From Todd McFarlane's rejected appeal of Gaiman v. McFarlane:
To make him credibly medieval, Gaiman in his script has Olden Days Spawn say to a damsel in apparent distress, “Good day, sweet maiden.” The “damsel” is none other than Angela, a “maiden” only in the sense of making her maiden appearance in Spawn No. 9. Angela is in fact a “warrior angel and villain” who, scantily clad in a dominatrix outfit, quickly dispatches the unsuspecting Olden Days Spawn with her lance.Is it just me, or can you hear the sarcasm dripping from the judge here? I must admit that I haven't read Spawn #9 (but I have read #10, which gets me essential indie-cred points due to it being the Dave Sim issue, but I lose more points for admitting I've read a Spawn comic, I suppose), so the judge could be simplifying for comic (ha-ha!) effect.
The contents of a comic book are typically the joint work of four artists—the writer, the penciler who creates the art work (McFarlane), the inker (also McFarlane, in the case of Spawn No. 9, but it would often be a different person from the penciler) who makes a black and white plate of the art work, and the colorist who colors it.The Letterers Union #151 will have something to say about that, of course. Unless you really like silent issues.
Medieval Spawn may seem to present a closer case than Cogliostro so far as copyrightability is concerned, because he has no name in Spawn No. 9. In fact he has never been named—“Medieval Spawn” is a description, not a proper name. But the Lone Ranger doesn’t have a proper name either (at least not one known to most of his audience—actually he does have a proper name, John Reid), so that can’t be critical. A more telling objection to copyrightability is that the identifier, “Medieval Spawn,” was added by McFarlane in subsequent issues of Spawn to which Gaiman did not contribute. Only his costume and manner of speech, together with the medieval background, distinguish him in Spawn No. 9 from other Hellspawn.You see? Fun legal reading, plus you get to find out just who the Lone Ranger was. What more could you ask for? New TPBs of Miracleman, reprinting a classic comic series that has been tragically out of print for almost two decades now? Thank you, Todd. Now, if we could just get Grant Morrison to sort out a deal with Rebellion and release the thousands of Zenith trades currently stuck in a warehouse in Milton Keynes…