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Whataburger Seeks Truth, Justice In Branding Issue With DC Comics

The logos for the new Wonder Woman film (left) and Whataburger (right), a Texas-based burger chain.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Rice University’s marching band satirized Baylor's sexual assault scandal during half time; an 11-year-old Dallas comedian will have her own TV show with the help of Ellen DeGeneres; UT physicists argue “Stranger Things” is more fiction than science; and more.


Whataburger says the redesign of Wonder Woman’s stacked “W” logo for the 2017 revamp looks too similar to the San Antonio-based burger chain's “long-standing Flying W trademark.” The fast-food restaurant has used its logo, created by Corpus Christi artist Will Clay, since the 1970s, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Before the most recent iteration, the likeness between the logos was noticeable, but “Whataburger apparently let the similarity slide when Wonder Woman's logo was trademarked in 1985 because the character posed no threat in the marketplace,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

This time, Whataburger says the logos look even more alike, and DC’s redesign came with nine new trademark applications “covering a much more substantial list of goods and services than just comic books, including a variety of food and beverage products.” Whataburger says they’ve “opened a dialogue” with DC Comics that they anticipate will lead to a “positive discussion,” contrary to other reports saying it’s an all-out brand war. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News]

  • Rice University’s band satirized Baylor’s sexual assault scandal in its half-time performance Friday. Video shows the marching band forming the Roman numeral IX, a reference to the Title IX ban on sexual discrimination, followed by a star and a rendition of the song "Hit the Road Jack," in reference to the departure of Baylor president and chancellor Ken Starr, the Texas Tribune reports. University officials issued a statement saying the band typically satirizes Rice's football opponents with its performances, which are not subject to prior review by the university administration. Rice regretted any offense to the Baylor fans at the game and assured that the band didn’t mean to make light of sexual assault. [The Texas Tribune]

  • Ellen DeGeneres is producing a reality show about 11-year-old Dallas comic, Saffron Herndon. In the last year, the precocious comedian has gotten attention from Buzzfeed,">The Today Show and MTV, among others. Now, she’s on the radar of another funny lady — Ellen. According to Central Track, the forthcoming A&E reality show will “ feature Herndon getting tips on the comedy crafts from some of the modern era's greats — DeGeneres herself, as well as Chris Rock, George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Iliza Shlesinger and Tom Papa.” “Little Funny” will premiere and run for 10 episodes in 2017. [Central Track]

  • A musician traded his spacious Austin apartment for a 40-square-foot crawl space in Brooklyn. In a feature from The New York Times’ real estate section, Jack Leahy, 25, welcomes readers into his very humble abode in the big city. It’s a “cubbyhole tucked into the ceiling of a performance space a few blocks from the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” Austin Leahy, a former Austinite, moved last year to pursue his music career. Despite the major downsize, he’s paying only $100 less per month than he did in Texas; his NY rent is $450. “You basically can’t do anything but lie down,” he says. [The New York Times]

  • UT Austin physicists analyze the logic, or lack thereof, in “Stranger Things.” Netflix’s summer breakout series incorporates common science fiction concepts like multiple dimensions, alien-like beings and telekinesis. But, according to UT physicists, the show relies more on fiction than science to explain concepts, for instance, “the Upside Down.” This other world in the show is described as both a parallel universe and an alternate dimension. “Physics is an ever-evolving subject,” a UT professor of theoretical particle physics tells The Daily Texan. “However, if you restrict yourself to what we currently know, then the show isn’t plausible.” [The Daily Texan]