Unless you were on Internet silence this weekend, you undoubtedly know that late Friday news broke that Jerry Siegel’s heirs have reclaimed half the copyright to the Superman material in Action Comics #1.
Should Judge Stephen Larson’s ruling survive appeal, this isn’t just the comics story of the week; it’s the story of the year. Hell, probably several years. Another trial, or else an out-of-court agreement, will determine how much Time Warner owes Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson for its use of the character since 1999 — the date their ownership was determined to have been restored.
As anyone who waded into the comments section of my initial post can attest, the ruling sparked a frenzy among a segment of fandom on a level not seen since, I don’t know, the Crash of ’29. Actually, remember the bonfire scene from The Lord of the Flies? It was a lot like that. (C’mon, guys, nobody’s “destroying” Superman. If he can survive the Mullet Years, Red/Blue and the final season of Lois & Clark, he can survive a legal battle. In all likelihood you’ll continue to get your weekly dose of Superman uninterrupted.)
I updated the initial post with worthwhile links, such as The New York Times’ report, Jeff Trexler‘s continuing coverage (including a terrific FAQ), and Tom Bondurant’s analysis for Newsarama. Since then, there has been some more notable coverage:
• At Comics Should Be Good, Brian Cronin assembles a Superman copyright FAQ that serves as a good companion to Trexler’s.
• Comics commentator Abhay Khosla looks at the decision, and the original deal between Siegel, Shuster and Detective Comics.
• At Comic Book Resources, intellectual-property attorney Brendan McFeely discusses the finer points of the ruling.
• At Journalista, Dirk Deppey “poke[s] a finger in DC Comics’ glorious misfortune,” and then settles in for a dissection of Larson’s 72-page decision.
• Variety‘s coverage focuses on Siegel attorney Marc Toberoff, whom it calls “Kryptonite to studios.”
More links as they appear.