Marvel vs. CoH (not news, but olds really)

Marvel Comics is suing, NCSoft, the makers of City of Heroes, a MMORPG. The reason, according to Marvel, is that the character creation engine allows players to make characters in the game which are duplicates of certain Marvel characters. The character creator allows a player to choose a basic body shape, and then add a wide variety of costume features. So, yes, someone could create a character with appearances and powers essentially identical to those of the Hulk. Heck, they might even be able to name their character (or "toon") as The Hulk, or some variant, such as Teh Hulk, The Bulk, Hulkster, etc.

And, if they are really lucky, they might get to play it for a while before one of two things happens: (a) someone reports it to a moderator, and the toon is deleted; or (b) a moderator notices the toon, and deletes it.

(Actually, I suspect that many Marvel and DC names are already "taken" by the design crew, so that no one may create a character whose name is identical to a comic book characters. I could be wrong though.)

The problem with blaming the game for having such an open-ended character creation engine is that the same argument could be made regarding blank paper and a pencil. After all, with a lot of practice, you too could be churning out illustrations of the Hulk, and showing them to your friends. It might even become popular enough that you do a satire about Marvel heroes, and put it out on the web.

Anyway, this battle is being satirized here, in an onine webcomic, PVP. Definitely worth reading, even if you don't care about Marvel, CoH, or the rest of this post.


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