So Marvel owns Marvelman now. Oh shit. An insanely convoluted intellectual rights situation just got a whole hell of a lot crazier, and I'm sure this will all go just as smoothly as, say, the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death.
I’m not sure what, if anything was accomplished by Marvel’s deal with Mick Anglo, but it almost certainly had nothing to do with moving forward the reprinting of Miracleman. The list of people that may need to be placated in order to get those stories to print includes, but isn’t necessarily limited to: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Garry Leach, Dez Skinn, Alan Davis, Chuck Austen, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, Mark Buckingham, and Todd McFarlane. That’s a lot of money to throw around, and some of those folks are going to be difficult no matter what.
But lets be optimistic and suppose Marvel throws money in all the right directions. Everyone buys off, and they get all the Marvelman and Miracleman rights, and even Alan Moore just basically washes his hands of it. Everything’s hunky-dory, right? Not so fast. Just because Marvel has caught this fish doesn’t mean they know how to gut it, clean it, and cook it.
Let’s say Marvel gets it together somehow to get a deluxe edition Miracleman collection into bookstores: $150 deluxe multi- volume set collecting books 1-4 . Regardless of format, rest assured that “MARVEL” will take up approximately 40% of the spine. In BIG RED LETTERS. They will fuck up the presentation somehow, I assure you. Do you think this one will be a big enough deal to call in Arthur Suydam to do the Zombie Variant cover? Because there will be one.
Then there’s the innards. In all the rush to get this treasured classic, how many of the higher ups at Marvel have actually read Miracleman recently? I have, and it’s full of interesting things that they might recoil at when the rubber hits the road, and the book goes to press. For example, I can’t imagine Marvel Comics leaving the unflinchingly realistic four-page birth scene from Miracleman #9 intact, at least not in any mass-market printing. In the context of the story, Miracleman has just rescued his very pregnant wife Liz from Doctor Gargunza, when she realizes that its time to have the baby. They are far from any hospital, so Miracleman has to help her deliver right then and there, and Rick Veitch drew the whole graphic birth sequence, front and center. And why not? There are sure enough graphic deaths in comics. But I can't imagine Marvel printing the sequence uncut, especially in any mass-market edition. Imagine the howls of outrage then! It's the next big tempest in a teapot, I'm telling ya!