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  1. #1
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Default Lady Luck: Who currently has the rights to the character?

    I'm not sure if anybody may have a definitive answer to this one.

    Anyway, if anybody is unfamiliar with the character, she was created back in the early 1940's and (along with Mr. Mystic) was part of what was commonly referred to as the "Spirit Section" comics insert, and I believe Will Eisner was involved in writing some of the early stories.



    And, as also happened with The Spirit, her adventures were later printed by Quality Comics.



    Some of her stories were later reprinted by various publications in the 1970s and 1980s, including in some of Kitchen Sink's magazine-sized The Spirit issues, which seemed to indicate Eisner still held ownership. But towards the beginning of DC's New 52 (when DC still had licensing rights to The Spirit), it was said that "Lady Luck" would be appearing at some point in Geoff Johns' Justice League. That never happened.

    In a DiDio-written issue of The Phantom Stranger, there was a character who appeared dealing cards to some gambling demons and she was referred to as "Lady Luck"

    and seemed to have the green hat of the character as well as a green outfit. But she never really did anything more than deal the cards, and when that story was collected in the trade paperback, she was recolored so her hair was no longer blonde and her outfit was no longer green.

    Does anybody know / remember if it was said whether Dynamite acquired the licensing to use the character of Lady Luck when they picked up the rights to The Spirit?

  2. #2
    Incredible Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    I thought she was public domain (but I could be wrong about this). I honestly don't know (but she's definitely a great golden age character).

  3. #3
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    I think it was DC, she was announced as a part of JL after flashpoint. But the plans changed, lady luck and green arrow never joined JL.

  4. #4
    Writer of Jack The Hunted Power Torch's Avatar
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    DC was going to put her in the Justice League when they first started the new52. Not sure who owns her though. I would believe DC, but I guess it could be in public domain.

    I would be interested to see her used in something though.

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  5. #5
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tayswift View Post
    I think it was DC, she was announced as a part of JL after flashpoint. But the plans changed, lady luck and green arrow never joined JL.
    But, again, when DC announced she was going to be in the Justice League, DC still had the rights to Eisner's The Spirit.

    The fact that DC no longer has the rights to Eisner's main character, and the fact that the "Lady Luck" that appeared in the issue of Phantom Stranger was totally recolored when they did the tpb collecting that story makes me doubt DC still has the rights to the character unless it would be through public domain.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    But, again, when DC announced she was going to be in the Justice League, DC still had the rights to Eisner's The Spirit.

    The fact that DC no longer has the rights to Eisner's main character, and the fact that the "Lady Luck" that appeared in the issue of Phantom Stranger was totally recolored when they did the tpb collecting that story makes me doubt DC still has the rights to the character unless it would be through public domain.
    Technically, she and the other characters of "The Spirit" section should be public domain. While Eisner supposedly had a deal with Busy Arnold in that he retained the rights to the characters, he was still required to renew the copyrights and did not (and Arnold did not renew the rights to the comics that ran Eisner's stories either). While there are probably trademark rights that the Eisner estate holds for the Spirit as the character has pretty much stayed in print via reprints and such every decade, that cannot be said for Lady Luck. Trademarks only cover distinctive likenesses (hard to pull off with the Spirit who is about as generic as they come unless you mimic Eisner's style) and titles and logos. So, the Spirit could be in the Avengers, the Justice League, team up with Lobster Johnson, or Erik Larsen's Freak Force as long as they refrain from using his name on the cover. However, DC's plans on using Lady Luck and if they promoted that in advertising and on covers could be enough to establish a new trademark by DC, or for Eisner's estate if they were feeling generous. But, the clock starts ticking on the character needing to be used and promoted again before falling out of trademark protection again.

  7. #7
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Anybody aware of any new Lady Luck appearances since The Phantom Stranger #6 back in 2013?

  8. #8
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    Digitalcomicmuseum.com has Lady Luck tpbs and The Spirit comics free to download so I guess that means she's in the public domain.

  9. #9
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooshoomanjoe View Post
    Digitalcomicmuseum.com has Lady Luck tpbs and The Spirit comics free to download so I guess that means she's in the public domain.
    Not necessarily. It may just mean the past stories are available, but the use of the characters themselves aren't.

    The original Captain Marvel is one where the past stories from Fawcett are available to use, but DC still holds the rights to the character (though not his name) for new material.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    Not necessarily. It may just mean the past stories are available, but the use of the characters themselves aren't.

    The original Captain Marvel is one where the past stories from Fawcett are available to use, but DC still holds the rights to the character (though not his name) for new material.
    Really? I always thought you can make new stories from anyone that's in the public domain. For instance, I thought it was legal to make new stories from the Golden Age Lady Luck but not DC's Lady Luck.

  11. #11
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooshoomanjoe View Post
    Really? I always thought you can make new stories from anyone that's in the public domain. For instance, I thought it was legal to make new stories from the Golden Age Lady Luck but not DC's Lady Luck.
    But again, is it just the older stories that are in the public domain or the character itself?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    But again, is it just the older stories that are in the public domain or the character itself?
    Both maybe? Blue Beetle was published in Dynamite's Project Super Powers decades after DC bought the rights to the character. Malibu's 1990s Genesis line also published the Click after DC bought the rights in the 80s.

  13. #13
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooshoomanjoe View Post
    Both maybe? Blue Beetle was published in Dynamite's Project Super Powers decades after DC bought the rights to the character. Malibu's 1990s Genesis line also published the Click after DC bought the rights in the 80s.
    Is the "Blue Beetle" used by Dynamite based on the Golden Age version of the character (originally published by Fox Feature Syndicate starting in 1939), and is Dynamite calling their version "Blue Beetle"? Also,if you're thinking the character The Scarab is Blue Beetle, there was also a Golden Age character called "The Scarab".
    Last edited by MajorHoy; 04-03-2021 at 07:57 AM.

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