Frequently Asked Questions and other notes

Can you send me images of...

I get a lot of people requesting images of various characters off of me. Simple point is, images take up a lot of memory space, and I rarely keep any spare images of any characters other than what is used on the site itself - WYSIWYG. Because my site isn't devoted to just one character, or one company's characters, I don't have galleries of images tucked away somewhere. Due to space restrictions, much of my comic collection is in storage some four hundred miles from me, so the odds on my having a particular title to hand so that I can scan extra images from is also very remote. That's part of why certain entries remain unfinished for lengthy periods - they'll be finished when I get a chance to retrieve those comics long enough to scan and dissect the relevant bits, and then the comics will be returned to storage, to make room for the next batch. I'm getting four or five requests every day now for one character or another, and I just can't scan stuff for everyone. As for the images already on the site, I rarely mind someone else using them SO LONG AS YOU ASK FIRST. DO NOT HOTLINK DIRECTLY TO MY IMAGES, and DON'T USE IMAGES FROM MY SITE ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT ASKING FIRST! Though I don't own the copyright to the images, it is nonetheless only good manners to ask before taking something from another person's site for your own. If I got the image off another site (usually I remember to credit that site, though I sometimes slip), go ask that site for permission first, and if you are going to use the images elsewhere on the net remember to credit them as the original source of the images. If you really need images and it's for a good enough cause, then ask, and even if I don't have any myself, I might be able to point you in the right direction. But anyone who just goes "Send me every image of Lady Death / Wolverine / Captain Britain / Znaid / whoever" is just going to be told, truthfully, that I don't have any more images than what is on the site, sorry.

Is such-and-such a character public domain?

Some people have asked me if certain characters are still under copyright to anyone, or if they are public domain so that anyone can publish stories about them. Simple point - any character created less than fifty years ago is almost certainly still under copyright. Anyone created more than fifty years ago, and who hasn't seen print in more than fifty years might have become public domain. However, I am no expert on copyright laws, or how it pertains to the characters on this site. My opinion as to who might or might not be public domain will get you nowhere in a court of law, should you decide to use a character listed here and the owner then decides to sue you. If you really want to use someone on this site in your own stories, then you'll have to do the research into whether or not they can be used yourself.

What I will say, since so many people seem to be mixed up about it, is that there's a huge difference in practice been copyright and trademarked. In many cases both apply - Mickey Mouse, for example, is both. But there are instances where only one or the other holds true. Importantly, copyright doesn't just expire because a character hasn't been used in the last few years, or even decades. I've encountered cases of people using characters in new comics because they were last in a published story (let's say) twenty years ago, thinking that meant they were now available for anyone to use. I've even been told by some people "I own the copyright now, because I've published new stories with the character." That's not how it works. The copyright only lapses after a set amount of time, and you don't gain ownership of the character just because you made new stories, even if it has lapsed. You'd own those new stories (though much good that will do you if the copyright on the characters in the story are still in force), but not the character in question, and so would have no legal right to republish the story. Even if copyright lapses, it doesn't all expire in a single go. If Joe Bloggs had adventures that were published over the course of forty years, then it will take forty years from the time the first adventure becomes public domain before the last does. And you only get to use aspects of Joe's background once the story that introduced it becomes public domain - in other words, if Joe was introduced in Adventure 1, but his addiction to chocolate doughnuts wasn't mentioned until three years later in Adventure 5, then you can use Joe in your own stories from the minute his initial copyright expires, but you'll have to wait three years before you can mention him wolfing down confectionary pastries. Of course, if the original owner or company is defunct, it might be that no one is around to chase up copyright breaches - that's certainly been the case for some Golden Age comic characters - but it doesn't mean you have the legal right to use them.

Trademarks are there to protect someone who is producing something (not just fictional tales) from having someone else try and horn in on their market by "passing off" a similarly packaged product. Trademarks do expire after a relatively short amount of time, if they are not maintained. For example, if Marvel Comics didn't publish any comics using any character named Wolverine for a decade, then another company could swoop in and start publishing a comic called Wolverine and take the trademark. Wolverine would still remain Marvel's copyright, but the new company could have their own character named Wolverine, so long as said character didn't resemble the Marvel one too closely. Marvel would still be able to bring Wolverine back in their stories while the new company held the trademark, but would not be able to use Wolverine's name anywhere on the covers. This is basically what has happened with the Fawcett Captain Marvel; Marvel Comics created a character using the same name after the trademark lapsed, and has maintained it by always publishing a comic of that title every few years, thus forcing the original Captain's new owners, DC, to publish him in comics named Shazam instead. However, the counterpoint to this need to maintain trademarks is that they can be maintained indefinitely, even after the copyright expires. Joe Bloggs might enter the public domain, allowing you to use him in your stories, but if he's still trademarked because someone else is still publishing new tales about him, then you can't use Joe's name on the cover to promote your publication.

How much does is this comic worth?

Don't ask - I don't know. Go and check one of the sites listed on Where can I buy...? and see what they are charging for it.

Why is such-and-such a profile blank?

Generally, blank profiles mean I haven't gotten round to filling in the details yet. I tend to add them there as "place markers", to remind me at a later date that the character exists, so I don't miss them out entirely. There are a lot of characters on the site, so give me time to get round to them.

Why isn't such-and-such a character on the site? / You've missed such-and-such

Entirely possible. If you think I've missed someone out, then please let me know about them. However, please read the E-Mailing note below.

You've missed out this real life superhero

There are some people in the world who really dress up in superhero costumes, generally to draw attention to something they consider a worthy cause or ethos. My site, however, is devoted to fictional characters, so unless and until there is a comic, book, film, or similar made about these characters, they are not getting added to my site - sorry. If I let this rule slide, then I will end up having to add characters who were created to publicise certain night clubs or the like. I have to draw a line somewhere.

How do you decide which country a character gets listed under?

See the Nationality page

You've got this wrong.

Entirely possible. I'm not infallible, so if you spot a mistake, then please let me know about them. However, please read the E-Mailing note below.

You've taken information off my site

Generally speaking, I try and take information from a source as close to the character as possible - in other words, the comics, books, tv shows, etc, that the characters originally appeared in. Failing that, I try to use reference books about the characters to supplement what I know. When that has failed, I sometimes do take information from another website - I really do try to avoid this, as the accuracy of such information is always uncertain. And when I do this, I always try and ask permission first. That's not to say that things might not have sometime slipped the net. If you spot something you think I've taken without permission, please tell me - I'd prefer having it pointed out politely, but regardless of how you say it to me, if it was taken from another site and I didn't get permission, I will remove it. That said, before you point the finger of blame at me (and if I am the guilty party, I will admit it), please read the E-Mailing note below.

Other than direct sources (comics, films, books, etc), what reference books are there out there?

In no particular order, I'd recommend

Superhero Comics of the Golden Age Mike Benton
Superhero Comics of the Silver Age Mike Benton
Encyclopedia of Super-Heroes Jeff Rovin
Encyclopedia of Super-Villains Jeff Rovin
Adventure Heroes Jeff Rovin
Aliens, Robots and Spaceships Jeff Rovin
Encyclopedia of Monsters Jeff Rovin
Encyclopedia of Comic Characters Denis Gifford
Photo Journal Guide to Comic Books Vol.1 and 2 Ernst and Mary Gerber
Photo Journal Guide to Marvel Comics Vol.3 and 4 Ernst and Mary Gerber
Bonzer: Australian Comics
World Encyclopedia of Comics Maurice Horn
Understanding Comics Scott McCloud
Re-Inventing Comics Scott McCloud
Shadowmen Vol.1 and 2 Jean-Marc L'Officier
The Marvel Encyclopedia Series various
Canuck Comics John Bell

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

What do the different bits of the profile mean?

Real Name: This is the real name of the character (not the name of any actor who might have played the character on TV). Generally, this is the civilian identity of a superhero, but not always. Superman's real name is Kal-El, since that is his birth name, even though he himself considers himself more Clark Kent the Earthman than Kal-El the Kryptonian.

Identity/Class: This describes what kind of being they are, and thus how their powers are derived. For example:

Occupation: Their main job. Since it's pretty much a given that they are either a crimefighting hero or crime-causing villain to be on this site, that's not generally what is meant by occupation. Occupation is what else they do to pay the bills. "Crimefighter", "vigilante" or "criminal" will only be listed as occupation if they have no other jobs.

Group memberships: Groups, organizations and teams this person has belonged to.

Affiliations: Friends and allies, other than groups the person has belonged to. Some older entries only have Affiliations listed, with group memberships mixed in - I'm gradually updating those entries.

Enemies: What it says

Known Relatives: What it says - please note that if an entry says "None" it means "none are known" rather than "they have none."

Aliases: Other names, nicknames and aliases they might use, other than their main identity listed as the header of the page.

Base of Operations: Where they mainly work out of.

First Appearance: The first time their adventures were witnessed by the public in the real world (e.g. Conan first appeared in 1932, not several thousand years ago in the Hyborian era). Where a character appears gradually (e.g. seen only in shadows in one story, seen properly in another but only in the background and thus not truly "introduced" and then finally properly introduced) then there might be multiple first appearances listed. Ditto for characters who have appeared in multiple different mediums.

Powers/Abilities: Any special powers or skills

History: The character's fictional history. Please note that for the purposes of this history, any information should be presented as if it were a factual account of a real person (the odd exception in older entries of my site notwithstanding). Anything that refers to the real world should be restricted to brief, bracketed, notes and the comments section. IN OTHER WORDS, do not write "Superguy appeared in the comics Funny Papers" (or similar) as part of the history; that belongs in the comments.

Comments: Anything else - who created them, where they have appeared, the character's real world history, etc.

Below are some new subheadings to comments I am phasing in. Many older entries don't have them yet, and not every entry needs them, but some do, especially characters who have been around for a long time and appeared in lots of places.

Appearance checklist (not including reprints): For those who might want to collect all the stories that a given character appears in, this section is intended to provide as definitive a list as I can figure out of all that character's tales in whatever media they appeared in. For my sanity's sake, it won't automatically include reprints; however, I might note where stuff is reprinted if the original material is hard to come by or prohibitively expensive, and, since my native language is English, I'll tend to list available English language translations/reprints of material if the story wasn't originally published in English. In some other cases I will note foreign reprints, but I make no promises - it depends on whether I know about them and have a decent list.

In prose - details of appearances in novels or short stories, including cameos where I know of them.

In comics - details of appearances in comics and other illustrated strips, including cameos where I know of them.

In film &TV- details of appearances in film and television series, both live action and cartoon, including cameos where I know of them.

In audio & radio- details of appearances in radio plays or original audio dramas, including cameos where I know of them.

On stage- details of appearances in live stage performances, including cameos where I know of them.

Alternate versions: This section lists alternate versions of a given character. The "main" version is usually the first version published. The baseline assumption I make is that, regardless of the medium in which a story appears, all the adventures depicted happen to one version of a given character, unless they simply can't fit the established continuity. Thus, for example, James Bond - the original novel version is sufficiently different from the movies versions for them to be considered separate characters. Another example would be Judge Dredd: the version who appears in 2000AD's Judge Dredd strip is the same guy who appears in the various Judge Dredd novels and the Big Finish Judge Dredd audios, both of which took care to do their best to fit the continuity of the "main" 2000AD Judge Dredd comic strip. However, the versions in both of the movie Judge Dredds, as well as the DC Comics Judge Dredd series, have events that contradict the continuity shown in 2000AD - thus these are considered alternate versions of Dredd.

Cameos, analogues and homages: Cameos in this instance are anonymous appearances of the character, ones where it is clear who the character is intended to be, but no names are given (usually because the appearance is meant to be an "Easter Egg" and not an authorised appearance). Analogues and homages are versions of the character who aren't quite the same, often because they are unauthorised, though not always - for example, Batmanuel in The Tick is an analogue of Batman, while Marvel's Squadron Supreme members are analogues of DC's Justice League of America. The only real difference between a homage and an analogue is usage - a homage version generally appears briefly, and can be seen as a "nod and wink" acknowledgement, whereas analogues play larger roles when they appear.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with similarly sounding characters on or off the site, or characters who are similar in other ways.

Some general notes on sending me information


I'm getting a lot of people trying to help me out by sending me information for the site, or just writing to say they enjoy the site. That is much appreciated. However, sometimes the correspondence can also be aggravating, because people don't think what they are saying before sending a message. If you are going to e-mail me, here are some general notes, in no particular order.

  1. If you are going to send me information for the site, please don't just lift stuff off someone else's site. If I wanted to do that, I could do it myself. If you are directing me to a site you do yourself about a given character or group of characters, and giving me permission to use information or asking for a link, that's great. But sending me to a site where, even with permission, I will have to trawl through pages of stuff to get information means I'm going to take far longer to dealing with your mail. And as for plagiarising someone's work without their permission, that's not something I particularly want to do. I have been caught out a couple of times when someone has sent me information, only for me to later discover that it was lifted from somewhere when the person who wrote it sends me an angry e-mail. I don't enjoy this.

  2. The site is for superheroes, first and foremost, though I've also expanded it to include supervillains, action heroes who have adventures that go way beyond mundane crimefighting, characters who may be heroic in a non-superhero way but who often interact with superhuman / supernatural beings in the course of their adventures, and, more recently I've bent the rules to include some British comic characters who don't fit any of the above but who I just personally like or feel are noteworthy. However there are characters I don't particularly want to cover - you could make a strong case that Freddy Krueger, for example, is effectively a supervillain, but the Nightmare on Elm Street movies are not my cup of tea, so don't expect to see Freddy on the site anytime soon.

  3. Include a header in your e-mail - otherwise you will be binned without being read. Too much spam or virused mail comes in without headers for me to bother opening stuff that arrives like this. Likewise, don't make your header generic - e-mails which arrive with the header "Hi!", "Love your site", "Mistake", "Information", "Correction", etc, will also be binned unread, for the same, spam-related reasons. If your header does not name a specific character or group of characters, I'm going to assume it's spam, and not read it.

  4. Please be aware that I tend to take ages to answer my mail.

  5. If you send me information without giving a real name, I'm not promising I will credit you; I might or I might not, depending very much in the mood I am in. If you give a real name, then I will.

  6. Please don't ask me to price comics. Its not that I don't want to help, but I am not a retailer, and I simply don't know. Check one of the sites on Where can I buy...? or look for something similar to the item you want priced on e-bay if you want to know the value of a given comic.

  7. If you are going to send information, please look at the details about what bits of the profile description means first.

  8. I thought the front page made this clear, but the increasing number of people either asking me or sending me profiles says otherwise. This site is not, for the most part, intending to cover Marvel or D.C. characters - I've made exceptions for non-U.S. originating Marvel characters (and I'd do the same for any D.C. ones I learn of), for new characters introduced in TV, movie and cartoon adaptations (because very few other people seem to be covering those), and I've added in some from the Golden Age, but otherwise I have no intention of adding any Marvel or D.C. characters any time soon. There's tons of excellent sites out there which cover Marvel and D.C.; my plate is full enough trying to cover all the other characters without adding in those vast universes. I might get round to them one day, but NOT FOR A LONG TIME, and any requests to add them or profiles sent for them will fall on deaf ears.

  9. I neither endorse nor denigrate any beliefs espoused by characters on my site. If I did agree with the beliefs of all the different characters on my site, I'd be totally schizophrenic, since there are characters of virtually all races and creeds listed. I'd have to be a Catholic Jewish Nazi Pagan transsexual racist warmongering pacifist atheist. So please don't transfer any dislikes or prejudices against any characters on the site to me, and e-mail me to inform me you dislike them, because you will be wasting your time.

  10. Abusive e-mails will just be ignored, so please remember your manners.

If you feel the above makes me sound harsh, I apologise. I'm not trying to be curmudgeonly, just honest. If you still want to e-mail me, please use the following address, removing the spaces from:    ohotmu   @     gmail.   com



All images and characters depicted are copyright their respective holders, and are used above for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.