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Judge Rules that Todd McFarlane owes Neil Gaiman money for Spawn Characters he Created

Todd McFarlane's Spawn has become quite successful over the last several years as a comic, an animated series, and a movie that really wasn't that good. You may or may not know that Neil Gaiman played a part in creating a couple of characters for this comic series. Back in 1992 Gaimen created Medieval Spawn and Angela, a warrior angel for McFarlane's comic book series. Years after the comic launched the characters Dark Ages Spawn and Tiffany and Domina made their Spawn debut. A judge has now ruled that McFarlane must pay Gaiman for this character creations. 

This lawsuit isn't new, this legal rivalry started back in 2002 when Gaiman won co-ownership of Medieval Spawn, Angela, and Cagliostro, which are characters he wrote for in Spawn 9. The two talents ended up returning to court after Gaiman claimed that McFarlane owned him money for the characters Dark Ages Spawn, a knock-off of Medieval Spawn, and Tiffany and Domina, a knock-off of Angela.

On July 29th US District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that McFarlane owes Gaiman money for these characters. McFarlane also has to produce info pertaining to how much he owes Gaiman by September 1.

Here's what the judge had to say about the characters. It's an entertaining read because of how she describes the characters. First off, her thoughts on Tiffany and Domina:

Tiffany and Domina are visually similar to Angela and share her same basic traits. All three are warrior angels with voluptuous physiques, long hair and mask-like eye makeup. All three wear battle uniforms consisting of thong bikinis, garters, wide weapon belts, elbow-length gloves and ill-fitting armor bras. Angela and Domina each wear a long cloth draped between their legs and a winged headdress. Tiffany and Angela are shown in the Spawn Bible as having sharp wings. [...] All three of these female characters are warrior angels who fight in the war between Heaven and Hell. When plaintiff conceived of Angela, he saw her as part of an army of 300,000 "female, kick-ass warrior angels, who are hunters, merciless and not very nice." [...] Tiffany and Domina are part of this same heavenly army. Like Angela, Tiffany is described in the Spawn Bible as having failed to kill only one of the persons she intended to kill: Al Simmons, the original Spawn.

As for Medieval Spawn, heres what she had to say:

If defendant really wanted to differentiate the new Hellspawn, why not make him a Portuguese explorer in the 16th century; an officer of the Royal Navy in the 18th century, an idealistic recruit of Simon Bolivar in the 19th century, a companion of Odysseus on his voyages, a Roman gladiator, a younger brother of Emperor Nakamikado in the early 18th century, a Spanish conquistador, an aristocrat in the Qing dynasty, an American Indian warrior or a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I? It seems far more than coincidence that Dark Ages (McFarlane) Spawn is a knight from the same century as Medieval (Gaiman) Spawn.

I just think that's hilarious, and at the same time she makes very good points. Now that Gaiman has won this legal battle what will he do with the money? Well, he plans on giving the money he receives from this case to comics charities.

What do you think? Did the judge make the right ruling?

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