Comics Creators

How much longer does the ‘X-Men’ name have?


Rebranding might be a quick and easy way for Disney to distinguish their reboot from the Fox series (if they feel the need to).


Well if anyhting they should be called X-Corps or something like that, since they’re basically a militarized unit… except I hate the word “corps” 'cause for some reason it’s pronounced “core” and it doesn’t make sense… u_u


I’d go with X-Force for the main team (I’ve just now decided to die on this hill) and Generation X for a younger series.


Or they could just stick with X-Men because it’s a famous brand that most people recognize and do not have a problem with.

Weigh the pros and cons of this, like Disney will… is it worth damaging brand recognition (a brand you just spent a good bit of money to control) in order to placate a few “offended” people (who don’t exist yet)? I’m thinking no. Disney tried to appease internet idiots with Gunn, and that did not look good for them, I doubt they will of their way to overdo it again…especially at the risk of damaging their new toys.


I think it’s worth repeating (as this conversation veers towards a more serious tone) that no-one is publicly challenging the ‘X-Men’ label in any serious way.

There’s no indication that anyone is offended by it, any more than there’s an indication that the new Damon Lindelof HBO series is going to be renamed Watchpeople.


It’s short for corpus so the ‘p’ is not pronounced in order to not mistake it for corpse which I’m sure would feel like a jinx for any marine.


I think there’s a difference between a fixed story and a new brand for a new generation of kids. No-one would want to change ‘The Man who would be king’ to ‘The Person who would be king’. This is much more about the active branding Disney will have surrounding X Men. It’s a challenge they haven’t faced before - we have Champions and Defenders and Guardians and Avengers and Agents and Runaways. X Men is really the only gender specific team title left in Marvel. And at DC too I think (Suicide Squad, Justice League, Green Lantern Corp, Justice Society, Legends of Tomorrow,Teen Titans - even Birds of Prey is gender neutral despite the female cast). It is unusual as a team name, like I said if they were created today no-one would call them the X Men.


The truth is that even if that was a concern, there are loads of existing alternative names for X-Men properties. Even now the latest X-Men TV shows are called ‘Legion’ and ‘The Gifted’ and one of the upcoming movies is called ‘New Mutants’. So again it’s a bit of a non-issue.

My guess is that the X-Men name has too much value and recognition to be ditched completely, especially over a non-controversy like the gender aspect of the title. But if Disney did decide to move away from the label as part of the title of the movies then they have lots of options.


Actually, “man” used to be two words:a male person and a person in general; It’s just that people are linguistically illiterate and don’t get that a word can be two words. I don’t blame feminists, it’s common to people of all political persuasions. I don’t think that, say, ST:TOS meant by “where no man has gone before” that Uhura had been there, any more than it implies Kirk’s non-canon 8yo nephew had been there


Anti-mutite! :angry:


It is interesting in this case that X-Men is a trademark, and, in the way of corporate business, it’s owned/managed by Marvel Characters, Inc.

I remember as a kid reading comics that whenever a new character was introduced, they usually drew the name in a very stylized way. They weren’t just lettered. I wonder if that was in part a business decision so that they would be able to claim a distinctive trademark on the character’s name since no one can simply copyright words.


Not really. It’s an issue of confusing copyright and trademark. A trademark is the brand under which you sell something, it is officially applied for (I’ve actually done that in the last month for my business).

Each trademark is applied nationally so that’s why in the UK they had ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘Zootropolis’ instead of ‘Avengers’ and ‘Zootopia’ as they’d already been taken (and even the might of Disney couldn’t overturn that) but you can call a character whatever you want unless it’s obvious plagiarism. My favourite is in Australia some old guy opened a Burger King before the main chain decided to expand and refused to sell it on so over there they are called Hungry Jacks.

You can copyright the logo so it can’t be copied but the nifty character lettering would not trademark anything.


In the US, logos - like Mickey Mouse ears, Superman’s S or the Coca Cola bottle design - are trademarked and not copyright. They can copyright some if they choose, but copyright protections are limited while a trademark has no limitation except it needs to be renewed every ten years.

To register here, you have to submit an image of the trademarked property - labels, logos, designs, etc. I’d bet that the trademark for comics characters includes costumes, names and the logo design for their name even if they do not have their own title while the copyright is only on the stories.


Art can be trademarked - that’s how software can be protected. So characters have artistic logos which can be protected, even when you can’t trademark Cyclops. That said you have a hard time creating something that shares the name of an existing brand - no-one can create a toilet based board game called Game of Thrones.


*throws drawing board in bin


If they choose to trademark them before anyone else does, like I said a trademark is an active application to the relevant authorities. It controls how you market something. It can be a logo, it can be a name. Once you have it then everyone else has to think of something else.

You can’t trademark anything just by using flashy logo.

Copyright is something set up as default, I can write a mystery tomorrow called “A Horrible Killing” that has a lead character called Harry Potter, a hard boiled 1930s detective. If I make him a teen wizard I’m getting sued, if I call the book ‘Harry Potter and the Horrible Killing’ I breach trademark.


It would be interesting to learn when Marvel Characters Inc trademarks something. I would think that if a new character is introduced in a book or movie, they would trademark it even before it’s been published or produced or seen by anybody in the audience. Like when they changed the name of the Spider-Man title to Superior Spider-Man. I bet that was already trademarked long before the title came out.

It’s kinda interesting looking at all the trademarks they have: Marvel Characters Inc.

Of course, there is this infamous trade mark owned by Marvel and DC together: Super Hero


You can query trademarks online. It’s actually how the news broke that Mavel had secured Marvelman and Miracleman, before any press release some ‘unnamed comics journalist’ just searched the trademark applications.


It’s impossible not to think of Watchmen, all of a sudden, as a story about everyone staring at their watches. Which, at least for one character, wouldn’t be a huge change…


And Watch Men has even more possible misreadings.