In the world of comic books and pop culture, what would it take, to save from obscurity, an already derivative (some might even say blatantly copied) superhero character with over fifty years of name changes, publishing company liquidations, copyright challenges, head-scratching co-ownership decisions, legal proceedings, handshake deals, lawyerly purchases, a creator who wants his name removed from any and all future releases, and a long-awaited reproduction of the series with an aim to finishing an uncompleted tale by the writer of that story, over twenty years after it was first begun?
To rescue that character from obscurity, let alone audience indifference, it would take a miracle.
Lucky for us, that very word is in the characters name.
At the end of days, behold, Miracleman #1!
Written by: The Original Writer and Mick Anglo
Illustrated by: Garry Leach and Mick Anglo
Published by: Marvel Comics
Last month, Biff Bam Pop’s Glenn Walker detailed a first look at Miracleman #1 – finally released today by Marvel Comics. He gives a succinct rundown of the convoluted mess of copyright issues for the character (which you can read right here), whose origins go back to 1954 under the original name, Marvelman. I won’t repeat that “origin” here, except to say that Marvel Comics acquired the rights to the character lock, stock and barrel (some say) in 2009.
Only now, finally, is the company moving forward with one of the most well regarded comic book characters in the history of the genre, with the republishing of his adventure from the 1980’s and 1990’s.
It’s an auspicious day. An important day. A day that Miracleman fans have been waiting for. A day that all comic book fans should rejoice.
I’ll explain. Let me pick up where Glenn, in his December column linked above, left off:
Miracleman, published by Eclipse Comics between 1985-1994, was written, in turn by Alan Moore (he of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen fame and who now asks for his name to be taken off of the work,) and Neil Gaiman (award-winning and bestselling author of Sandman and The Graveyard Book). Artists on the series included some of the best and biggest talents in the industry such as Garry Leach, Alan Davis and Mark Buckingham.
Basically, Marvel is now reprinting the entire series published by Eclipse Comics and the character’s publishing predecessor, Warrior Magazine. It’s a highly acclaimed storyline that truly serves as an important moment in time for the legitimatization of comic books as an art form – in a digitally restored and fully re-lettered edition. There are ideas here, forms of sequential art and storytelling, which formed the briar patch for some of the more famous works that these creators would later produce. A long out-of-print (due to the various copyright battles), and hard to find series, Miracleman is finally being made available to both an old and new generation of comic book enthusiasts and pop culture historians alongside bonus material, articles chronicling the history of the character, and an interview with original creator, Mick Anglo.
Better yet, Marvel Comics has engaged Neil Gaiman to actually finish the storyline he started, but never completed, all those years ago!
It truly is a miracle!
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Miracleman #1.
Experience great storytelling, amazing art and comic book history…again!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!