Here’s one for Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain: Did you know that a mother can be considered to be “derivative” of her own daughter? At least she can if you’re a lawyer for DC Entertainment. Because the aforementioned miracle of metaphysics is part of the company’s rationale for refusing to pay writer Alan Brennert for the use of one of his characters in its upcoming TV series Gotham (which gets a sneak preview Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con). Some quick backstory: Back in 1981, when he was writing for DC, Brennert created the character of Barbara Kean Gordon, wife of police commissioner Jim Gordon. “In the 30 years since a ‘Mrs. James Gordon’ last appeared in a DC comic, in 1951, no one had ever thought of introducing a wife, even in flashback,” Brennert explains via email. “After my story, Barbara Kean Gordon has appeared 52 times since in comics, and in two movies. “ Yet not a penny has been paid to Brennert for those appearances, and current DC management says he won’t see any equity in the character as depicted on Gotham. The company’s stance is that she’s a “derivative” character based on her daughter – Barbara Gordon, […]
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