Robot 6

By the Numbers | Waiting for Marvelman

marvelman-cropped

In “By the Numbers,” ROBOT 6 takes a look back at the events of the past five days … in numbers.

With Thursday’s announcement that Neil Gaiman is returning to the Marvel Universe and bringing with him Angela, the character at the center of his eight-year legal battle with Todd McFarlane, we’re left to wonder about the whereabouts of Marvelman. We also look at the surprise departures at DC Comics, and what the right price is when you name your own.

by the number-march22 copy

1. Axel-in-Charge: Angela, Artist Changes & What If?: AVX (Comic Book Resources, March 22, 2013)
2. Gaiman returns to Marvel, Brings Spawn‘s Angela (Comic Book Resources, March 21, 2013)
3. Vaughan and Martin Launch Name-Your-Price Digital Comic (Robot 6, March 19, 2013)
4. Diggle Leaves Action Comics, Daniel Takes Over Scripting Duties (Comic Book Resources, March 20, 2013)
5. Joshua Hale Fialkov Exits Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns (Comic Book Resources, March 20, 2013)

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36 Comments

The Private Eye was great. Marcos Martin was just showing off on every page, and it was amazing.

I don’t understand why so many people are waiting for Marvelman to show up in the Marvel Universe. I know Alan Moore’s run with the character was important, but the character himself is just a Captain Marvel clone. Unless he’s majorly revamped, I don’t see the purpose, because if they change him enough, why bother going after the rights in the first place, name aside.

dude. read the actual books before you comment.

If you are referring to Marvelman/Miracleman, I have read all the issues that exist, and I agree with VarjakPaul. He is right, the character was literally created to be a Captain Marvel rip-off when England ran out of Captain Marvel comics to reprint in the 1950′s. Some great creators 30 years later made the character transcend his flimsy beginning, but that doesn’t change the fact that in most hands the character will still just be a captain marvel analogue and nothing more. I would love collected editions of the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stuff to be released. I would like to see the rest of the Gaiman storylines (Silver Age and Dark Age) I would be interested in other stories if they get really good creators on them. But i have zero interest in seeing the character in 616 marvel continuity. Marvel already had a Miracleman-inspired character in continuity in Sentry. So I already have a good idea how it would turn out.

I’m more interested in seeing the Moore and Gaiman runs reprinted in deluxe trades.

rgt8423
March 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I’m more interested in seeing the Moore and Gaiman runs reprinted in deluxe trades.
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This. I have the runs in single issue form. I just want trades that won’t cost me $300 bucks to own. A nice hardcover set would be sweet.

A bit off topic, but I love that the few posts here are comparing Marvelman/Miracleman to Captain Marvel (rightfully so). Isn’t the reason DC said the reason they chose to change Captain Marvel’s name to Shazam is because that is what everyone calls him?

1. What’s so special about Marvelman anyway? Now I’ve never read any of his stories, but then it’s because I don’t find him unique or intriguing. He reminds me of a skinny lanky cockney redneck Molecule Man. Did Marvel acquire him simply because of his namesake?

2. Why is there a need to introduce Angela into the Marvel universe? Don’t they already have something similar in Brundhilde Valkyrie or Mirage-Valkyrie?

@Marvangelaman: Well, two guys named Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman wrote him. People tend to like those two guys.

But yeah,VarjakPaul’s right, of course. It’s not even like the Before Watchmen scenario, where familiar characters are given unnecessary elaboration on their stories. Removed from his original context, Marvelman might as well be a new character.

In that respect, though, that makes it better than Before Watchmen. Marvel could always use a little freshness, and I’m sure Hickman could do wonders with a Captain Marvel ripoff alongside his Superman ripoff over in his Avengers.

Yeah I do want to see the Moore run collected and finally released. Question when are they going to do something with the “Blue Marvel”?

Like many others, I don’t really care whether he shows up in the current Marvel Universe. I just want MARVELMAN by Moore and Gaiman in hardbacks on my bookshelf. Bring on the reprints!

Jake Earlewine

March 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I’m in agreement with Varjak and Genius. Without Alan Moore, Marvelman is just a clone of the original Captain Marvel, whom DC has consistently failed at publishing.

Marvelman, just like Fawcett’s original Captain Marvel, was a sweet, farcical “comic” aimed at a much younger audience than Superman. And DC has never been able to sell that character, so they’ve “matured” him, dirtied him up to match their myopic vision of what comic buyers want to see. And he’s no longer truly Captain Marvel, he’s a different character, just one more super-hero who has so much dang power he’s difficult for mediocre writers to work with.

Remember what a big deal it was in 1973, what a landscape-changer it was for the DC universe, when Captain Marvel was re-introduced? Me neither. (cymbal crash here)

I’m afraid Marvelman will make a similar non-existent splash in the Marvel Universe. Marvel will do its best to riff on — or rip off — Alan Moore’s complex and mature Miracleman. But it wasn’t Miracleman that made that run so awesome, it was Alan Moore. Take away Alan Moore, what’s left is a handful of smoke.

I can’t wait for the reprints. I hope they’re oversized hardbacks with remastered coloring. They better collect every single thing that exists.

Is Marvel’s aquisition of Marvelman the reason they decided to kill the Sentry, because they had a replacement?

Except they waited too long and now there’s Starbrand being reintroduced in Avengers, along with a few Hyperions and Captain Universe. So we now have a whole bunch of beyond powewrful Superman analogues.

And let’s not even mention three generations of Thors and a herd of Hulks.

I believe why Marvelman/Miracleman has never been really worked on by marvel was simply because they have been unable to get the correct writer for it in the past four years. Regardless on whether it’d make an impact if it ever were to be released, it is a title with a certain pedigree, having being work on by Alan Moore, and only one of Two heroes in the marvel catalogue to have such a status.

My opinion (and hope ) on this would be that if Neil Gaiman were to return to comics, Marvelman would simply be a good place for him. It certainly is a character that holds much importance to Gaiman, and with this it could something akin to “sandman” for marvel.

I agree. I think that Marvel’s going to ignore Alan Moore’s run and pick up where Neil Gaiman starts. Think the end of Age of Ultron leads right into Gaiman’s Marvel Man.

Marvelman is a big deal, and somebody’s version is going to get reconned. But the real story is DC’s continuing implosion. Maybe Marvel/Disney will buy Superman when DC finally crumbles.

One of the many things that makes Miracleman work (besides that fact that the book was written first by Alan Moore and then by Neil Gaiman) is that it takes place in a real world without any superheroes. In fact (to those of you who have never read the original Alan Moore run) Miracleman is not a superhero book. By the time you are done with it, you realize that it is in reality are hardcore Science fiction book and how access to an alien technology creates a superhuman who in turn re creates the world. Neil Gaiman’s run then shows us what becomes of the world after it is changed (But his run was never finished).

I would have no interest in seeing this character set in the Marvel universe with next to the Avengers or the FF, but I would be completely interested in seeing Neil Gaiman getting the chance to finish his story.

After that if they want to continue the character in his own continuity, outside of the Marvel Universe….Well it’s all going to boil down to who’s writing it and how good they are.

Yeah like everyone’s saying, this isn’t about having Marvelman in the Marvel Universe at all.

This is just about having the chance to get trades again of all the Moore/Gaiman material.

I don’t think that spinning Marvelman off into a separate universe would work either. And would defeat the purpose of acquiring the character if you’re not planning on integrating him into the 616 universe.

And the reason that the Sentry was killed off was two fold. (1) He was poorly conceived with a muddled origin that made no sense. (2) They acquired Marvelman.

lewis4510: “I don’t think that spinning Marvelman off into a separate universe would work either.”

How would that not work? He’s already in a separate universe.

I agree with a lot of what was written above.

Miracleman / Marvelman stories by Moore and Gaiman were what made the character special AT THAT TIME.

I’m not sure that injecting the character into the Marvel universe proper is a great idea. I get that Marvel wanted the character because of the name.

I would rather have quality reprints of the Moore /Gaiman material done at, as I recall, Eclipse than read about yet another hero in the Marvel universe.

Death of Sentry in Siege is a natural climax to both, the long-term story line and Bob’s inner character developmement. Would not look too much deeper into it.

And with Marvelman/Miracleman, they can do a new MAX title and/or some continuation of the previous title and/or introduce him into the main universe. They can do pretty much any or all of these three options.

Marvel: just unleash the Omnibus edition of the Moore-Gaiman Marvelman stories!

All this “Marvelman/Miracleman is a clone of Captain Marvel” nonsense is just that: nonsense. Of course he’s a thinly veiled copy. Welcome to comics.

It’s like saying Fraction/Aja shouldn’t be doing Hawkeye because he’s a copy of Green Arrow.

Or Alan Moore shouldn’t have worked on Supreme because he’s a copy of Superman.

Or Lee/Kirby shouldn’t have worked on the Avengers because they’re a copy of the Justice League.

If you get the write creative team, copies/clones can sometimes exceed the reach of the original.

I could see Morrison, Ellis, Milligan or Cornell all bring something new to the Marvelman mythos — whether it’s set in the Marvel U or not. Just don’t give it to a bloody American.

@ jonnyr saying that “just don’t give it to a bloody american” is stupid as saying that Superman or Batman shouldn’t be written by a “damn Brit” and yet they have been.

I don’t understand why so many people are waiting for Marvelman to show up in the Marvel Universe.

Because no one is really waiting for this. That’s just PR hype. What people REALLY want are affordable reprints of the Moore/Gaiman material.

Private Eye was amazing! Loved the first issue.

Even though I have all the single issues of Miracleman I am still really looking forward to Marvel collecting it all into nice hardcovers and hopefully not an impossible to read omnibus. Hoping they can add issue #25 in as well, what I’ve seen from it in Kimota! The Miracleman Companion looked amazing.

If they do take a swing at new Miracleman work it would be nice to see Gaiman wrap everything up once and for all with the Dark Age arc. Especially if they could get Alan Davis back on art.

@lewis4510

It’s not as stupid as saying “I don’t think that spinning Marvelman off into a separate universe would work either. And would defeat the purpose of acquiring the character if you’re not planning on integrating him into the 616 universe”

Make Marvelman black and I’m in.

I don’t really care about Marvelman being included in the Marvel University… just give me reprints of Moore’s and Gaiman’s run and I can die happily.

Neil Gaiman has wanted to finish his Marvelman stoyline for years and years. If Marvel gives him a chance to continue from where he left, then it would be awesome.

But Marvelman in the MU would be a complete betrayal of what the character is. It’s like getting the rights to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY so that you can meld it with STAR TREK. They’re incompatible, because one is the deconstruction of the other. Joining them would defeat both their purposes.

What a sad sort of affairs comics have become -resorting to pulp fiction that was created more than twenty years ago-just to create sales. Ugh.

To the comment “….Isn’t the reason DC said the reason they chose to change Captain Marvel’s name to Shazam is because that is what everyone calls him?”

Not even close. There was a massive lawsuit between publishers of Superman (now DC) and the one comic that outsold it… Captain Marvel (Fawcett Publications). DC’s parent claimed Captain Marvel was plagiarism and the suit went on for years. Fawcett gave up the fight when it pulled out of the comics business in the mid 1950s and DC got the Fawcett catalog. And sat on it. Circa 1968, Marvel bought the rights to the name “Captain Marvel” from DC for the new space born character they wanted to introduce. That left DC with a character but no right to the “Captain Marvel” masthead. So, when originator CC Beck was brought back to do new Captain Marvel stories in the 1970s, DC had to come up with something else to title the book. Thus “Shazam!” [not that this has anything to do with the rest of these comments. I just prefer the correct history.]

My own history and interest in comics followed from Amazing Spider-man (and yes, the good tv shows when I was a kiddo), Incredible Hulk. Batman, and probably Captain America and I even read a few ARCHIE books and the Richie Rich comics. Then I finished school and entered university.

Never was an Alan Moore follower or aficionado at that time, and I got V FOR VENDETTA when it was newly printed as a collection and when it was for a college course reading list.

I soon went to stores and asked about other books and the Miracleman books but every bookstore turned me away – even when the trade collections were new Eclipse folded and it created a presence of a mystery to even finding them to buy, then read.

-to Marvangelaman – probably the stories are good enough and the fact they have been so long scarce items has promoted this MIRACLEMAN interest. Plus, let it be said, Moore is a very, very solid writer. I thought so and found out he has delivered in many, many series.

— reminds me of a skinny lanky cockney redneck Molecule Man.

(meant Spider-man, the .goofy. tv shows…)

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