Gerry Conway, writer of tons of comic books and co-creator of tons of comic book characters (including Firestorm), wrote a great post on his Tumblr about DC Entertainment’s “creator equity participation,” which paid the creators of characters whenever their characters were used on other media.
Except when DC Comics became DC Entertainment, that all changed. Now, Conway writes, when Power Girl is used, he doesn’t get anything because Power Girl is a “derivative character.”
Everyone should read that post because it goes into a lot of detail, but the gist is this: DC Entertainment has created a Catch-22.
Let’s say DC agrees you created a character, like, for example, Killer Frost. In your original creation, Killer Frost had a secret identity named Crystal Frost. Later, a “new” Killer Frost is created for the New 52, and this new Killer Frost has a secret identity named Caitlin Snow.
You’ll be pleased to hear (I hope) that DC agrees I and Al Milgrom are the co-creators of all manifestations of “Killer Frost.” We are also considered the co-creators of Crystal Frost. And, of course, by the twisted logic that credits Power Girl as a derivation of Superman, Al and I must also be the creators of Killer Frost’s New 52 secret identity, Caitlin Snow.
No. We’re not. And DC insists we are not. And I agree with DC.
Caitlin Snow was created by Sterling Gates and Derlis Santacruz.
Except, according to DC Entertainment, she wasn’t. Because she was “derived” from the original creation of Killer Frost.
Which means Al Milgrom and I created her.
Except, according to DC Entertainment, we didn’t.
Nobody created her.
Or, rather, nobody gets credit and creator equity participation for creating her.