A new court ruling has awarded the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel the rights to more stories than the previous original Action Comics #1 appearance. Does this increase the possibility of DC Comics losing control of the character?
The ruling comes as the result of comics historian Denis Kitchen providing evidence (first mentioned as a comment in response to a blog post at comic site Newsarama.com) that more work than just the original Superman story was created prior to DC's purchase of publication rights to the character. While Judge Stephen Larson didn't award the Siegel heirs everything they were hoping for, a significant chunk of the character's initial appearances have now shifted to their favor:
At the conclusion of this final installment regarding the publication history of and the rights to the iconic comic book superhero Superman, the Court finds that plaintiffs have successfully recaptured (and are co-owners of) the rights to the following works: (1) Action Comics No. 1 (subject to the limitations set forth in the Court's previous Order); (2) Action Comics No. 4; (3) Superman No. 1, pages three through six, and (4) the initial two weeks' worth of Superman daily newspaper strips. Ownership in the remainder of the Superman material at issue that was published from 1938 to 1943 remains solely with defendants.
Whether this impacts any other cases surrounding the rights to the Man of Steel and his universe remains to be seen.
Blog@ post gets Siegels more Superman [Blog@Newsarama.com]