A New Rights Issue Waiting To Happen – Namor, The Sub-Mariner?

250px-MoPixFunWkly1So we have rumours of a Namor The Sub Mariner movie planned, wither at Universal of Marvel depending who is talking.

But here is a very interesting point to touch about a supposed Namor movie. He is one of the rare Marvel characters that has an actual, 100% solid rights-reversion case.

Here's how it goes.

The first appearance of Namor was not, in fact, Marvel Comics #1 but the Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly book, a cinema giveaway comic from another publisher.

When that failed, the first story was slightly redone and published in Marvel Comics #1 in 1939 by Timely, the precursor publisher to Marvel.

So, like Superman, it has a solid claim of being created outside Marvel and later sold to the publisher.

But unlike Superman, as far as I can tell, Sub Mariner creator Bill Everett's heirs never announced a claim to the character, or issues reversion paperwork to Marvel.

Marc Toberoff? Are you listening? I know you are busy with the Jack Kirby case and the Superme Court but it might be one to look into…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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