Last weeks posting of Morlock 2001 prompted several comments on the ownership of the character, which got me thinking about what do comics companies think about using public domain characters.
Today, Dynamite seems to be having a good bit of success with their Project Superpowers, but what was the attitude of comics companies 40 years ago? How much consideration was copyright and trademark given back in the 50's and 60's? Is the answer in DC's introduction of their version of Cat-Man?
The DC version first appeared in Detective Comics 311, published in 1963.
Holyoke Publishing, the creators of the original Cat-Man stopped publishing in 1950.
So, really only 13 years had passed before DC felt it was safe to use the name and the character, in a limited fashion, which could be argued as parody.
Today, the DC Cat-Man has gone through a reintroduction into the DC universe courtesy of Brad Meltzer's Green Arrow story and a revitalization under the pen of Gail Simone in Villain's United and Secret Six.
So with that as an example, DC is having some luck reusing Public Domain heroes too, albeit in a round about fashion. ;)
Here are two more issues of the Holyoke version of Cat-Man.
[ Cat-Man 18 ]
[ Cat-Man 25 ]