Friday, July 31, 2009

STOP THE PRESSES: Marvel Comics Owns Marvelman!

That's right. You don't have to call Mike Moran "Miracleman" anymore! Here's the press release from Marvel Comics:
The biggest news of Comic Con International in San Diego was revealed moments ago and jaws are still on the floor-the world-renowned super hero MARVELMAN is now part of the Marvel Comics family! Marvel Comics has purchased the rights to MARVELMAN from creator Mick Anglo and his representatives, finding a home for one of the most sought after heroes in graphic fiction!

"It is an honor to work with Mick Anglo to bring his creation to a larger audience than ever before," said Dan Buckley, CEO & Publisher, Print, Animation & Digital Media, Marvel Entertainment Inc. "Fans are in for something special as they discover just what makes Marvelman such an important character in comic book history."

Originally created in 1954 by Mick Anglo and appearing in some of the most celebrated comic stories of all time, MARVELMAN is Micky Moran, a young reporter gifted with the power to save the world by simply uttering the word "kimota!"

"I did not think it would ever happen," said Mick Anglo. "It's a wonderful thing to see my creation finally back."

MARVELMAN is back and he's found a new home at Marvel Comics! What's next for Mick Anglo's legendary creation? Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the news on Marvelman and this exciting new addition to the Marvel family!

Here's a link to Marvel's Marvelman page, which includes the full scoop plus your first look at Marvelman merchandise, including tee-shirts and posters.

Why is this such a big deal? Are you wondering, to quote Bugs Bunny, "What's all the hubbub...bub?" Perhaps you need a bit of background, grasshopper. There's a very good summary of the whole Marvelman/Miracleman history at the leylander.org and another at sequart. I'll wait for ya while you read all that (it's really interesting, check it out!)

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Okay, are ya back? So the upshot is that British publisher Quality's Warrior Magazine brought 1940s British Captain Marvel clone Marvelman back in the early 1980s under the talents of Alan Moore, Garry Leach, and Alan Davis. In 1985, when U.S. publisher Eclipse got the rights to publish Marvelman here in the states, Marvel Comics threatened a lawsuit if they used the Marvelman name, so Eclipse published Marvelman under the name Miracleman. Moore, Leach, and Davis eventually left the strip and other creators, most notably Neil Gaiman, picked up the ball and carried on with the strip until it finally folded in the early 1990s when Eclipse went under.

Since that time, the rights have languished in legal limbo. Image's Todd McFarlane claimed that he had bought the rights; Gaiman had a claim to the rights; creator Mick Anglo felt he'd never been fairly recompensed for the rights and thus still had claim.

Looks like Mick was right, according to the press release.

OR, one has to wonder, does Marvel really have the rights to Marvelman/Miracleman, or does Marvel have the rights to Mick Anglo's Marvelman? Is Marvel going to create a new Marvelman from the whole cloth? Are they going to update him Marvel style and ignore the Warrior/Eclipse years? Or do they have the rights to the whole Marvelman/Miracleman library (the "pixie dust" effect in Joe Quesada's poster give us hope)? And what does Alan Moore have to say about all of this?

Only time will tell! I'll do my best to keep you updated as news is made available.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled Frank Miller/Cover Me feature next week--unless I learn that Marvel has gotten the rights to Garfield or some other "Internet breaking" news.

4 comments:

Daniel Graves said...

Hey Groove:

The latest "Alter Ego" is dedicated to Marvelman/Miracleman... just got my copy so I haven't read it yet, but surely it would be a good primer for those interested in learning more!

Fr. Dan

Allan said...

The clue is probably in MM's chest insignia -- repeated on the T-shirts -- it's the original one from the 1950s and '60s. As I recall, McFarlane 'owns' the newer 1980s version. I suspect the legal wrangling is far from over yet.

joe bloke said...

what I know, which isn't a whole load: Marvel have the rights to everything Mick Anglo did, and to produce new MarvelMan comics, but, as yet, they can't touch the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman stuff. it appears that the problem is with Gaiman and/or McFarlane, from what I can gather. Alan Moore has already said that Marvel are welcome to publish his run on MM, providing that they A:) remove his name from the credits, and B:) give all moneys to Mick Anglo.

Kid said...

And, as I'm so fond of telling anyone who will listen, I lettered the sample pages Marvel looked at when they were considering the deal. (My ltg no doubt clinched it. Hee hee.)

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1980s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!