Marvel to (Finally) Publish Miracleman!

by Aaron Einhorn
Several years ago at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel announced that they had obtained the rights to Marvelman/Miracleman.

For those not in the know, Marvelman began as a way for Warrior Magazine to continue making Captain Marvel stories after the licensing agreement with Fawcett Comics went kaput. A quick reskin of the character, change “Shazam” into “Kimota,” and voila, all new hero.

But what went from being a Captain Marvel rip-off became a whole new thing in the hands of Alan Moore and company, and then later on, Neil Gaiman.

(This is a horrid oversimplification. Read the full details here.)

I was in the crowd in 2009 when Marvel made that announcement, and I went nuts over it. I had been loaned a copy of the individual issues for Miracleman and loved the story. So, I was eager to see what Marvel would do with the character. After all, used properly, Marvelman could be a powerhouse and an icon on par with Superman. And he even had Marvel’s name in his title.

Of course, the licensing rights to Miracleman are a mess. And so, we got a few reprints of the original Mick Anglo stories, and then… nothing. For years. And most people assumed that the rights would be a part of Marvel/Disney’s portfolio and nothing would happen.

Then during Age of Ultron, it seemed like we would see Marvelman appear at the series’ conclusion. Instead, we got Angela, who Neil Gaiman still owned after creating her for Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. Nothing against Angela as a character, but her inclusion was somewhat anti-climactic to many. In a world without Hellspawn, her existence is confusing at best. It’s not that she can’t be retrofit to work in Marvel Comics, but is she needed?

(For the record? I am reading Guardians of the Galaxy, and I enjoy Angela’s presence there just fine. But I wanted to see Miracleman, dang it.)

Well, now, at least according to what was revealed at NYCC 2013, it seems like Miracleman is finally set to return.

According to a release put out today by Marvel, starting in January, we will see the Warrior/Eclipse comics series of Miracleman reprinted, and just as importantly, we will then see the series finished.

Because the sad truth is that Miracleman #25 was never printed. It was written, it was illustrated and it was ready to go, but it was never seen. And now, if all is to be believed, that final issue will also be printed and available.

Of course, I find it very interesting and curious that Alan Moore’s name is never listed in the press release. Hopefully that just means that Moore’s name can’t be used to promote it, and not that something weird is happening with his writing.

I’m thrilled, personally. I loved reading Miracleman, and am eager to own the issues myself. You can check out the full press release below, following a gallery of some of the covers that will be printed with the reprints.

MIRACLEMAN RETURNS! MARVEL TO PUBLISH GROUND-BREAKING ORIGINAL SERIES AND NEW STORIES BY NEIL GAIMAN!
“[Miracleman’s] heights are highs Watchmen cannot touch. It’s that good. It’s that important.” –Sequart.org

It was the series that changed comics forever. With the utterance of one word, Michael Moran transformed from the ordinary into the extraordinary – and Miracleman was born!

Long out of print, Marvel Comics is pleased to announce that the earth-shattering stories that injected new levels of sophistication into the super hero genre will finally see the light of day once again! Starting this January, Marvel will begin publishing the legendary run of Miraclemanby the original creators that began in Warrior Magazine and continued under now defunct publisher Eclipse Comics!

Fans lucky enough to have read these trailblazing stories when they were originally produced have often referred to this legendary run on Miracleman as “the lost Watchmen,” and Marvel is proud to finally bring these incredible comics to an audience that has clamored for them.

“The wait is over,” says Editor In Chief Axel Alonso. “Marvel will finally be bringing these timeless, ground-breaking stories to a whole new generation of reader.”

“We’ve been working with the Miracleman artists to obtain original artwork or photostats in every instance possible, and then applying the same painstaking restoration methods and rigorous quality standards that are utilized on the Marvel Masterworks line. The Marvel Special Projects team have even been developing some new techniques specifically for this project. These Miraclemanissues will receive the most advanced restoration possible to ensure the most authentic reading experience,” says SVP of Marvel Publishing David Gabriel. “The art is crisp, clear, and looks as good – if not better than the day it was published! Also, the stories are being completely relettered to meet today’s standards.”

Making these stories available to an entirely new generation is one thing – but following the original groundbreaking run, the epic more than 30 years in the making will reach its cataclysmic conclusion! You heard correctly – Marvel will also be publishing all-new Miraclemanstories from legendary creators Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham! Long left unfinished, Gaiman and Buckingham’s famous storyline will ultimately see the light of day!

“The tragedy of Miracleman was that we published two issues, wrote three and a half – and then it all stopped,” Gaiman said, in an interview with Marvel.com. “And Miracleman #25has been sitting in the darkness – nobody has seen it. It was drawn, it was written, it was lettered over 20 years ago.”

“I love the idea that I will get to finish this story,” added Gaiman.

“That Neil and Bucky can finally finish the story they started, is a great relief to still-gasping fans — myself among them,” says Alonso.

Re-presented in serialized form, each issue of Miracleman features additional content including new art, interviews with the creators as well as new covers from some of the industry’s most legendary artists! Look for Miracleman #1 in print and digital this January!