Comics

The Wisdom of Solomon Is No Match for the Nightmare of Trademark Law

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?DC Comics announced that when Captain Marvel joins the DCnU later this year, he will actually be The Superhero Formerly Known as Captain Marvel. DC is officially changing his name to Shazam, so they no longer have to worry about all the trademark infringement insanity of having a character named after your main industry rival.

I’m actually 100% behind this. As DC muckety-muck Geoff Johns correctly told Newsarama, most non-comics fans think the character’s name is Shazam, anyways. Plus, thanks to that same trademark law, DC has been prohibited from calling him “Captain Marvel” on everything that matters anyways. The comics are always titled Shazam. The live-action TV show in the ’70s was called Shazam. The Return of Black Adam DVD cartoon was headlined by Superman and “Shazam.” It’s a move that makes sense on almost every level, and it’s kind of shocking it took DC the 30 years since they licensed the Fawcett comics library to do it.

Of course, renaming Captain Marvel to Shazam will almost certainly ruin some comics nerd’s life, but we can only hope he puts his rant on YouTube for all to see. Thanks to SlyDante for the tip. (Via Comics Alliance)

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.