Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are now widely recognized as the creators of Superman, one of the best comic book superheroes of all time. However, it wasn’t always so certain that the duo would get their due as comic book luminaries. Despite coming up with the concept of a hero who was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Siegel and Shuster gave up the rights to Clark Kent and his alter ego early on in their careers. It would take decades of legal wrangling and courtroom battling before the two would get any semblance of fair compensation or recognition for creating Superman.
Since the first signs of fame, DC Comics and other large corporations have profited off everyone’s favorite Kryptonian - that is, everyone but Siegel and Shuster. In fact, the duo didn't receive any of the Superman profit for a long time. Even when they were given some compensation decades later, it was pennies compared to the networth of Superman, which is in the billions. After all, the Man of Steel is one of the most recognizable and lucrative fictional characters ever conceived. Read on below to find out more about how DC seriously screwed the masterminds behind Superman.
Siegel And Shuster Sold The Rights To Superman For $130
They Were (Practically) Forced To Sign A 10-Year Exclusive Contract With DC
DC Rejected Siegel’s Repeated Pitches For Superboy Comics, Then Published Them While He Was Serving In WWIIPhoto: DC Comics
A 1947 Legal Suit Reiterated DC’s Ownership Of Superman
An Attempt To Regain The Superman Rights In The '60s Proved DisastrousPhoto: Hanna-Barbera
A 1975 PR Campaign Finally Won Siegel And Shuster Recognition And Compensation, In Exchange For Their SilencePhoto: DC Comics