By Lauren Davis

Mon Oct 20 2008

Superman v. Wonderman: Hoping to capitalize on the success of Superman, Fox Publications commissioned Will Eisner to create a similar hero. Thus, both Wonderman and a lawsuit were born.

Wonderman’s Story: Fred Carson was a mild-mannered engineer who met a yogi while visiting Tibet. The yogi gave Carson a magic ring, which endowed him with super strength, super speed, invulnerability, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single… well, you get it.

Outcome: The case found its way to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The opinion, written by August Hand, carefully compared the panels in Wonder Man’s first issue to those in Action Comics #1-11. Fox Publishing tried to get around the comics’ obvious similarities by arguing that proto-Supermen went all the way back to the legends of Hercules, but the court didn’t buy it. They ruled that Eisner’s comic went beyond use of the same archetype and enjoined Wonderman after only a single issue.

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