Thursday, October 28, 2004

Miracleman - Rebirth?

For the "comics geek" file. It looks like Alan Moore's great comic, "Miracleman" may be coming back as early as December under the auspices of Marvel Comics. Neil Gaiman apparently to pen what one would assume among other things would be the resolution of the Miracleman/"Young Miracleman" cliffhanger.

For my readers not into comic-books, Miracleman, known as "Marvelman" in the U.K. where the series was originally produced, was a series originally written by Alan Moore, a writer fascinated with the idea, "What if the Superman was real in the real world?", a subject he addressed in such books/series as WATCHMEN (still, to my mind, the greatest limited comic series ever produced), Swamp Thing, and Miracleman.

Miracle/Marvel/man had a long torturous publishing history, which you can read more about by following the link above, if you're interested. In brief, Moore eventually turned over the series to Gaiman -- I think as much as he had answered the "Superman" question to his own satisfaction by that time with WATCHMEN as anything else -- and the comic, always published on a haphazard schedule, finally ended in mid-plot in 1994 with the bankruptcy of its then publisher, Eclipse. Since that time, legal ownership of the character has been in dispute, with 3 to 4 individuals all owning a piece of Miracleman. Rumors have floated in cyberspace for years that Marvel was/would eventually revive Miracleman, which would be appropriate, as the character was originally based on the British version of Captain Marvel, that is, Marvelman, and the name change was forced by ongoing legal pressure from Marvel.

Confused yet? Good. :-) I could go into the whole original Captain Marvel/Superman suit between Fawcett and D.C. at this point, which killed off the Big Red Cheese for years in the States but not in Great Britain, but I'll resist. Suffice to say that there is mucho bad karma associated with any character with the word "Marvel" in his/her name.

In any case, I'm more looking forward to finally getting the "collected Miracleman" as a trade paperback(s) as seeing the series revived. I think Gaiman, as much as I like his writing, was taking the character in a different direction than Moore's intention. That, of course, is one of the serious weaknesses -- and sometimes strengths -- of all continuing comics.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that Marvel is taking full rights to Miracleman and we'll see a proper, bound, Miracleman set sometime soon.

Link to the Alan Moore fan site

Link to "The Pulse" blurb

Link to Neil Gaiman's blog, which currently has zero info on any Miracleman revival.

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