Best Public Domain Characters

The coolest public domain characters

List items

Posted by DemonicBlade
Edited by DarkKnightForever

Plastic Man is a Public Domain!!! ..Are u sure??

Posted by elderfingolfin

@DarkKnightForever: Sorry, I wrongly added Plastic Man

Posted by robin_smith

@elderfingolfin: Actually, plastic man IS public domain, as long as you base it on stuff that appeared before he was in dc comics. Much like the wizard of oz, the ruby slippers are not public domain but the oz books (first 33) are.

Although, sadly Zorro, isn't.

Posted by Null_and_Void

I'm pretty sure the Creature from the Black Lagoon is still a property owned by Universal Studios.

Posted by DanNorder

Zorro most definitely is public domain. Even had a court case proving it.

Posted by ElBeDesigner

The copyright for Sherlock Holmes (and Dr. Watson) is owned by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate, until 2023. Other ACD characters are public domain though.

Posted by amazing_webhead

I'm pretty sure the Creature from the Black Lagoon is still a property owned by Universal Studios.

Is Lawrence Talbot?

Edited by thetrellan

John Carter of Mars has reverted from Disney back to the Burroughs estate. I can understand the confusion- after all both Disney and Dynamite were publishing John Carter at the same time just recently- but just because something is old doesn't make it public domain.

Of course, public domain can still get you sued over copyrights. You need to reference only source material, not later adaptations. That's why, when Marvel first began making Conan comics, Roy Thomas had to take liberties with gaps between original works of REH that were filled by L. Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter. Later Marvel obtained the rights from those later writers, and adapted those stories at that time, effectively retconning Thomas' material. But of course anyone else wishing to write those later stories must also obtain those rights.

As far as I'm concerned, Conan the Barbarian is a better work than John Carter of Mars anyway, and should take his place on this list.