Free Speech Infringed? Don’t Call a Superhero

From A World Without Superheroes, Vol. 2, by Ray Felix and Marcus Jones
Language is a powerful weapon. Use just one wrong word and… WHAM! The force of a thousand crime-fighting avengers comes crashing down on you. According to a recent story in the New York Daily News, that’s what happened to comic book creator Ray Felix two years ago.

See, in 2011 Ray Felix created a comic with the S-word in its title. No, not that S-word. The one he used was “superhero.”

Little did he know, Marvel and DC Comics trademarked the word “superhero.” Now they’re suing him for the right to use it.

As Felix told Crisp Comics blog in January:

At first they seemed to be friendly, but once I brought into question their limitations of the word Super Hero and presented my right to use my published mark, their lawyer began to grunt and lose patience in our conversations and then began making sharp remarks.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word “superhero” entered into use in 1917, which means that neither Marvel nor DC could have coined it. Still, that’s small consolation for Ray Felix, who’s still waiting for a resolution to this legal dilemma. In meantime, if he needs help who’s he gonna call? Ghostbusters? No way…you know they’re trademarked too.

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