I've had Steve Ditko on the brain lately. Not "The Amazing Spider-Man Ditko," but a Charlton Comics Ditko who's mind brought us the beautiful weirdnesses occupying The DC Universe. The former Charltonians, The Question, Nightshade, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and yes, Punch and Jewelee. Over on the venerable Scip's blog, The Absorbascon, he posed the question, "Are The Charlton Heroes due to exit The DCU?"
Here's why Ditko's been on my brain lately: If The Charltonians are due to leave, where do they go? Precedent says the rights COULD revert back to the creator and who created them?
Most people don't remember one of the characters DC Comics "absorbed" in its' acquisition of The Charlton characters was a little remembered character by the name of Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt. Four of the Charlton acquisitions were awarded solo series. Those four being Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, The Question and...Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt. The series itself was largely unremarkable except for the precedent it set. The rights to Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt reverted back to its' creator, Peter Morisi.
Could DC Comics, twenty years ago, have signed a deal we'll soon see expire, sending the rights to Blue Beetle, The Question, Nightshade, Capt. Atom and Punch and Jewellee back to their creator, Steve Ditko?
Let's look at the evidence:
Capt. Atom: Dead
Blue Beetle: Dead
Nightshade: Due to take on The Spectre.....Dead.
Is DC preparing to do what Marvel would never do and give a creator back his creations, even if they're bit worse for wear?
Only time will tell because The Question ain't commenting.