Sunday, May 13, 2018

Marvel--Use Them Or Lose Them!

I haven't opined about this in awhile...but that actually makes these thoughts even more relevant:

Marvel/Disney is sitting on a crapton of intellectual properties that they're simply not using.

Both the Malibu "Ultraverse" and the Crossgen universe, and their dozens of heroes, are simply lying fallow.

Now, there very well may be reasons for that. Marvel bigwigs have, several times over the years, vaguely hinted at mysterious "contractual reasons" and "dirty laundry" that prevents them from utilizing the Malibu IP.

But that didn't prevent Marvel's pretty strong attempts (discussed in the first half of this post) to integrate Malibu into their multiverse.

The claim that Marvel bought Malibu merely to absorb their coloring technology has been pretty much debunked. And even if it were true, that's no reason to just toss all of these characters into some deep memory hole, never to be seen again.

And obviously, Disney now owns Marvel, and therefore all of Malibu. And of course, Disney has all the lawyers and the money in the world, and so should be able (if they so desired) to untangle these issues (or even pay the allegedly required outrageous royalties to the original creators, which is what some claim to be the issue).

I mean, given Disney's success with the Marvel movie franchise, it seems odd that they wouldn't try to do something with these properties--especially since, by this point, they must be vulnerable to losing the trademarks.

As far as I know, the Ultraverse stuff has never even been collected--even the stories crossing over with Marvel that were, at least at the time, considered canon.

Of course, Marvel did re-purpose some of the names/trademarks (Exiles).

And the did use Topaz (seemingly a version of the one from Ultraforce) in Thor: Ragnarok. Testing the waters, perhaps?

And then there's Crossgen.

Disney wanting to license some of Crossgen's properties for books/movies, but when the company went bankrupt, The House Of The Mouse just bought them lock, stock and barrel for an even million dollars. That's how Disney rolls.

And again, the vast, vast majority of these properties are just gathering intellectual dust.

Back in 2011-12, Marvel tried a faint revival, with mini-series for Ruse and Sigil. Allegedly more were planned, but those were dropped after the first two didn't sell very well.

But man, there is a huge panoply of diverse and exciting characters at Marvel's disposal. But unused, they wait...

Now, I'm no lawyer, But my understanding is that if you don't actually use a trademark--that is actually publish something using that trademark, in the case of comics--you can be declared to have abandoned that trademark, and it's available for others to use. See Captain Marvel, for example.

So, if they're still feeling salty about SHAZAM, DC should try to put out a comic titled Rune, or Prime, or Ultraforce, or Scion, or Sojourn--if for no other reason than to tweak Disney/Marvel. (Then again, DC doesn't seem interested in using a large percentage of the IP they already have. So IDW, maybe? Dynamite?)

If nothing else, it might motivate Marvel to clean out the attic, as it were, on the two universes worth of IP they're just letting fester.

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