#1 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

The Ray, Human Bomb, Doll Man and all The Original Public Domain Golden Age Quality comics versions of these characters are intermingled with the modern very often renamed and re-imagined DC comics versions. Why? If we can have a page for each of the three DC versions of the Ray for instance, why not give the original Quality version a page of its own?? Apologies if that comes across as a rant.

#2 Edited by pikahyper (12267 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno about others but I'm ok with it for the classics, I keep getting tripped up by the original Phantom Lady when adding her to new AC Comics collections.

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#3 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

@pikahyper: Phantom Lady had multiple Golden Age Publishers. DC and AC have versions of her too though the AC version was renamed I believe..

the point I want to make is this applies to Quality/Fawcett/Charlton characters for DC and I'm sure to MANY characters revived by Dynamite and Marvel etc..

The Original Characters should take precedence over the Modern versions otherwise Nedor/Centaur/Quality/Fawcett etc. characters get sucked into the Marvel/DC etc. umbrella. Leaving the Original company without wikis of their Stars and causing it to appear that they are not in the Public Domain at all. It is Quite Sinister.

#4 Posted by pikahyper (12267 posts) - - Show Bio

@turoksonofstone: the AC version is technically Nightveil but she is a completely different character then the original PL, they look exactly alike though so it is hard to figure out.

Some of the Dynamite characters have already been split off like The Spider.

I see the merit in splitting them up, it can be a little more confusing when adding cause of the multiple entries but in the long run if everything is split up properly it will get easier.

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#5 Posted by fesak (7058 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty sure The Spider is not split up, and he shouldn't be either. This falls under the same category as the no alternate reality pages rule, and for what i can read on the wiki pages the Quality characters are alternate reality counterparts and thus should not be separated.

Nightveil is a special case where they thought that Phantom Lady were public domain, so at first it's the same character, but when it turned out DC had the rights, AC changed her into their own character. It's detailed on her page.

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#6 Edited by pikahyper (12267 posts) - - Show Bio

@fesak: he makes a good point about unrepresented older characters though, I think it is taking away the motivation for people to edit old comics/publishers and we are in desperate need of classic editors.

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#7 Posted by fesak (7058 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not following, we already have pages for the original versions of those characters, what he's suggesting is splitting up them into golden age/modern versions, like if we were to split up Namor's page into a Timely version and a Marvel version. Not only is it against site rules, it doesn't even make sense.

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#8 Posted by pikahyper (12267 posts) - - Show Bio

@fesak: as long as only a single publisher can be associated to a character the newer comics and publishers will always dominate the older characters and publishers making them less likely to be used or edited for older comics. For the few editors we have focusing on older comics there is a higher learning curve to correctly identify and use the proper characters because of the confusion of them being listed as newer properties.

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#9 Edited by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

@fesak said:

Pretty sure The Spider is not split up, and he shouldn't be either. This falls under the same category as the no alternate reality pages rule, and for what i can read on the wiki pages the Quality characters are alternate reality counterparts and thus should not be separated.

Nightveil is a special case where they thought that Phantom Lady were public domain, so at first it's the same character, but when it turned out DC had the rights, AC changed her into their own character. It's detailed on her page.

The Quality characters for example with the exception of Plastic Man and Blackhawk are not owned by DC at all as all Quality Comics characters have lapsed into the public domain. Many Golden Age comic book characters wound up falling into public domain because their original publishers either went out of business or failed to renew the copyrights. Most Quality Comics characters fall into this category It should be noted that this pertains only to the characters as they were originally depicted when they appeared in titles published by Quality Comics. The versions of the characters that include retconned history are assumed to be separate characters that belong to DC Comics. Similarly, successor characters, such as the newest versions of Human Bomb and Black Condor, are properties of DC Comics. Essentially any DC version is an alternate reality version with the Quality version being the Original deserving of its own page..

Once a work enters public domain, it can be freely used. This means that the original material can be reproduced verbatim (as is the case for the AC Comics reprints) or the characters can be utilized in a derivative work (as is the case with Alex Ross' Project Superpowers). It should be noted that when public domain material is used to create original work, the new work would be protected by the intellectual property laws. For example, while Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, and Captain Nemo are public domain characters, Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a copyrighted and trademarked work. The same would apply to the retconned history and successor characters of the Quality Comics characters, which belong to DC Comics. This is true despite the fact that, with the exception of the casts of Plastic Man and Blackhawk all Quality Comics characters have lapsed into public domain.

Several prominent literary and comic characters are public domain. In addition to the aforementioned Project Superpowers characters, Quality Comics characters, fairy tale characters, and the ensemble cast of the various League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, several other characters are public domain and free to be used. For example, characters from Arthurian legends; Norse, Greek, and Roman myths; and Shakespearean literature are all public domain. Similarly, several other comic book characters have become public domain, including those originally published by Barsoom, Centaur Publications, Fawcett Comics and others.

In 1956, Quality Comics ceased publication and sold various titles to National Publications (DC). DC took over the publishing of the titles Blackhawk and Plastic Man.

In 1973, DC introduced various characters from Quality (Doll Man, Phantom Lady, the Ray, the Human Bomb, Uncle Sam, and the Black Condor as the Freedom Fighters in the pages of the Justice League. Since then, several stories and rumors have circulated concerning DC's purchase of said characters and their status while DC has been aggressive about protecting their "rights".

The one version of the story floated around is that the comics were copyrighted by Busy Arnold himself and not the company and thus could only be renewed by his widow, that what was sold to DC were just the titles being published at the time and not the copyrights which didn't really belong to the company anyway and that the characters passed into public domain.

As it turns out there are elements of truth and falseness to the stories. Arnold DID NOT copyright any of the titles researched under his own name but mostly under Comic Favorites and Comic Magazines. There are also gaps in the copyright records of the titles indicating that some titles did not get registered such as DOLL MAN QUARTERLY #2 which has a note of "No reply to office letters of Feb. 17 and March 17, 1942". A gap in publishing of DOLL MAN occurs between issues 7 (1943) and 8 (1946) and no record of the original copyright registration is found.

According to the people at the Library of Congress, when a publisher buys out another publisher, the common practice is to buy only the titles (trademarks) and not the copyrights. Research bears this out as there is no record of a transfer of copyrights from Quality to National (DC). There is record of transfer of all copyrights from Leading to National when they bought out their partner Gaines just as there is a record of transfer from Arnold himself to Columbia Pictures of the Blackhawk character for the movie serial.

None of the titles of the 1940s researched showed renewal dates. Until we get to the 1950s books that would have been renewed in the 1970s. And, there it gets odd. The early 1950s issues of PLASTIC MAN and BLACKHAWK are renewed by Clare C. Arnold d.b.a. Comics Magazines up to the point the titles were taken over by DC. However DOLL MAN QUARTERLY #33 (1951) - 45 (1953) are renewed by DC even though it was not a title that was ever published by DC Comics and that there is NO RECORD OF TRANSFER OF COPYRIGHTS and the fact that the title continued to issue 47...BTW: Blackhawk issues 39-104 were renewed by Arnold and then DC but issues 9-38 were not. However since Blackhawk's first appearance was not renewed the characters should actually be free to use. Plastic Man was only renewed from issue 29 -64.

The simple fact is that the Quality books were not renewed. You can look at the copyrights office renewal records and see that for yourself. Anything that was not renewed 28 years after its publication fell into the public domain as that was the law at the time. So when DC bought Quality they had already failed to secure their rights when the books were not renewed in the past. However, DC comics does hold trademarks to a few of the predominate Quality characters such as Blackhawk and Plastic Man. So in a nutshell DC does not own the copyrights, but they DO hold a couple of trademarks. The AC version of Phantom Lady was renamed Nightveil by Bill Black to simply maneuver around litigation with DC who would have actually lost in court since the Phantom Lady is Public Domain, the cost of simply fighting against DC in court has sunk many comic companies regardless of the winning or losing.

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/cce/firstperiod.html

@fesak said:

I'm not following, we already have pages for the original versions of those characters, what he's suggesting is splitting up them into golden age/modern versions, like if we were to split up Namor's page into a Timely version and a Marvel version. Not only is it against site rules, it doesn't even make sense.

A link please to the Quality comics version of the Ray?

No need to split Namor at all since he would be the Same character as Timely became Marvel.

DC acquired a couple of Quality trademarks not the same thing.

How does it not make sense??

#10 Edited by fesak (7058 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the lecture.

Bottom line is the rules doesn't allow for separate pages, doesn't matter if public domain or not. There was a huge debate over this last year when we split up some of the mantle characters. However this wasn't approved by those in charge, which lead to some people quitting altogether.

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#11 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

Sure.Sure.

Fair enough. Bottom line is fine with me tbh. Doesn't matter if it had a different original publisher or is Public Domain? That makes sense. Fine.

Huge Debate? People quitting? I see this is a minefield and see this is a policy not a debate.

#12 Edited by fesak (7058 posts) - - Show Bio

Sense or not, it would help if we finally got the ability to set multiple publishers for characters.

Don't really know why this hasn't been implemented yet, it's something that's been requested since day one.

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#13 Posted by wmwadeii (3249 posts) - - Show Bio

I did notice the new site does list any character that has appeared in a comic publisher's book on the sidebar now. Example on Qualities page Plastic Man shows as a character even though it is associated to DC now. I guess another factor would be should the character's publisher be changed due to reprints. For example IDW has reprinted the Dreamwave Armada/Energon series, but has not used the characters themselves, I personally have left these characters under Dreamwave when updating their profiles.

Then we have all the alternate versions of Crime Syndicate of America who are supposed to be Alternate versions of the main DC characters. I believe they have their own page because their history is so different, but the same could be said about most of the Marvel Ultimate characters or as @x35 always points out Sabretooth and Nightcrawler whose AoA characters had a significant role outside of their own universe to include being involved in 616.

#14 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

@wmwadeii: I wouldn't say Ultimate characters deserve their own page, they basically all exist in their own pocket universe. If someone wants to see Reed Richards appearances, his page should appropriately reflect that he's in the Ultimate comics a lot rather than make a separate page just because his Ultimate version is vastly different. In the case of those two X-Men characters it's more that both of them have spent extended periods outside of their own reality and even in the mainstream reality. But I'm willing to accept they share a page simply as a means of saying "Look, you can't make a page for Mangaverse Storm" or whatever.