Now that Marvel has announced the acquisition of Marvelman rights from Mick Anglo, I thought I’d blog out loud some thoughts I have regarding the irony of this event.
- Marvelman was a copy (i.e. rip off) of Captain Marvel.
- Marvelman was created as a copy of Captain Marvel because The Big Cheese ceased publication due to a DC Comics lawsuit.
- DC claimed Captain Marvel infringed on their Superman copyright. Later, DC bought the rights to the Captain Marvel family of characters.
- With Fawcett and Captain Marvel gone, there was no one left to sue Anglo or L Miller & Son, the original publisher of Marvelman, for infringing on the Captain Marvel copyright.
- When Warrior published a Marvelman Special, Marvel Comics’ lawyers complained about the trademark issues, and Marvelman became Miracleman.
- Miracleman was published by Eclipse, and eventually disappeared into a Sargasso Sea of ownership confusion. Right now, as nearly as I can tell, the only two people who are claiming any rights to the character are Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman.
But, now, Marvel says the creator of Marvelman has sold them the rights. So where does that leave Miracleman? Are they the same character, or two different characters? Isn’t it fair to say Mick Anglo created both? Isn’t Miracleman just Marvelman with a different name? Will Neil Gaiman be involved with any new Marvelman stories? Will those stories start fresh, or will they acknowledge the Eclipse Miracleman comics? Has anyone found Gaiman at SDCC and asked him?
I don’t know, to all of the above. But I’m on board to see what happens next!
UPDATE: Neil Gaiman posted on Twitter: “Re Marvelman: I think it’s great news that Mick Anglo’s creations is going to be seen again, and hopeful that my work & Bucky’s will be back… they bought them (the rights to Marvelman) from Mick Anglo’s representatives. Todd McFarlane could still sue everyone but I hope he won’t.”