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    Superman

    Character » Superman appears in 19057 issues.

    Sent to Earth as an infant from the dying planet Krypton, Kal-El was adopted by the loving Kent family and raised in America's heartland as Clark Kent. Using his immense solar-fueled powers, he became Superman to defend mankind against all manner of threats while championing truth, justice, and the American way!

    Should I Send This? Part Deux

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    Darkmount1

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    #1  Edited By Darkmount1

    A while back, I posted a draft of a letter I was (and am still on the fence of) sending to the courthouse where the Superman legal battle is taking place, with instructions to have it read aloud to both parties. I have addressed most of the concerns some members here expressed over the wording and phrasing of the letter, so I've made a few adjustmens. Please rate this new version, and tell me if I should or shouldn't send it. The goal I have in mind is to instill guilt in both sides, and see what happens. Again, I'll state that one part of my inspiration for this was the real-life story of Samantha Smith, the young girl who in the 1980's wrote to the then-Soviet Communist Party General Secretary, Yuri Andropov, over her fear of nuclear war during the later stages of the Cold War. She ended up being personally invited by the guy to visit Russia as a response. If someone could do that to try and end a conflict, why couldn't I? Here is the letter:

    To the Parties present in the fight for the rights to Superman-

    I hope you’re happy. Your little war over the copyright of Superman has resulted in the disillusionment of the many fans of the character that’ve followed him for years, AND may have been a factor in the decision of the big line wide re-launch by DC Comics, something that has also caused a great deal of controversy with those same fans (despite its successes so far). I’m sorry if there isn’t a lot of legal knowledge in my background, but I have seen the voices of those who are utterly disgusted with the way this case has been going on, something that shouldn’t have gone on this long. You’ve ended up like that infamous rascal of a stockbroker Gordon Gekko of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Newsflash, ladies and gentlemen: GREED IS NOT GOOD.

    I don’t know why either of you want MORE control over the guy, but because of your legal dispute, you’re costing the reputation of the character its SENSE, SANITY, and INTEGRITY. Have you seen the way Superman has been underappreciated and made fun of by many fans in the past decade? Your little fiasco in 2005 with the whole Superboy copyright issue also didn’t help. Your legal battles are wreaking havoc with the way Superman is currently perceived, and it’s not making people happy. The new version of Superman is now out on the shelves, in DC’s re-launched titles such as Justice League, Action Comics (volume 2), and Superman (volume 3), and most fans are still completely dissatisfied with the new design of the Superman costume—many even accuse this legal dispute of being the cause for Superman being “re-booted”! Joanne Siegel made a sensible argument, but did either of you listen? NO. This lawsuit, this whole circus, this mockery of justice, isn’t fair to anyone, not to the fans, not to the people who aren’t fans, not to people who just know Superman as a pop culture icon.

    What would the people, even the ones who’ve never picked up a comic book in their lives, think of all this? Don’t you think they would’ve gotten tired of it by now after so long? Look at the monumental achievements this character has already made, both in real life and in fiction: the first volume of Action Comics, the title he first appeared in, is now one of the longest running comic book series in history, at nine-hundred and four issues; a town in Illinois is THE Superman destination of America; Superman finally married Lois Lane in 1997, and they’ve been one of comics’ most successful couples for two decades; Smallville, the television series based around a young Superman that just recently ended its run, is now the longest-running comic book-based television show, and has garnered multiple awards; and now he’s getting a chance to make up for that not-too-successful Superman Returns film from five years back, thanks to the man who brought new life to Batman in film. Superman is nearly seen and admired all over the world (even an idiot will know who Superman is); if either of you pushes to win your legal war, do you really want to take all that made the Man of Steel so great away from us, the people who have followed the character, bought his merchandise, watched every television show and film based on him, for NEARLY OVER A CENTURY????

    If that is your game, then history won’t remember either of you as the home of Superman (DC/Warner Bros.) or the families that created him, but as “the company that defaced its own property” (if DC/Warner Bros. wins) or “those money-hungry heirs” (if the families win). But there still is time to do something different, to end this quarrel once and for all: JUST SETTLE ON EQUAL TERMS. “Play nice”, be COMPLETELY transparent and honest; work out a FAIR AND FLAWLESS royalties deal, start a legal precedent called “equal copyright law”, or something, something that is NOT counterproductive. Otherwise, go ahead, let the Man of Steel fall into the public domain; let the comic book industry—the superhero aspect of it, at least—die because of that; let Superman belong to everybody; let the world continue to drift into a downward spiral of continued disillusionment with superheroes, anything to continue twisting the proverbial Kryptonite knife in our backs.

    Growing up, I watched the Superman cartoon series made by Warner Brothers in 1996; a while later I began to read some of the stories created by Siegel and Shuster. Since that time, I’ve always associated the Man of Steel with two entities, BOTH of whom were always present on the same page in a comic book: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, AND DC Comics, not one or the other. I want that imagery to stay that way for good, and I won’t take no for an answer. If you refuse, you’ll be hearing from me with a vengeance; THIS I promise. All I ask is this: I want my Superman safe and sound, safe from ANY legal action, any statute, code or charter; I want both parties to have a peaceful and tranquil co-ownership where the company can continue to publish him, yet the families of the character’s creators can survive financially (even if they do have jobs that provide); I want quality Superman stories told, both in print and in film or television, without the threat of any legal or corporate speed bumps hidden under the floorboard like the Tell-Tale Heart; and finally, I want my Superman to continue to be an inspiration to all people around the world, untarnished by a black and desolate legal legacy forever hanging around his neck, like the chunk of Kryptonite on Christopher Reeve in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie. You heard me right—I want MY Superman back. So again, I strongly urge you, END this petty squabble once and for all, while the character still has an ounce of dignity and respect, and while you yourselves still have an ounce of them as well. Think of the children and the young at heart; think of the generations to come who have yet to experience the phenomena and legend of the Man of Steel. PLEASE, I beg you, BOTH of you. Ask yourselves this: WHAT WOULD SUPERMAN DO?

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    ssejllenrad

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    #2  Edited By ssejllenrad

    Ummm.... It would be better if it was not one big tiring paragraph.

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    azza04

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    #3  Edited By azza04

    Don't send it, the new Superman is good and it's been two issues so far. Let them have the old Superman of the past.

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    Darkmount1

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    #4  Edited By Darkmount1

    @azza04:

    I'm not trying to disrupt anything--I just want them to stop this mucked-up excuse for a lawsuit. It's gotten out of hand.

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    Darkmount1

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    #5  Edited By Darkmount1

    @ssejllenrad:

    I didn't intend for it to look like that. Something was up with the text edit thing I was using. I'll adjust it if you want.

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    ssejllenrad

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    #6  Edited By ssejllenrad

    @Darkmount1: Well I read it just fine. I just think it'll draw some people away as it looks a bit cramped the way it's presented in the post. The content's fine if you ask me.

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    MetropolisKid41

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    #7  Edited By MetropolisKid41

    Good letter very valid points, I fear it will fall on deaf ears though. The Siegel heirs already make a ton in licensing and royalty fees as is. They have cities naming streets after their ancestor and his name stamped on anything Superman related, what else could they ask for? More money, because they're greedy money grubbers. They're ancestor did something great, created an American Pop culture icon that spread as hero to the world, if having everyone acknowledge that and get rewarded damn good off of it isn't enough and they feel that they, a small group of people feel the need to steal a character and hero that belongs and is adored by millions worldwide, then they are nothing but a bunch of greedy, selfish, self-centered jerks, who are too busy trying to mooch off their ancestor's greatness to realize that they are representing the complete opposite of what the character stands for.

    End rant.

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    Darkmount1

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    #8  Edited By Darkmount1

    @MetropolisKid41:

    Exactly why I intend to send this anyway. I am also going to include a small note--"Not convinced? Then why don't we all settle this in a proper arena--a debate over "Who really gets Superman?". Unlike presidential debates these days, this will be a calm, cool, and collected debate, with no attacks, no sharp tongues, just our wits. What do you say?" I figure this way, it'd open up the subject of the case itself and the reasons why each party wants the character to proper debate.

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    Comics4Me1800

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    #9  Edited By Comics4Me1800

    Wow. Absolutely send this.

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    tamaranorbust

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    #10  Edited By tamaranorbust

    Hey Darkmount, if you want my response send me a copy to my email and I'll correspond that way count.theways@gmail.com thx ToB

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    Darkmount1

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    #11  Edited By Darkmount1

    @Comics4Me1800:

    Thank you! My first YES on the matter.

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    Darkmount1

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    #12  Edited By Darkmount1

    @tamaranorbust: I would, but I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to internet security and such. Is there a reason you want to respond via email?

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    tamaranorbust

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    #13  Edited By tamaranorbust

    Hey Darkmount,  
     
    I only suggested email b/c it's long letter. Normally I'd make comments about edits on something like this outside a public forum. But if you want it here, that's np. I'd pull back from the angry fan tone that tells the parties to grow up, especially the accusatory stuff like "I hope you're happy." I'd avoid words spelt in all caps. And I would move the last part of the letter to the beginning, to explain why Superman inspired you and what he means to fans and why that's also important (and always has been the most important thing) to the parties in the case.  
     
    Finally, I would change the tone a bit, moving away from online rant toward a more formal letter. Just my opinion, since you asked. - If you want it read seriously, that's what I think you should do.

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    Darkmount1

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    #14  Edited By Darkmount1

    @tamaranorbust: Okay, most of the stuff you suggested I can do, but that last part--where in the letter can I change it from online rant to formal letter?

    This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

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