Superhero Bits: What Happens When Superman Enters Public Domain, DC Studios' Long Contracts & More

(Superhero Bits is a collection of stories, updates, and videos about anything and everything inspired by the comics of Marvel, DC, and more. For comic book movies, TV shows, merchandise, events, and whatever catches our eye, this is the place to find anything that falls through the cracks.)

In this edition of Superhero Bits:

  • What happens when Superman enters the public domain?

  • Where "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" sits in the MCU timeline.

  • The long contracts actors will have to sign with DC Studios.

  • X23 is back for a new Marvel Comics miniseries.

  • All that and more!

Superman & Lois has one or two more seasons left

Yesterday, James Gunn and Peter Safran exposed their plans for the DC Universe, or at least the first wave of their new approach to DC Comics media. It was a lot to process, but some smaller tidbits got lost in the tidal wave of announcements. For example, per Variety, Gunn confirmed that "Superman & Lois" should run for "one to two more seasons" adding that, "It's a show everybody likes, so it's going to keep going for a little bit." The series is set to return for its third season in March on The CW.

X23 returns to Marvel Comics in Deadly Regenesis miniseries this March

X23 is about to take the spotlight once again in a brand new miniseries from Marvel Comics. Titled "X23: Deadly Regenesis," the series is headed back to the past, roughly the 2009 "Utopia" era, for a tale by writer Erica Schultz and artist Edgar Salazar. We've got some preview art from the five-issue series above but, as far as the story goes, here's the synopsis:

Kimura, Laura's sadistic former handler from the Facility, is back with a vengeance to try to break X-23's spirit and this time, she's recruited a mysterious figure from Laura's past to help her do the job—HAYMAKER! A skilled fighter with a personal vendetta against Laura, Haymaker is more than a match for X-23 and will earn their spot as X-23's new archnemesis. After Haymaker (Jordan Gastin) makes their first appearance, readers will learn more about their backstory throughout the series.

"X23: Deadly Regenesis" #1 hits shelves on March 8.

Where does Wakanda Forever fit on the MCU timeline? Disney+ has the answer

As of today, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is available to stream for Disney+ subscribers. Along with the movie's release on streaming, Marvel has also given the sequel a placement on its official timeline under the "Marvel Cinematic Universe in Timeline Order" section of the streaming service. As we can see in the above photo, it is nestled right between "Moon Knight" and "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law." Since "She-Hulk" begins in summer 2025, that means the film is set sometime in early 2025, give or take a bit. So there we have it. We should know more when the official MCU timeline book is published later this year.

The Dark Knight's Two-Face coming from McFarlane Toys

The folks at McFarlane Toys are getting ready to unleash a Build-A wave line of figures based on Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy. While we are still awaiting the full lineup, the company has teased the above Two-Face figure, which is based on Aaron Eckhart's iteration of the villain from 2008's "The Dark Knight." No word yet on retailer availability or price, but stay tuned at that information is expected sooner rather than later.

Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens on the TV show announcement

As part of the recent deluge of DC Universe announcements, we found out that a "Booster Gold" TV show is in the works, presumably for HBO Max. Well, the folks at got a chance to catch up with the character's creator, Dan Jurgens, who had some thoughts on the matter. Mostly, he sounds quite happy about it:

"I have always felt that Booster belongs in media because, in many ways, that's exactly what the character is all about. Not only that, but in many ways, the character has more relevance now because of the way multiple media platforms have exploded and grown. So, I'm very excited to see how this plays out. Booster's sense of voice, demeanor and presence have always been very clear in my mind, so it'll be fun to see how it comes together and matches up."

"Booster Gold" does not yet have a release date set.

How do Namor's wings work?

Not only did "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" finally bring Namor into the MCU, but they even gave the character his little feet wings from the comics. But how do they work? Well, Geoffrey Baumann, visual effects supervisor on the film, is here to provide some insight on that very topic in the above video. We also get some before and after shots of how VFX were used to bring this element of the movie to life. 

Sounds like new DC actors will have to sign lengthy contracts

Circling back to the DC news, the universe is pretty much headed for a reboot, even though some connective tissue to the previous regime will exist in shows like "Waller." But we're going to have a new Superman, a new Batman, and lots of brand new characters as part of nearly decade-long plan that Gunn and Safran have in place. According to a report from Above the Line, that is going to mean long contracts for the talent signing on the dotted line. The report states that, "Because of that 8-10 year plan, talent is being asked to sign 10-year deals that cover both film and television." Much like the early days of the MCU, it sounds like anyone wanting to get in on the new DCU will have to be in it for the long haul. That makes a lot of sense considering they want actors to play the same characters in live-action and animation, but will it turn some actors away from the prospect? We'll see. 

James Mangold teased his involvement with Swamp Thing in a hurry

"Logan" director James Mangold has been tapped to develop the new "Swamp Thing" movie that was announced yesterday. He seems like a great fit for the project, and though news only just broke this afternoon, the filmmaker teased his involvement well in advance. As we can see above, he took to Twitter to share the above panel from the pages of DC Comics, without a caption or anything to go on. Plenty of fans hoped this was a tease of what's to come, and sure enough, he looks to be our guy to bring this beloved character to the big screen.

What happens when Superman becomes public domain? James Gunn weighs in

Superman was created in 1934 and, under U.S. law, that means he will enter the public domain in 1934, barring some sort of lobbying on the part of Warner Bros. to prevent that from happening. But that will mark an interesting time as, theoretically, those early works depicting DC's Man of Steel will be fair game for anyone to use. That's why we're getting a Winnie the Pooh horror movie this year. So what does the new co-head of DC Studios think of all this? During a recent press event (per, James Gunn addressed the topic, saying the following:

"Number one, it's a very complicated issue. It's not cut and dry. There's a lot of technical stuff around what pieces actually enter the public domain, which you may or may not know about. So there's that. But there's also that's one of the reasons why we have Superman and that's why we're bringing the Authority into mainstream. I mean, who would've thought 11 years ago the two most popular rides in the world are Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Two most popular rides in the world are based on a comic that f******g 20,000 people knew. And so being able to try to create these other properties, use our diamonds, our Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, to prop up our Booster Golds or Green Lanterns or Plastic Mans or whatever is important."

Indeed, the new DCU will have far more obscure characters, such as "The Authority," out front trying to pave the way for the future, rather than relying on the big names to prop everything else up. Though Gunn does acknowledge that, despite the complications, this is something that will be an issue to contend with roughly a decade from now.

Here's what it took to make the Moon Knight suit for the Disney+ series

Lastly, Adam Savage has released a new video on his Tested YouTube channel that offers a behind the scenes look at what it took to bring "Moon Knight" to life on Disney+. Specifically, Savage is looking at the suit Oscar Isaac wore by visiting FBFX, the specialty costume makers that fabricated the suits for the show. Bex Elley, FBFX's Head of Soft Costume, walks us through the journey of making the suit in the video, offering quite a bit of insight along the way. Now, will they be working on suits for a second season of "Moon Knight?" That still remains somewhat up in the air.