, though. So disappointed)
Deathstroke

POOR
Superman
Static Shock
Teen Titans
Stormwatch
Resurrection Man
Fury of Firestorm
Justice League International
Hawk and Dove
Grifter
Legion Lost
The Dark Knight
Nightwing
Voodoo (the art is good though)
Savage Hawkman
Green Arrow
Red Lanterns
Captain Atom (the art is top notch, though)
Blackhawks
Suicide Squad

AWFUL
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Mister Terrific
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Re: DC Entertainment: “Before Watchmen”

Postby TheButcher on Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:55 am

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Re: Superman Lawsuit

Postby TheButcher on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:58 pm

From Deadline:
Warner Bros Wants Rights Fight With Superman Heirs Decided In Trial
Dominic Patten wrote:In a strategic move in the copyright battle between Warner Bros and the heirs to Superman’s creators, the studio has filed an appeal to reverse earlier rulings in the case and put everything out in open court in a trial. “This long-running dispute should be brought to an end,” Warner Bros wrote in a dense 117-page appeal (read it here) filed Friday with the 9th Circuit Court. In typical Hollywood legalities, the move actually resolves nothing — expect to see a response from the heirs and then another back from Warner Bros, and all off it to end up one way or another in the Appellate Court sometime in the late summer or early fall.

Through the courts, the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel recaptured half of the original Superman rights in 2008, with the estate of co-creator Joe Shuster to do the same in 2013. Warner Bros, which owns longtime Superman publisher DC Comics, disagrees with those decisions. “This case is about the ownership of copyright in the earliest comics that introduced elements of the iconic Superman character and story,” the appeal from Warners lawyer Daniel Petrocelli states. “The case presents an unusually broad array of doctrinal, factual, and procedural issues. But much of the case reduces to a familiar proposition: a deal is a deal.”

Warners contends that Laura Siegel Larson, the heir to the Siegel estate, “reneged” on a copyright deal with DC that “guaranteed the family many millions of dollars in cash, royalties, and other compensation.” In its call to have the issue decided by trial, the studio says “the family asserted there was no deal without a long form and the district court agreed, casting aside established California contract law principles — principles essential to the entertainment industry, where many business deals are never formalized.” The latest legal move by Warner Bros follows a win last year in the matter, when Judge Otis Wright tossed out a First Amendment suit by Marc Toberoff, a rights lawyer for the heirs.

None of this will have any immediate effect on the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man Of Steel, scheduled to be released June 14, 2013, or any potential sequels from that property.
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Re: Superman Lawsuit

Postby TheButcher on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:44 am

From THR:
Superman's WB Future at Stake as Appeals Court Battle Begins
In advance of oral arguments, Warner Bros. files a 117-page brief in attempt to hold onto all rights to the famed superhero. The outcome will determine the future of the franchise, but in dueling legal briefs, the parties discuss the history.
Eriq Gardner wrote:On Friday, Warner Bros. made its move to hold onto all its rights on the Superman franchise. The studio filed a brief before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals explaining why the estate of co-creator Jerry Siegel shouldn't be allowed to execute a copyright termination notice on the property.

The subject of Superman rights has been intensely litigated over the past five years. In 2008, a federal judge in California handed Siegel's heirs a big victory by determining that the termination was valid, but not a complete victory as it only applied to the first editions of the Action Comics that first told Superman's story. The later works were deemed to be "work for hire."

This meant a potential split in the Superman universe. Siegel (and his co-author Joe Shuster) would reclaim many of Superman's defining characteristics, including his costume, Clark Kent and the origin story. But Warner (as successor to DC Comics) would retain other elements, including Lex Luthor and Kryptonite.

The Siegel estate appealed, allowing both parties to resubmit their big arguments to a higher authority.

On Friday, Warners took its turn by telling the court in a cross-appeal what happened after the Siegel estate sent its termination notice on Superman. According to the studio, the two sides had come to an agreement on "every essential term for a re-grant of rights" when in 2001, the estate was approached by an "intellectual property entrepreneur" -- attorney Marc Toberoff -- who dangled the prospect of more money. The Siegels fired their law firm at the time, hiring Toberoff, and allegedly contracting agent Ari Emanuel to sell Superman rights.

But Warners believes that when the Siegel family walked away from the negotiating table in 2001, a meeting of the minds had already taken place. "The family asserted there was no deal without a long form [contract], and the district court agreed, casting aside established California contract law principles—principles essential to the entertainment industry, where many business deals are never formalized," says the studio in its brief. "The rule there is simple, however: a deal is a deal, long form or not."

Warners asks that the 9th Circuit bring this long-running dispute to an end by enforcing the alleged 2001 deal.

The latest filing comes three months after Toberoff submitted his own brief before the 9th Circuit.

Superman's WB Future at Stake as Appeals Court Battle Begins
Eriq Gardner wrote:In its own brief, the Siegel estate asked the justices to determine that the lower court judge had erred by not allowing for the recapture of rights in later Superman comics.

According to the appellant, Siegel and Shuster created later comic books in the Superman series "on spec," at their own expense, without any commitment or engagement by DC. The co-creators are said to have sold rights to the work for $10/page, under the same terms of the initial comic.

The estate believes that this work can't be deemed as a "work for hire" because the Warner subsidiaries can't meet the burdens of the "instance and expense" test, which has previously been defined as a determination that “the motivating factor in producing the work was the employer who induced the creation” and the employer had the right to “direct and supervise the manner in which the writer performs his work."

Instead, Siegel and Shuster purportedly wrote the Superman stories before any relationship with the comic book publisher, and after their deal, were "entitled solely to a contingent profit participation while shouldering the entire cost and financial risk of the strips' creation."

In sum, the Siegel family wants the 9th Circuit to uphold the essence of the Copyright Act's termination provisions -- allowing authors' heirs to enjoy the fruits of a longer copyright term.

Much of Warners' own appellate brief is focused on the question of the 2001 negotiations, but the studio does respond to the Siegels' attempts to expand the scope of its recaptured rights. Warners says that the appellant is misapplying the instance-and-expense test and gives an alternative story about what happened in the 1930s/1940s when the first Superman comics were created.

"All of the foregoing works were both created and published after Siegel and Shuster entered into two relevant agreements with DC," says Warners. "Under those agreements, DC possessed complete control over creation of new Superman stories and elements. Nothing could be done without DC’s consent. DC warned Siegel and Shuster that DC would 'not tolerate or accept slipshod work,' and that if their new Superman stories and artwork did not 'show a marked improvement,' DC would 'make other arrangements to have it done.'

PHOTOS: 10 Top Summer Superheroes Of All Time: Battle of Box Office Brawn

In telling what happened some 70 years ago, Warners cites publisher-demanded rewrites and the "major financial investment" in commissioning new Superman material. The studio also points out that Detective Comics only took on the "tremendous gamble" of Superman after other publishers had passed. In sum, Warners is presenting the picture of a family which is repudiating both the 2001 deal as well as the original agreements made in the 1930s.

The coming decision by the 9th Circuit will help shape the future of the Superman franchise. Warners currently has a new film reboot, Man of Steel, in development as the families are set to fly with whatever they can regain from the Superman mythology.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby DennisMM on Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:50 pm

The New 52/DCnU has its first casualty -- O.M.A.C., by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen. I'm disappointed, because it was among my favorite titles of the reboot. It was fun, something too often lacking in mainstream comics, and Giffen's Jack Kirby-inspired art was, well, inspired. Hail and farewell, Kevin Kho.

I've mention the repeated use of high, notched collars in the New 52, whether that open space is a rectangular cutout or a triangular one. It seems the film industry agrees with this design point. Captain America's tunic in The Avengers features a rectangular notch in its collar. Interestingly, the helmet design seems based somewhat on the one Ben Affleck wore in Daredevil. In both cases, the headgear is hard and separate from the tunic, with a hanging flap at the base of the skull to protect the back of the neck. Affleck's tunic had a high collar with a buckle that could hold the helmet's flap in place, but he rarely buckled the collar. Cap's new movie costume, on the other hand, seems to have a high but not tight collar.
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Re: DC Entertainment (THE NEW 52!)

Postby TheButcher on Mon May 21, 2012 7:05 pm

From BC:
Kapow 2012: “The New 52 Will Always Be The New 52″ – Dan DiDio (UPDATE)
Rich Johnston wrote:But the most interesting moment came from the final question of the session. A fan asked about Wonder Woman in comparison with Superman as the social crusader and Batman as Robin hood figure. Wonder Woman is royalty, and he asked if DiDio could see a situation where she would decide that her place is amongst the rulers of the earth rather than trying to it in with humanity, and would this bring her into conflict with the rest of the Trinity. DiDio looked stunned at this, and was unable to answer for a little bit before attempting to bat the question to one side. He eventually told us that as the US doesn’t have royalty then it would be unlikely to happen, but he waited too long to respond and he doesn’t have Bob Wayne’s evasion skills. The general feeling from the audience was that the question had inadvertently strayed too close to plans for Wonder Woman, either in her own title, in Justice league or in the upcoming Trinity War.
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Re: Superman Lawsuit

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:11 pm

From THR 10/17/2012:
Warner Bros. Wins Big Court Ruling in Fight Over Superman
Eriq Gardner wrote:Warner Bros. has won a blockbuster victory that could entitle it to maintain its copyright stake in Superman.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in California granted the studio's motion for summary judgment on the question of whether a 1992 agreement with Jean Peavy, the sister of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, precludes the estate's attempt to terminate a copyright grant. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Otis Wright comes four years after another federal judge in California confirmed the validity of a termination notice from the estate of the other co-creator, Jerry Siegel. The termination attempts have threatened Warners' hold on its lucrative Superman franchise.

The judge ruled "that the 1992 Agreement, which represented the Shuster heirs’ opportunity to renegotiate the prior grants of Joe Shuster’s copyrights, superseded and replaced all prior grants of the Superman copyrights. The 1992 Agreement thus represents the parties’ operative agreement and, as a post-1978 grant, it is not subject to termination."

Because Warner Bros. is in the middle of production on next summer's big-budget Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, the studio likely will take tremendous comfort in the latest ruling. It comes after years of nasty litigation with Marc Toberoff, the attorney for the estates.

"The order for the most part is the tentative order issued over six weeks ago before oral argument. We respectfully disagree with its factual and legal conclusions, and it is surprising given that the Judge appeared to emphatically agree with our position at the summary judgment hearing," Toberoff says in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Warners had no comment on the ruling.

Superman was first created in comic form in the 1930s. Shuster drew the character in the early editions of the Action Comics that initially told the Man of Steel's story.

During the later portions of Shuster's life, he struggled to make a living, taking a job as a deliveryman at one point to pay the bills.

Starting in the 1970s, DC Comics (now a subsidiary of Warner Bros.) began making payments to Shuster and Siegel. According to court papers, the co-creators were paid $4 million over the years under a 1975 agreement.

When Shuster died in 1992, Peavy filed an affidavit saying that she was the successor and sole heir to his property. Shuster's will also apparently named Jean's son, Mark Warren Peavy. Nevertheless, after filing her affidavit, Peavy wrote to DC and asked the company to pay her brother's final debts and expenses. DC agreed and also increased survivor benefits, but the company's then-executive vp Paul Levitz admonished, "This agreement would represent the author/heir's last and final deal with DC and would fully resolve any past, present, or future claims against DC."

At the time, Jean said she understood. The following year, she wrote a letter saying she would "stick to our bargain" and not attempt "to reclaim the Superman copyright."

But about a decade later, the Siegels and Shusters engaged Toberoff in an attempt to do just that.

The estates' primary weapon was the so-called "termination rights" in U.S. copyright law. Congress lengthened the copyright term in 1976 but, as an olive branch to artists who had created works at the early stage of their careers but handed their rights over without much bargaining power, gave artists another bite of the apple by allowing them to enjoy the benefits of the latter stages of a copyright term by terminating a copyright grant. As the copyright term has been extended even further in the years since, so too has the power of these termination rights.

But executing a termination notice isn't easy because artists need to adhere to a strict protocol, including sending out precise "termination notices" during a short few-year window. Terminations also have been subject to other limitations including when an artist and studio make what's known as an "agreement to the contrary," negating the termination powers.

Despite the odds, the Siegels tasted success in 2008 when a federal judge ruled they successfully had recaptured copyrights to some -- but not all -- of Superman’s defining characteristics, such as his costume, Clark Kent identity and his origin story, as described in the first editions of Action Comics. The scope of the ruling now is under appeal at the 9th Circuit, with arguments being heard soon.

But the Shusters aren't so lucky.

Wright first indicated that he was leaning toward rejecting the termination based on the 1992 agreement in a tentative decision issued during the summer. But at a hearing in September, Toberoff argued that it didn't make sense that in 1992, Warners would be replacing all of their previous contracts dating back to 1938 with the Shuster estate and throwing away the chain of title on Superman that the studio has relied upon for so many years. Toberoff also asserted that if this was the intention, it would have been spelled out in the contract to avoid any ambiguity.

The argument was enough for Wright to take time in reconsideration, but ultimately he decided to apply the law of New York, where the 1992 agreement was signed. For guidance on whether the Shusters' termination rights had been waived, the judge looked to an important 2008 decision involving the estate of John Steinbeck, where the 2nd District Court of Appeals found that an agreement made by the author's widow in 1994 superseded older contracts and eliminated a termination right. He also looked at a 2008 decision involving the Lassie franchise where a 1978 grant was determined by the 9th Circuit not to have waived a termination right.

The line of Wright's ruling that probably will trigger an appeal is the one that reads, "The broad and all-encompassing language of the 1992 Agreement unmistakably operates to supersede all prior grants."

According to the judge, Peavy's 1992 agreement deals with the same subject matter as the parties' earlier agreements, settling and displacing all claims. He says that the Shuster heirs were aware of the termination rights "when they bargained for and entered into the 1992 Agreement" and can't claim ignorance. This set the case apart from what happened in the Lassie litigation, according to the ruling.

Thus, Wright has determined that the Shuster heirs won't be able to terminate their share of the Superman copyright.

The litigation has been intensely fought, with the studio bringing out its top legal gun, Daniel Petrocelli at O'Melveny & Myers, to handle this important case. Warners continues to assert claims that Toberoff has tortiously interfered with its deals with the estates by, among other things, getting the Siegels to back away from a settlement in 2001. Recently, Warners asked for terminating sanctions arising from alleged efforts by Toberoff to hide pertinent information in the case.

Despite the studio victory, the parties figure to be in court for many years to come. Up first is the 9th Circuit hearing in the Siegel case, and an appeal likely is down the road.

In the meantime, the result of Wednesday's decision will mean that Warners can continue to exploit Superman however it likes, including in Man of Steel next summer. That said, it will need to account for profits to other copyright holders such as the Siegels, providing plenty of new ground for yet more litigation. Far from being settled, the legal fight will continue like a comic book. Stay tuned for the next edition.

Here's the full ruling.


From The LA Times
October 18, 2012:
'Justice League' aims for summer 2015 after Superman victory
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:48 am

DC Comics Brings On The Bad Guys Next Year
Rich Johnston wrote:Bleeding Cool has learnt from a number of sources that DC Comics’ Next Big Thing will be a focus on the villains of the DC Universe, and introducing a raft of bad guy characters to books, many of whom will be making their debut in the New 52.

Different villains will be assigned to different heroes, away from the usual individual heroes’ galleries, in most of the titles. This smacks rather of Marvel’s crossover event Acts Of Vengeance then, as now at DC, masterminded by Bob Harras.

(UPDATE: Oops, no it wasn’t, Bob was just on the X-titles then…)

I’m told we’ll see this in issue twenty of the DC New 52 titles, but this could also change.

The current success of the Joker story in Death Of The Family may be seen as a model for how the stories – and promotion – may be approached. This may also tie into previous reports that the early days of The Riddler may loom large in upcoming Batman.

I understand that creative reaction to the new edict, having a super villain foistered upon them is… let’s go with “mixed”. But with a number of peple looking to leave their books, start new ones, or swap for a different title, there’s an awful lot in the air right now.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:21 am

So What The Hell Is Going On At DC Right Now?
Karen Berger‘s resignation yesterday does seem linked, which has caused some wags to suggest that it’s a full blown exodus to Burbank, the kind of move that Berger wouldn’t countenance. This would depend of course on whether of not the DC archive has been thoroughly documented – it was this that caused much of DC to remain in New York during the big reorganisation a few years ago. And it might explain discussion about increasing efficiencies at DC…

There’s been a suggestion that Diane Nelson may have moved on at Warners, while waiting for her bosses to finish their jousting for top position. And this is the big news.

The third suggestion is that something radical is happening to publishing policy, involving a major jump from print to digital, with all sorts of new opportunities.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ WTF!)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:48 pm

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:40 pm

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:22 am

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:54 pm

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Re: DC Comics September 2014

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:53 pm

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Re: DC Entertainment (THE NEW 52 REBOOT?!)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:03 pm

Geoff Johns Confirms Big Changes At DC Comics In April – Including Booster Gold?
A couple of days ago, [ur=http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/11/12/so-whats-up-with-dc-comics-in-april/l]we ran the news that DC Comics, at least the New 52 publishing line would undergo some major changes.[/url] New books, new creators, that kind of thing.

As if by magic, in a DC PR-arranged interview with Newsarama, DC CCO Geoff Johns pretty much confirmed it.

But in this series we have a lot of big surprises, big changes, and come April the DC Universe will be a very different place leading into and throughout 2014. The first phase of the New 52 is drawing to a close and as Forever Evil wraps up a new phase begins — one that will see the introduction, and re-introduction, of a lot of characters, concepts and a decidedly new center to the DC universe. Keep your eyes on Lex. He’s the one to watch.


So What’s Up With DC Comics In April?

GEOFF JOHNS: 'Big Changes' in FOREVER EVIL Leads to a 'Very Different, New Phase' New 52
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:17 am

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:10 am

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:46 am

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:49 am

SIX DC SERIES TO END IN APRIL, INCLUDING "SUPERMAN UNCHAINED" AND "NIGHTWING" [UPDATED]
Albert Ching wrote:UPDATE 1/21/2014 3:55 PM PT: Scott Snyder took to Twitter to address the end of "Superman Unchained." His comments, slightly edited for format, follow.

"The 1st big arc has always been 9 issues. While I adore Clark, and love working with Jim Lee, and would have been thrilled to continue, we both have a lot on our plates after 'Unchained,' and I can tell you that what's coming in the Superman group is going to make you all SO happy. Can't wait for you to see! Deeply grateful to you for being so supportive of me and Jim on this one. Blown away. I really did hope to continue, and Jim did too, and we talked about it -- we STILL talk about it! -- but getting it together in time is too much."
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:25 pm

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:34 am

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Captain Marvel/SHAZAM/Marvel Family

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:36 pm

Digital Spy:
DC rejected Shazam comic from Gail Simone, Grant Morrison and Mark Waid
"With three stories each issue," Simone wrote. "Captain Marvel by Mark Waid, Junior by Grant Morrison, and Mary Marvel by me. Would have killed for that.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:50 am

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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:52 pm

Word Balloon Podcast:
The Flash 75th Anniversary Special
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:53 pm

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Re: DC's New 24

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:21 am

CBR:
DC COMICS AIMS TO DIVERSIFY LINEUP POST-"CONVERGENCE," PLANS 24 NEW SERIES

EXCLUSIVE: FIRST DETAILS OF NEW DC SERIES INCLUDING HITCH'S "JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA" AND MORE
"Bizarro," described in DC's press release by Co-Publisher Jim Lee as one of three new "offbeat, irreverently funny titles," will be written by frequent DC animation scribe Heath Corson, with art by Gustavo Duarte.
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Re: Divergence

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:47 pm

All-New DC? Publisher Unveils Surprising New Line-Up Post-Convergence (And No Reboot!)
Andrew Wheeler wrote:Divergence follows Convergence this June, as DC unveiled details today of a bold new line-up of post-Convergence titles that suggest that the publisher has learned lessons from past reboots, recent successes, and the best efforts of its rivals at Marvel and Image. The new line-up marks the formal end of the New 52 as a DC brand, though presumably not the end of the continuity it established. Where that initiative took an indiscriminate approach to overhauling the line, and seemed fixated on a young male demographic, the new DC seems determined to appear accessible to new audiences, and offers a more interesting array of titles — and creators.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:08 pm

This is such welcome news for me. The Nu52 just never clicked for me. I think it was a solid idea, but I think the creative teams assembled were horrendous and the editorial control was overpowering. I look forward to more creative freedom and a less slavish approach to continuity.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:16 am

DC DARK MATTER Press Event
DC's Co-Publishers and top talent address the elephant in the room.
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:30 am

Bleeding Cool May 23, 2016:
Marty Pasko Speaks Out About The Treatment Of Women In Comics… And Little Asian Fellows

Martin Pasko came out against Eddie Berganza


THR NOVEMBER 11, 2017:
DC Comics Editor Eddie Berganza Suspended Following Sexual Assault Claims

Bleeding Cool November 12, 2017:
Comic Industry Figures Say Eddie Berganza Has Been Fired From DC Comics!
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Re: DC Entertainment (Now w/ Relaunch & Digital Bombshell!)

Postby TheButcher on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:32 pm

THR NOVEMBER 13, 2017:
DC Comics Editor Eddie Berganza Fired Following Sexual Assault Claims
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