Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 7, 2006

Mark Evanier on Superboy and Siegels

Comics historian and writer Mark Evanier has written a few concises posts about the heirs to Jerry Siegel having their claim to Superboy being upheld, and the potential that they may be due monies from the Smallville TV show. Start here, then read here and then go here. It's interesting reading because Mark writes with a lot of clarity and certainly has big-time comics-history chops, and as you'll see he still has to be careful how he characterizes certain elements of the historical development of the case. It's that weird.

It's easy to be confused. I get confused. It's hard to suss out what's going on. For instance, I read a few bloggers yesterday wondering out loud how Superboy could possibly be seen as a derivative work of Superman because, you know, it's "Superman's adventures as a boy." But that's not what's at question -- past legal proceedings all stemming, it seems, from a late-'40s effort by the creators to regain Superman fairly establish the two as different creations, in a way that's now been upheld. The reason the question is on the table is because one can imagine there will be claims of Smallville as a derivative work concerning Superman and Clark Kent and not really about Superboy, not because Superboy himself is in play. And so on. As I suggested yesterday, if I know DC, I bet they've done as much as they can behind the scenes to make sure this doesn't happen with a lot of properties.
posted 12:51 am PST | Permalink

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