It’s been seven (!) years since Neil Gaiman prevailed in a lawsuit against Todd McFarlane over the rights to characters he created in SPAWN, but this is one of those undead cases that still rises from the grave. According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal, Gaiman has asked for another trial to settle the issue of how much money he’s owed for these characters. But Round Two isn’t a go yet, as the judge has merely called for a evidentiary hearing on June 14.
In a written opinion, Crabb wrote that Gaiman has a plausible claim with respect to the three newer characters: Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany. She said each of the characters are visually similar to the others and have similar back stories.
Angela, Tiffany and Domina “are warrior angels with voluptuous physiques, long hair and mask-like eye makeup,” Crabb wrote. “Their ‘uniforms’ consist of thong bikinis, garters, wide weapon belts, elbow-length gloves and poorly adjusted armor bras.”
Well, you gotta love Judge Crabb already just for her powers of observation.
The original suit involved the characters Medieval Spawn, Angela and Cogliostro, which Gaiman was found to have copyright interest in. However, while Gaiman won a settlement, it has never been paid; thus the reincarnation of the suit. More particulars of the original case are here. Of course, the rights to Miracle/Marvelman are also somehow involved in this, but we gave up trying to figure that one out a million years ago. Kimota!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.