Hard to believe it’s been a year since Marvel’s big Comic Con announcement about their acquisition of the MARVELMAN license. If you’ve been locked in patient mediation, you can finally open your eyes, unfold your legs and get out of that lotus position - - Marvel’s first official MARVELMAN comics are coming out this Thursday (which is this weeks' new comics day, on account of the long weekend.) G-Man and I are hoping that MARVELMAN FAMILY’S FINEST #1 won’t be flying under any of you Comic Vine maniacs’ radar, because its release is actually quite historically significant for this industry. In a lot of ways, Marvelman’s sort of a real world equivalent of the Sentry (or Triumph, if you want to go that far back) - - that is, he’s a highly-influential superhero who a lot of people haven’t heard of because he’s been kept away for many years.
Marvelman was a UK publisher's replacement for Captain Marvel who experienced some trailblazing deconstruction from Alan Moore and Alan Davis in the 80s- - work that's held right up there with WATCHMEN and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Complicated legal dispute have kept the character in limbo for many, many years, though. Ironically, legal action by Marvel actually forced a prior right’s holder, Eclipse, to rename the character Miracleman at one point (a name I personally prefer - - it’s got a nicer ring to it.) The Moore/Davis issues (as well as those by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham) have been out of print because of this and, thus, are only available to those willing to pay the obsoridnate prices for marked-up back issues. == TEASER ==
I'm sure a lot of that's going to be covered in the MARVELMAN CLASSIC PRIMER that's coming out in a couple weeks. It's an almanac intended to fill new readers in on the character's history. The MARVELMAN FAMILY'S FINEST series starting this week will be reprinting the character's best stories from the beginning, starting with his very first appearance, but there's no word yet if it's going to reprint the Moore/Davis stories, though.
Marvel's been keeping their cards a little close to the chest so far, but even though their playing one hand this week, I can’t help thinking they’ve still got an ace up their sleeve. What I mean by that extended poker metaphor is that I don’t think this could be just about them reprinting old material. I’m wondering if they’ll possibly be publishing new stories featuring Marvelman. Or maybe even... * GASP * bringing him in to the Marvel Universe? Could that be their announcement at this year's SDCC?