Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 77
  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    6,593

    Default Is the push for Jon as Superman motivated by ownership and legal wrangling?

    There's been rumors for years that the many changes Superman has undergone have been motivated by DC's fears of losing exclusive rights to the character. This was reportedly the reason behind Superman's costume change and the sidelining of Lois Lane in favor of Wonder Woman and the loss of the Clark Kent identity, so that the elements contained within Action Comics #1 would be less prominent, leaving only the aspects of Superman's lore that DC retain a firm legal hold of.

    Could this be part of the motivation behind the Jonathan Kent character being promoted so quickly into the main character of the franchise? Or does it simply come down to DC's inability to make the classic Superman resonate with enough readers so they are replacing him with his son in hopes of attracting a larger audience?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,006

    Default

    I don't think so. I remember hearing way back that the N52 Superman might have been created to swerve around legal roadblocks or at least impending legal roadblocks but my understanding is that a lot of that has been resolved since then.

    I think it's as simple as wanting to let the franchise move on. Post-Crisis Superman was created to update the character who DC felt was becoming out of date by the mid 80's and Byrne is on record saying that DC brought him in specifically to make everything different. His changes were a big success and stayed for a while but it's no longer the late 80's-early 90's and the world has moved on but the fans who grew up or were introduced to that version of Superman have not. Many of the old Superman qualities prior to Byrne have come back into vogue while a lot of Byrnes changes seem in hindsight sort of odd. I think they're really just using Jon as a way to get back to a Silver Age style Superman without having to deal with an uproar of Bryne/Triangle Era people who have an understanding of Clark Kent as a farmer from Smallville who happens to have powers.

    It's definitely not what I want but when you've got people like Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel basically doing a lot of the stuff Superman use to Pre-Crisis while Superman's withering fanbase of today demand he stay with the confines of what was set in '87 you start to make cuts when real money is on the table.
    Rules are for lesser men, Charlie - Grand Pa Joe ~ Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory

  3. #3
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    62,389

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    I don't think so. I remember hearing way back that the N52 Superman might have been created to swerve around legal roadblocks or at least impending legal roadblocks but my understanding is that a lot of that has been resolved since then.

    I think it's as simple as wanting to let the franchise move on. Post-Crisis Superman was created to update the character who DC felt was becoming out of date by the mid 80's and Byrne is on record saying that DC brought him in specifically to make everything different. His changes were a big success and stayed for a while but it's no longer the late 80's-early 90's and the world has moved on but the fans who grew up or were introduced to that version of Superman have not. Many of the old Superman qualities prior to Byrne have come back into vogue while a lot of Byrnes changes seem in hindsight sort of odd. I think they're really just using Jon as a way to get back to a Silver Age style Superman without having to deal with an uproar of Bryne/Triangle Era people who have an understanding of Clark Kent as a farmer from Smallville who happens to have powers.

    It's definitely not what I want but when you've got people like Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel basically doing a lot of the stuff Superman use to Pre-Crisis while Superman's withering fanbase of today demand he stay with the confines of what was set in '87 you start to make cuts when real money is on the table.
    If anything Jon seems like an attempt to return to New 52 Superman rather than just the Silver Age, even if the Golden Age and Silver age impacted New 52 Superman to a degree.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Yoda's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    Those issues were resolved via settlements and a few appellate court decisions sometime around 2013 I believe. I'm sure any settlement contracts are about as confidential and airtight as they can be right now. There is no longer any question regarding the rights to Superman, Lois, etc. Whatever decisions they are making with Superman, etc. are not being influenced by that any longer.

  5. #5
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    iowa
    Posts
    2,002

    Default

    No, I think this is just something new they're playing with, same as "Future's End," "Superman Blue," or anything else. If it's popular enough, we might see more of it, though.

    If this has to do with rights at all, I'd put more money on Superman eventually going into the public domain. When that happens, having a Superman with an entirely different situation would be a way to have a version they have all rights to.

    Again, I don't think it's a rights thing, just saying that's the more compelling rights argument, imo.
    Hear my new CD "Love The World Away", available on iTunes, Google Music, Spotify, Shazam, and Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N5XYV..._waESybX1C0RXK via @amazon
    www.jamiekelleymusic.com
    TV interview here: https://snjtoday.com/snj-today-hotline-jamie-kelley/

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Metropolis USA
    Posts
    5,115

    Default

    I'll be the first to admit that I don't fully understand public domain law but my understanding is that, unless the law is changed, the elements in Action #1 become public domain in little over a decade. This may very well be DC testing the waters, so to speak, on if the public is willing to buy a Superman that isn't Clark Kent. Obviously I don't know if this is true but, as you pointed out, this isn't the first time that DC has tried to alter the character to hold onto the "official" Superman. If this is the case, no one at DC is going to just come right out and admit it. My guess is that some of Didio's "5-G" plans were already in the works prior to his firing and they had to salvage something from them. But if they can get the public to buy a Superman that isn't tied directly to Action #1, I don't think they'll complain.
    WAKANDA FOREVER! Chadwick Boseman 1976-2020 BLM

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    18,017

    Default

    Aren't the legal issues pretty much taken care of? I think this just has more to do with their general apathy of Superman himself combined with falling in love with a new gimmick. As other people have pointed out before, Superman is basically handcuffed in characterization and direction because of his iconic status. Last time they tried to change it up they couldn't get rid of it fast enough. But now they have someone new to play with new ideas with because for some reason they have an anathema of doing said fresh things with Superman himself. They seem to be looking at this as some sort of win-win situation, Superman can still be there in his largely post-Crisis form to sit on the mantle to look at but not play with, while their attentions can go on this shitty new character.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 01-11-2021 at 12:09 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”

  8. #8
    Standing Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    14,678

    Default

    Wouldn't any of the copyrighted original material eventually fall into the public domain (if the great god Disney ever were to let copyright law remain as it is)?

    What the publisher owns is the trademark. And that exists in perpetuity as long as they keep using those trademarks. So even without copyright, no one else can do a trademark Superman comic. They would have to change some of the trademarked elements. But they could probably get away with that now--some have.

    If anything, the publisher should keep using traditional elements of Superman, to assert their trademark. I would imagine if they had stopped using Supergirl or Superboy for an extensive period of time another publisher could use those names, as the trademark had lapsed. That's how Marvel Comics got hold of Captain Marvel.
    🇨🇦
    [Exit, pursued
    by a bear.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    7,972

    Default

    No AT&T owns the character wholly now, the whole reason they had to make Man of Steel in the first place was because the judge ordered them to do so in order to keep the rights. Now they own it 100% and can just sit on their hands as has been their desire for decades. The direction here is borne of the same thing as the Byrne reboot: they’re deeply ashamed of Superman, don’t think he works, and want to replace him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    Aren't the legal issues pretty much taken care of? I think this just has more to do with their general apathy of Superman himself combined with falling in love with a new gimmick. As other people have pointed out before, Superman is basically handcuffed in characterization and direction because of his iconic status. Last time they tried to change it up they couldn't get rid of it fast enough. But now they have someone new to play with new ideas with because for some reason they have an anathema of doing said fresh things with Superman himself. They seem to be looking at this as some sort of win-win situation, Superman can still be there in his largely post-Crisis form to sit on the mantle to look at but not play with, while their attentions can go on this shitty new character.
    I wouldn’t quite say that. Clark focusing more on cosmic adventures is a new direction for him, if anything it looks like Jon will be filling the usual status quo of Superman defending Metropolis. But I can’t really blame DC given a lot of Superfans look at writers having Clark tell people to drink their orange juice and respect authority as exactly the way he should be: retro and uncool. They tried revamping him with the New 52 and completely botched the opportunity Morrison gave them. So now we’re back to good ol’ farmboy Supes who runs back to Ma and Pa for pie and a pep talk (just look at how Marz wrote Clark in Endless Winter), who hates being Superman and wants to just go live on a farm. Of course that sounds lame, it is lame.

    They’re clearly trying to position Jon as a more New 52 esque outlaw character and you know what? I’ll take that. It’s at least something that can be uniquely Jon’s considering people scream bloody murder if Clark isn’t the nostalgic embodiment of the 50s that Frank Miller had Batman beat the piss out of back in DKR.
    Last edited by Vordan; 01-11-2021 at 12:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    18,017

    Default

    That's fair, maybe this cosmic era for Superman himself may be an opportunity to do some fresh things, we'll certainly see. If it ends up actually revamping him in a way, or at least opens up the opportunity to do so, maybe in the end it could all be worth it. But beyond that that's all I can hang on to, because I just don't care about what past Superman traits they might try and pass off to Jon, or anyone else they were to ever try and have take over or share the role. Its just nothing doing for me, and I'll always be incredibly stubborn on that end. But of course I've gone on about that enough.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 01-11-2021 at 01:00 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    62,389

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    I wouldn’t quite say that. Clark focusing more on cosmic adventures is a new direction for him, if anything it looks like Jon will be filling the usual status quo of Superman defending Metropolis. But I can’t really blame DC given a lot of Superfans look at writers having Clark tell people to drink their orange juice and respect authority as exactly the way he should be: retro and uncool. They tried revamping him with the New 52 and completely botched the opportunity Morrison gave them. So now we’re back to good ol’ farmboy Supes who runs back to Ma and Pa for pie and a pep talk (just look at how Marz wrote Clark in Endless Winter), who hates being Superman and wants to just go live on a farm. Of course that sounds lame, it is lame.

    They’re clearly trying to position Jon as a more New 52 esque outlaw character and you know what? I’ll take that. It’s at least something that can be uniquely Jon’s considering people scream bloody murder if Clark isn’t the nostalgic embodiment of the 50s that Frank Miller had Batman beat the piss out of back in DKR.
    Setting aside that I think you're really over-exaggerating or mis-representing the Post-Crisis take on Superman (or even modern Superman), I feel like Supes going more cosmic happens to some degree across several era's, so I don't feel it's all that new.

    What's new is assuming he might be there indefinitely so Jon can be a Superman but I'd personally rather he be his own thing as Superboy than try and force him to be Superman.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member sifighter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    5,915

    Default

    It’s probably because he’s the son of Superman in mainline continuity. The idea of Superman’s children has existed for a long time, since pre-crisis with Superman and Batman Jr. But guess what the actual child of Superman had always been in elseworld series or in cases of Conner or Chris they were adopted.

    But this is Superman’s biological, in-continuity son which means that DC are going to try to sell him because one day he might actually become his own Superman and make money outside of comics. They’ve already introduced him in Young Justice and soon in Superman and Lois. That’s what Jon is, a way to sell Superman to a younger audience on the idea of being Superman’s son and all that entails.
    "It's fun and it's cool, so that's all that matters. It's what comics are for, Duh."
    Words to live by.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    7,972

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Setting aside that I think you're really over-exaggerating or mis-representing the Post-Crisis take on Superman (or even modern Superman), I feel like Supes going more cosmic happens to some degree across several era's, so I don't feel it's all that new.

    What's new is assuming he might be there indefinitely so Jon can be a Superman but I'd personally rather he be his own thing as Superboy than try and force him to be Superman.
    Me? Exaggerate the attributes of something I hate so I can knock down a strawman? That doesn’t sound like me

    In all seriousness, I know I don’t give the good sides of Post-Crisis as much credit as I should, I just can’t help feeling like the good doesn’t outweigh the bad, and given writers almost immediately started trying to bring Pre-Crisis stuff back I just can’t help feeling like the way they approached it with Byrne just hurt Supes in the long run. And I also am a firm “Kents should be dead and add nothing to him being alive” for a variety of reasons so that’s kind of an insurmountable barrier for me. But I am trying to get some time to do a big reread of Byrne so I can give my honest appraisal of him now rather than critiquing something via memory.

    That said my second favorite “era” for Superman aside from Morrison/Pak New 52 Action is when Johns & Busiek had the books. Both of them were doing fantastic work, and if they had stuck around to do New Krypton maybe things would’ve been different. Maybe Superman would’ve gotten his “Sinestro Corps War” his big event that revitalized the character and grabbed everyone’s attention. But it didn’t alas, and everything Busiek/Johns did got swept aside. I consider the Busiek/Johns “Pre-Flashpoint” Superman to be a different beast from the Post Crisis Superman though.

    It’s true that there have definitely been some big “cosmic eras” for Superman. The upcoming FS Warworld story clearly has its roots in Exile which I love. However Superman has never gone fully cosmic which seems to be the plan under PKJ. He’s not going to be in Metropolis at all, or even on Earth, he’s 100% devoting his time to helping other worlds. That’s a big shift from the norm, where even stuff like Exile was just a temp change from the get go, and we still got cuts back to stuff going on back on Earth. That doesn’t seem to be the plan for PKJ, Jon will be the one you need to read to get your Earth based fix while Clark is totally off on his own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    That's fair, maybe this cosmic era for Superman himself may be an opportunity to do some fresh things, we'll certainly see. If it ends up actually revamping him in a way, or at least opens up the opportunity to do so, maybe in the end it could all be worth it. But beyond that that's all I can hang on to, because I just don't care about what past Superman traits they might try and pass off to Jon, or anyone else they were to ever try and have take over or share the role. Its just nothing doing for me, and I'll always be incredibly stubborn on that end. But of course I've gone on about that enough.
    I just hope you can appreciate the beautiful bitter irony that stuff from the New 52 era that you loved are coming back via a character you hate (I love the Morrison and Pak stuff and I don’t hate Jon so I’m kinda ok with it even if I wish it was Clark getting the more outlaw attitude back). You must’ve wished on a monkey’s paw for Superbro’s return
    Last edited by Vordan; 01-11-2021 at 01:51 PM.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    18,017

    Default

    It pretty much makes me cry into my vintage Superman socks, yes, lol. Another irony is that kid Jon fans (the majority of Jon fans altogether) are doing the same thing so we're reluctant brothers in arms. I don't get the feeling they're entirely satisfied with the digital title.

    Elseworld now seems like a hope for....something. But it may end up something completely different, or worse, some dumb meta thing.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 01-11-2021 at 03:10 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”

  15. #15
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    62,389

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Me? Exaggerate the attributes of something I hate so I can knock down a strawman? That doesn’t sound like me

    In all seriousness, I know I don’t give the good sides of Post-Crisis as much credit as I should, I just can’t help feeling like the good doesn’t outweigh the bad, and given writers almost immediately started trying to bring Pre-Crisis stuff back I just can’t help feeling like the way they approached it with Byrne just hurt Supes in the long run. And I also am a firm “Kents should be dead and add nothing to him being alive” for a variety of reasons so that’s kind of an insurmountable barrier for me. But I am trying to get some time to do a big reread of Byrne so I can give my honest appraisal of him now rather than critiquing something via memory.

    That said my second favorite “era” for Superman aside from Morrison/Pak New 52 Action is when Johns & Busiek had the books. Both of them were doing fantastic work, and if they had stuck around to do New Krypton maybe things would’ve been different. Maybe Superman would’ve gotten his “Sinestro Corps War” his big event that revitalized the character and grabbed everyone’s attention. But it didn’t alas, and everything Busiek/Johns did got swept aside. I consider the Busiek/Johns “Pre-Flashpoint” Superman to be a different beast from the Post Crisis Superman though.

    It’s true that there have definitely been some big “cosmic eras” for Superman. The upcoming FS Warworld story clearly has its roots in Exile which I love. However Superman has never gone fully cosmic which seems to be the plan under PKJ. He’s not going to be in Metropolis at all, or even on Earth, he’s 100% devoting his time to helping other worlds. That’s a big shift from the norm, where even stuff like Exile was just a temp change from the get go, and we still got cuts back to stuff going on back on Earth. That doesn’t seem to be the plan for PKJ, Jon will be the one you need to read to get your Earth based fix while Clark is totally off on his own.
    I feel like with Post-Crisis it wasn't so much that people didn't respond well to the newer versions of the characters (look at how much CEO Lex has come to define the character while Post-Crisis helped define the modern Lois Lane) but that the stuff they took away like Kara or Krypto was never adequately replaced.

    With Bendis having Clark out himself I had a feeling we were going to shift the franchise over to him operating as Superman 100% of the time, and being in costume all the time, moreso than we already had been.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •