My pal Mister U.S., who shows up regularly in my comic book, lets himself be licensed out for free appearances in comics. I think he’s doing himself a disservice, devaluing his license like that, but that’s his business!
We’re looking for a few good comics to use our character in guest appearances, crossovers, cameos, and so on! Why? Just for the heck of it! We’re not looking for any money, any reciprocal rights, or any other direct benefit.
Who is Mister U.S.?
Mister U.S. is a patriotic superhero in the tradition of The Shield and Captain America. He first appeared in Image’s Big Bang issue 8, where there were 6 short origins shown. Each origin is as it would have been told in a different era of comics, and the characters differ in large and small ways (check out the issue for more detail):
The Golden Age version. Real name: Caspar Milquetoast. Situation: works as an agent of the US military during World War II.
The Silver Age version. Real name: Dave Donovan. Situation: affiliated with the US military, but often superheroing on his own.
Batman TV era version. Real name: Joseph Average. Situation: Agent of G.O.O.D.G.U.Y.S. — Government Operatives for Organized Defense of the Genuine United (Yeeha!) States, who stop the B.A.D.G.U.Y.S. (Brotherhood of Agents to Destroy the
United Yucky States_. Sidekick: US Jr.
Relevant Seventies version. Real name: Brett Kowalski. Situation: Forced into
serving a conservative, controling US government, Mister U.S. retires for a while and goes out to find America.
Eighties version. Real name: Casper Milquetoast. Situation: Basically the Golden Age version, retired. He has recently learned that he’s not truly human.
Im Age version. Real name: Unknown. Situation: He’s a butt-kicker. He kicks butt. That’s what he does.
Powers: All versions have mechanical/robotic/bionic arms and one leg, plus the bottom of the feet replaced by whatever the current wonder-material was. Golden Age has a "super-radio" in his head. Silver Age, a transistorized ear. Batman TV Era, a two-way infrared eye. Eighties, an artificial brain. Im Age, a glowing robotic eye.
Do I have to use one of these versions?
No. The whole point of Mister U.S. is showing how a character gets changed and abused over the years, subject to the various whims of creators. If you do a new version, it should be based on the basics of what we did, but feel free to make of it whatever you need.
What can I do with the character?
Anything. Again, being subject to different handling is what the character is all about. You need a scene of a superhero being killed off? Great! Heck, we’d love to see the character killed off in four books in the same month! You can have the character show up as a character, or have someone reading a Mister US comic, wearing a Mister US t-shirt, whatever. It can be a full-issue crossover, or a minor background appearance.
What do I have to do?
There are a few things we insist on, mostly to protect our rights:
- Tell us when and where (and roughly how) you’re going to use the character. We like to know what’s going on, plus this lets us publicize it to the Mister U.S. fans (who do exist). Contact Nat Gertler via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Include the line Mister U.S. Copyright and TM 1997 Nat Gertler and Mark Lewis in your indicia.
- Send at least 4 free copies when the book comes out, for our own files.
- No adults-only books. We want our fans to have access to the comics.
- This offer applies only to comics. If you are working in some other medium, give us a call, and we’ll talk. Don’t make an $80 million Mister U.S. movie without calling!
- This is only for guest appearances in comics that would otherwise exist. This is not free license to create your own Mister U.S. series, one-shot, or whatever. He can be a major supporting in one issue, or a running background
thing in a number of issues, but if it’s moving beyond that, contact us first and we’ll see what can be worked out.
- We reserve the right to revoke this offer. We don’t plan to. We’re actually looking forward to seeing this happen.
Welcome to the Mister U.S. conspiracy. We’ve already had others agree to use the character, and we’re looking forward to more! We’d like this to be a long-running thing, much the way Spinal Tap kept making appearances, recording, etc., long after the movie was over. This can be
fun for all of us.
Nat Gertlerand Mark Lewis, creators, Mister U.S.