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  1. #1
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Default How old were you when you realized that companies "own" fictional characters?

    Kids generally don't understand the concept that fictional characters are "owned" by companies, at least not right away. It takes a while before they're ready to understand that concept and how it works. When you're four or five years old, Superman is Superman and Mickey Mouse is Mickey Mouse, and you don't really think of such characters in terms of "properties" that companies own and make money from.

    That's certainly how I saw fictional characters when I was a kid in the late 1970s. On animated kid shows such as FRED & BARNEY MEET THE THING, it didn't seem strange or notable at all to me that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were on the same show as Ben Grimm/the Thing from the Fantastic Four. Why couldn't/wouldn't they be? After all, Marvel Comics was also running a GODZILLA comic wherein Japan's movie monster interacted with Marvel's superheroes, and my Shogun Warriors toys based on Japanese anime shows were also concurrently appearing in their own Marvel book. I figured it was just a matter of time before Captain Marvel (Shazam) tangled with the Incredible Hulk on TV, or that Luke Skywalker from STAR WARS would meet Apollo from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Why wouldn't they? If it seemed like a cool idea in my child's mind, the adults that made these shows, comics, and movies would realize it and make it happen sooner or later (hopefully sooner).

    I think I got my first clue that things didn't work that way when I was ten years old in 1982 and saw an ad in a Marvel book for the second Superman/Spider-Man crossover (the one wherein they teamed up against Dr. Doom and the Parasite). I noticed that the ad said DC AND MARVEL COMICS PRESENT. I had known for some time that some of the comics I read were labeled "Marvel Comics" and others were labeled "DC Comics," but I never really thought about what that meant in terms of characters meeting or teaming up. I figured that even though they were different companies, they both made comic books so their characters could meet up any time and it was no big deal. I had no inkling of all the business and legal matters involved in making that happen, or how indeed Godzilla managed to appear in a Marvel comic book. By the time I was twelve, I finally figured it out and understood why VOLTRON couldn't cross over with ROBOTECH (though that DID eventually happen in comic books published decades later): they were products of different companies, and many, many things needed to happen legally and financially for that to be possible, even if many people thought the idea was cool.

    So...how old were you when you first began realizing that fictional characters were corporate-owned entities governed by different financial and legal considerations in their depiction, especially if they belong to different companies?

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    Buried Alien - THE FASTEST POST ALIVE!

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  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    I don't remember ever not knowing who was WB and who was Hanna Barbara. Or which comics were Marvel and which DC.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Maybe 5 years old. Spidey was Marvel and Superman and his wife Wonder Woman were DC.
    Last edited by Phoenixx9; 01-19-2022 at 04:40 PM.
    [Quote Originally Posted by Thor-El 10-15-2020 12:32 PM]


    "Jason Aaron should know there is already a winner of the Phoenix Force and his name is Phoenixx9."

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    I don't remember ever not knowing who was WB and who was Hanna Barbara. Or which comics were Marvel and which DC.
    Yeah it seems I’ve always known.
    Not to the level I do now of course, but I always knew.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    I will contend, there are some people who still don't know.

    But yes, while I might not have known the lines, I did know different companies owned different characters.
    I think restorative nostalgia is the number one issue with comic book fans.
    A fine distinction between two types of Nostalgia:

    Reflective Nostalgia allows us to savor our memories but accepts that they are in the past
    Restorative Nostalgia pushes back against the here and now, keeping us stuck trying to relive our glory days.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post
    Maybe 5 years old. Spidey was Marvel and Superman and his wife Wonder Woman were DC.
    This is so cute it made me smile
    Favorite teams. Alpha Flight, Avengers, Fantastic Four, West Coast Avengers, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member babyblob's Avatar
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    I dont know when I figured it out. I as a kid wondered Why Superman who stood for Truth, Justice, And the American Way never hung with Captain America.

    I guess when I got older it came to me but I cant remember a date. I thought people from other shows could hang out when ever. We had Jetsons meet the Flinstones. I always saw shows with Yogi hanging with other Hanna Barbarra characters. I didnt know they were the same company until later. Though I always wondered why Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel never hung out.
    Favorite teams. Alpha Flight, Avengers, Fantastic Four, West Coast Avengers, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    This is so cute it made me smile
    Thanks! Yeah, that was 5 year old me, lol.
    [Quote Originally Posted by Thor-El 10-15-2020 12:32 PM]


    "Jason Aaron should know there is already a winner of the Phoenix Force and his name is Phoenixx9."

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