Superboy Finally Flies Free Of Legal Trouble: DC/Warner Bros. Officially Own Boy Of Steel

The door is now open for more of this kinkiness.

Superman may claim he stands for truth, justice and the American way, but in reality he’s seen his fair share of legal trouble. For decades now the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel has been viciously battling Warner Bros. for the rights to the character.

Back in 2001 the rights to Superman himself were more or less settled, but battles continued to be fought over Superboy. Why did Warners own Superman, but not Superboy? Why were they even considered different characters? Well, it’s complicated…

Basically, back in the late 1930s, Siegel pitched the idea of Superboy to his overlords at DC Comics and had it rejected. Years later in 1943, DC would publish the first Superboy story without consulting Siegel (he was stationed overseas with the Army). Because he hadn’t sold Superboy to DC (remember, they initially rejected his idea) or created the character under a typical work-for-hire contract, the door was open for Siegel (and his heirs) to lay claim to Superboy. There’s more to it of course, but that’s the seed of why the Siegel family has greater claim to Superboy than Superman.

This legal wrangling over Superboy is of course why Superboy TV show Smallville went 10 freakin’ seasons without ever dropping the name “Superboy” or showing Clark Kent in costume, and why recent comic book Superboys are always androids or from another dimension or whatever.

Well, anyways, it looks like the long battle may finally be over — federal Judge Otis Wright III has awarded DC Comics and Warner Bros. full rights to Superboy. Don’t feel too badly for the Siegels though, they get $500,000 a year over 10 years and 6 percent of all Superman/Superboy gross revenue going forward. So in other words, they may have lost to the rights to Superman and Superboy, but they’re going to have a very nice payday coming once Man of Steel hits theatres.

via Deadline Hollywood & Comics Alliance