How Marvel and DC Are Dominating Comics
DC and Marvel continue to make waves and dominate market share
We all know that Marvel and DC Comics are the comic book world giants. They’ve got different styles of villains, superheroes, and storylines. Well, different character traits and personalities, but very similar, if not the same, powers.
So, it’s really no surprise that they’re dominating comics.
While the rights to superheroes shouldn’t be copyrighted, it seems that these two comic mega-giants claim to “own” superhero rights.
A Superhero By Any Other Name Is a Superhero, Right? It’s Debatable
In fact, things came to a head back in 2013 when Ray Felix decided to create his own superheroes. Ray grew up idolizing DC and Marvel stars, but when he tried to create his own, the companies he adored quickly turned against him.
It all started when Ray registered his very own online comic series at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The comic conglomerates (aka DC and Marvel) vehemently opposed the move, claiming to own the trademark on the actual word, superhero. A word!
According to Ray, the organizations were “holding the word hostage,” something he thought was an infringement of his First Amendment rights.
Ray isn’t alone. In fact, he’s one of more than 30 people the comic companies have stopped from using the word “superhero.”
Where Does the S-Word Come From, Really?
Interestingly, the word can be dated back to 1917 and, as far as we know, doesn’t belong to any one person or entity.
Marvel and DC’s legal representatives seem to disagree. They say that while anyone can reference superheroes, when a person attempts to trademark it, it’s a sensitive issue.
Back in 1979, DC and Marvel joined up to request joint ownership of the S-word. Their belief is that when we hear the word, we think of their characters. The argument actually led to them registering the word as a descriptive trademark for toys and comics in the early 1980s.
On the other hand, intellectual property lawyers have said that this joint ownership violates basic trademark laws, with a trademark essentially standing for one source or origin, not two. In other words, if we understand “superhero” to predominantly come from two companies, it’s not a trademark, it’s just the S-word.
Whether or not the word was incorrectly trademarked remains to be seen, but it hasn’t stopped the comic book mega giants forging ahead.
Enough Superheros for 3,000 Years’ Worth of Movies
Yes, you read that right. These comic book bigwigs could carry on at their merry pace and not run out of material for a long, long time to come.
Hollywood, pretty much like anything else that falls under the pop culture umbrella, works in cyclical trends. For some time now, superhero films have dominated the box office – big time.
Will it always be that way? Steven Spielberg doesn’t think so. In fact, he reckons there will indeed come a day when these incredibly popular superhero and villain stories will be replaced with some other genre that some up-and-coming filmmaker out there might already be thinking about. Imagine!
One thing’s for sure though, that day is not today, and possibly not anytime too soon. DC and Marvel are the major sources of superheroes. Still in doubt? They plan to release in excess of 19 movies in the next couple of years. That’s not even taking into considerations titles like Bloodshot, Alita: Battle Angel, and the incredibly popular X-Men franchise – you know, those non-DC or Marvel properties that make their way to our big screens.
Yes, Thousands of Movies for Years!
Even without other characters and comic book companies, DC and Marvel could carry on producing movies the way they are now and keep fans enthralled with lasers and capes for not just two or three years. Oh no. 3,400 years to be precise.
How do we get to that number? We took a look at an animated history of comic books on Wired. The online publication did the math based on the more than 15,000 characters owned by DC and Marvel. The results? There are literally generations worth of material to go on.
If you’re a superhero fanatic, that’s amazing news, though, isn’t it? I mean, you’re not likely to see the end of the superhero craze anytime soon, even in your lifetime.
The only question that remains is whether or not anyone else will get a look-in!
Check out the latest DC and Marvel movies reviews at Crazy Nate today.