Marvelman – Some Time and Thought Later

Having had a few hours to think about that whole Marvelman thing, a few points drift to the surface of my thoughts:

1. We know they’ve bought the character, but we don’t know yet if they got the rights to Alan Moore’s and Neil Gaiman’s run on the series. Without these stories, Marvelman’s nothing but a generic Golden Age throwback. There are a bunch of creator-owned elements in those runs (Gaiman’s original characters, and Garry Leach’s Warpsmith race, etc.), and by my completely-not-a-lawyer reckoning Todd McFarlane may own the rights to the actual stories.

2. Marvelman was created as a ripoff of/replacement for Fawcett’s Captain Marvel. Fawcett, and Captain Marvel, have since been bought by DC. I wonder how long before DC brings its litigious attentions to bear. (This is myown paranoid musings.)

3. Aesthetically, I’ve always preferred the “Miracleman” moniker (which he was given when he was first republished in the US), but switching back to the original “Marvelman” name is a small price to pay to have the character back in print again.

4. This was kind of inevitable, really. Marvelman wears Marvel comics’ trademark floppy foldover boots.

BTW, here’s the video of Quesada making the announcement, courtesy of Comic Book Resources. He kinda blew the “magic word” buildup by not actually saying the magic word.

Marvel bought Marvelman/Miracleman

Holy crap. You guys.

Marvel bought Marvelman/Miracleman.

From ComicBookResources.com:

“Marvelman belongs to Marvel,” said [Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe] Quesada, saying that the company purchased the character from creator Mick Anglo – a process that started in 2007 thanks to word from Neil Gaiman. “Mick is 94 years old, and I talked to him on Wednesday for an hour and a half,” said Buckley noting that Marvel had discusses plans for the character and its stories with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Alan Davis and Mark Buckingham, who was in the audience.

“I’m excited to see this character not just at Marvel, but the continued adventures of Marvelman,” said Quesada.

This announcement is coming out of San Diego Comic Con ’09.

My head a splode.

For those not in the know, Marvelman is a character long trapped in Copyright Hell. Wikipedia tells the tale in all its gory details. What’s key, though, is that Alan Moore wrote the character for 16 issues in the early ’80s, and these issues have become legendary. It’s some of Moore’s earliest big-name work, and no one’s been able to read the dang thing. I’ve looked – a volume of the stuff goes for $100-$300 on eBay.

But now… Reprints. Reprints. 16 issues? That’s, what, 3-4 trades? You could potentially own Moore’s entire run on the character for under $100.

And… and going forward… Will they bring back Gaiman, who succeeded Moore and who was in the middle of a story when the book was originally canceled? Someone else? Will – and this is really head-a-splodey – will they integrate Marvelman into Marvel 616? I… I don’t see how he could be, yet I’d be fascinated to see them try.

… Man. Does this mean I have to forgive Quesada for One More Day / Brand New Day?