Major Spoilers Podcast 380

This week on the show: Galaxies are far, far, away… Dark Horse and Marvel (and BOOM!, and Image, and DC, too), Spawn vs. Gaiman… SHAZAM!


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Show Notes after the Jump!

Spawn Lawsuit Settled

FROM THE PAGES OF WARLORD OF MARS! Before John Carter another earthman visited the Red planet: Lt. Gullivar Jones. Now these legendary warriors are brought together for the first time! When Lt. Guillivar Jones happens upon a mysterious old man with a beautiful carpet he soon finds himself transported through space and time to the planet Mars where he meets the beautiful Princess Hera and a ferocious tribe of Red Martians bent on capturing her!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Writer: Matt Forbeck
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Cover: Aleksi Briclot
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Get ready, Magic: The Gathering fans, there’s a new Planeswalker in town! In search of greater magical knowledge and on the hunt for the people who destroyed his town, Dack Fayden is the greatest thief in the Multiverse. When he gets his hands on his latest prize, though, he has no idea where it will lead him—or to who!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

FF #14
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Mike Choi, Juan Bobllio
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
ALL HOPE LIES IN DOOM PART 3 “Help me Doctor Doom, you’re my only hope.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

Jimmy calls in to review Irredeemable #34 from BOOM! Studios

Rating: ★★★★★

Major Spoilers Poll of the Week
A lot has already been said about Geoff Johns announcement that DC is changing Captain Marvel’s name to Shazam.
But, we like to draw things out…

[poll id=”218”]


Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago – Volume 5
The classic-era Star Wars adventures conclude in this fifth and final volume of Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago…. All your favorite characters are here – Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewie, the droids, and more – bringing peace to a recently liberated galaxy, and finding new troubles confronting them! With nearly six hundred pages of material, this massive omnibus collects Marvel Comics” Star Wars #86-107, their final US-published issues!

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  1. Great episode, listened on the train into work!

    Some comments on the Gaiman v. McFarlane case… it actually wasn’t a work-for-hire situation, which would have made it infinitely more straight-forwards (Gaiman would have lost), because their agreement was oral and Gaiman wasn’t acting as an employee. The simple lesson there is that all creators / co-creators need to know your rights and get them in writing (unless 10 years of negotiations and legal wrangling sounds fun to you). The sum of their agreement was an oral promise to treat Gaiman “better than the big guys” and clearly there wasn’t a meeting of the minds as to what that meant! But that’s not really material just a cautionary tale…

    What’s legally interesting is how this case fleshes out what may or may not be protectable in terms of characters (I hedge with “mays” because jurisdiction matters… the 7th Circuit presides over Wisconsin, so the weight of its IP opinions aren’t going to be as persuasive or influential as, say, the 9th Circuit with the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood- or the 2nd Circuit’s Manhattan publishing, etc)… basically, addressing two questions:

    1. Whether a jointly created derivative of McFarlane’s Spawn- Medieval Spawn- could count as a separate copyrightable character that Gaiman could jointly own.

    2. Whether a similar derivative of the derivative could escape liability by claiming to be a derivative of the original and / or being considered a separate character.

    According to the court, the answer to 1 is Yes (appellate) and the answer to 2 is No (district). So, even though Medieval Spawn was derived from Spawn, Gaiman could still co-own Medieval Spawn as a separately copyrightable character. Meaning Medieval Spawn was different enough from Spawn. McFarlane tried to argue, then, that Dark Ages Spawn was just another variation of Spawn- different enough to be separably copyrightable- however the court found Dark Ages Spawn to be infringing on Medieval Spawn. Meaning Dark Ages Spawn was not different enough from Medieval Spawn. And while it does provide some guidelines on how different characters need to be, the interesting thing about this relates to the wonky ownership and its potential application to the Superman case.

    The idea is that, irrespective of any reversion of original copyright in Superman to the heirs, that the current modern Superman is sufficiently different and distinct to create a separate copyrightable entity from the original… and this would be jointly co-owned by DC and the heirs. However, this case would also mean that minor shifts- like changing the underpants or not calling Smallville’s Clark Kent Superboy- would not let DC escape the joint ownership with the heirs / liability of that modern version just through such changes. In sum, IF this case ruling applied to Superman, then DC would still co-own modern Superman… but also be unable to escape the heirs (and vice versa, the heirs couldn’t go and sell Superman to Marvel, for example).

    (btw, if you’re wondering about the earlier Superman ruling where the heirs get Action #1 elements and DC gets developments afterwards… that’s not going to stand, that was just the judge’s way of splitting the baby to force both parties to settle, both parties are currently appealing that ruling and no higher court would actually affirm it because it’s impossible to enforce / calculate damages on)

  2. I’m thinking The Boy needs to be on the show more often… “BUT BUT BUT! GEOFF JOHNS!” is classic. He should do a riff on the ol’ “KIRKMAN! GOTTA POOP!” joke.

  3. I’m surprised you guys don’t know about / haven’t followed Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The people who are the main designers, 38 Studios, is a company founded by Curt Schilling (who I guess is a pretty hardcore gamer), Todd McFarlane (art) (why I’m surprised you guys haven’t heard about the game), and R. A. Salvatore (content). They have designed a document that covers 10,000 years of history for Amalur and are working on an MMOG (codenamed “Copernicus”.) They bought a studio to bring under their wings and make a single player game in that same universe, which is what Reckoning became. As Rodrigo read on the podcast, the lead developer for Reckoning has worked on past Elder Scrolls games. So what we’ve wound up with is a classless game where you can build into effectively 3 talent trees, and depending on how deep you go into each tree you unlock different destinies as you go. Those are sort of like classes, which give different bonuses to skills or abilities, but this allows players to build how they like THEN choose a class based on that. (You can respect by seeing a ‘Fateweaver’.) It’s a very action oriented game, and the combination of everyone’s talents make it a very exciting title. (A developer video stated that the ‘speed run through’ (going through and doing every quest without stealth and skipping through all dialog) was over 200 hours to complete. :D )

    It is due out Tuesday for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. There is already a demo out and I highly recommend people go check it out. (The PC demo is via Origin or Steam, your choice. If you go PC I highly recommend you use a gamepad. It’s a lot more difficult to play without, IMO.)

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