YouTuber Proposes Public Domain Superhero Cinematic Universe
Popular YouTuber Austin McConnell shared a new video this week that followed in the footsteps of comics like Project Superpowers and The Next Issue Project. In a video titled "I Got Bored and Made My Own Cinematic Universe," McConnell put together a team of superheroes drawn from the public domain "bargain bin" and pitched out a series of stories he calls "The Bargain Bin Cinematic Universe." Starting with Atlas (from the IW Comics created in 1964, possibly by George Tuska), McConnell's cinematic universe also uses Blue Bolt, the Spider Queen, The Cat-Man, Landor (Maker of Monsters), Six-Gun Gorilla, and Red Riding Hood.
There are, of course, hundreds of public domain superheroes, whose copyrights have either expired or were never renewed. The Public Domain Superheroes Wiki has a pretty good listing of them.
You can check it out below.
Notable public domain superheroes have headlined the titles mentioned above, as well as appearing in other comics, from Grant Morrison's use of The Bulletteer to Erik Larsen's use of Daredevil as a major player in Savage Dragon.
These characters in particular have mostly remained untapped, although there was a Six-Gun Gorilla miniseries a few years back. Atlas has obvious parallels to Superman, while Cat-Man and Batman is pretty clear. Red Riding Hood, at least in McConnell's version, would be a powerful mystic a la Doctor Strange, and Landor would be an antihero who, after creating monsters and being seemingly killed, would rise again as the big bad. Spider Queen has Spider-Man's spot, and Blue Bolt...well, with the football, maybe you could riff on Booster Gold? Or NFL SuperPro?
McConnell has nearly a million and a half YouTube subscribers. He also worked on the film Sprouting Orchids, and recently completed and released a novel originally written by his grandmother, Neva's Story.
He also wrote the first in a planned series of teen adventure stories, Fallen Angels, in 2009, but as part of a YouTube video, he bought up all the available copies on the internet so that he could completely remove the book from the market.