50 Best Public Domain Characters

A list created by: Lee Sonogan

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“I believe in copyright, within limited precincts. But I also believe in fair use, public domain, and especially transformation.” – David Shields

What does Public Domain characters mean? These characters are publically not privately owned/used and anyone has the rights to use these characters in any way possible. Having full use of existing characters is a potential goldmine for writers. A lot of these characters have been rebooted many times and may have pop up in your favourite shows and movies when you are not even paying attention.

  1. Dracula
  2. James Bond
  3. Sherlock Holmes
  4. Robin Hood
  5. Zorro
  6. John Carter
  7. Frankenstein
  8. Scarecrow (The Wizard of Oz)
  9. The Wizard of Oz (The Wizard of Oz)
  10. Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  11. King Kong
  12. Gravestone
  13. Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
  14. Cthulhu
  15. Hercules
  16. Thor
  17. Ares
  18. Zeus
  19. Lucifer
  20. Achilles
  21. Mad Hatter
  22. Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
  23. Queen of Hearts  (Alice in Wonderland)
  24. Long John Silver (Treasure island)
  25. Adolf Hitler
  26. Bigfoot
  27. Dorian Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
  28. Rapunzel
  29. Romeo and Juliet
  30. Beowulf
  31. Hamlet
  32. Abraham Van Helsing
  33. Sleeping Beauty
  34. Atoman
  35. Red comet
  36. The Arrow
  37. Rosie The Riveter
  38. The Wolfman
  39. Faust
  40. Sinbad
  41. King Arthur
  42. Loch Ness Monster
  43. Headless Horseman
  44. The Mummy
  45. Creature from the Black Lagoon
  46. The Pied Piper
  47. The Phantom of the Opera
  48. Tarzan
  49. Aladdin
  50. Death

Did you recognize at least half of them? A lot of them have been made into many different adaptations such as comic books, animated and live action films, animated and live action tv series and more over media.

“You can’t put the Hollywood sign in a movie without paying them. That is a landmark in L.A. I’m sorry, remove it from our skyline, then. You know? How dare they. That should be public domain, right? But it’s privately owned, and they enforce that. They sue people. If you see it in the movie, they’ve paid for that.” – Dax Shepard

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