The next entry in the Miracleman saga was unveiled Saturday as Marvel Comics announced at New York Comic-Con 2013 that they are moving forward and reprinting issues of the series starting in January 2014 with Miracleman #1. From there, it looks like the series will reprint all of the classic Alan Moore run from the 80s until it reaches the previously unpublished Miracleman #25, written by Neil Gaiman with art by Mark Buckingham. After that, Marvel will publish all new Miracleman stories by Gaiman and Buckingham, with the plan being to finish the story that Gaiman had planned almost 20 years ago.
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said, “The wait is over. Marvel will finally be bringing these timeless, ground-breaking stories to a whole new generation of reader.” The new announcement was made during the Cup O’ Joe panel at NYCC, with a video by Gaiman introducing the plans for the series.
Check out the covers here below.
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 Miracleman issues 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
Each reprint issue from Marvel will contain not only the original story, but will also have new art, interviews with creators, and new covers.
Marvel Comics first announced in 2009 that they had obtained the rights to republish the classic UK comic Miracleman (or Marvelman as he was originally known as in England). Since then, it has been a series of starts and stops, mostly stops, with only one volume of reprints coming out, and that volume only containing stories of the character that originally came out in the 50s, not the issues from the 80s and 90s that most everyone actually wants to see.
Now, here’s where the announcement gets problematic: I have no idea what the content of Miracleman #1, available January 2014 from Marvel Comics, is going to be. I think what will happen is that Miracleman #1 will be a reprint of the Eclipse Comics version of Miracleman #1 which was itself a reprint of material originally published in Warrior magazine in the UK. This is the Alan Moore stuff that most everyone wants to read, but has been tied up in a legal mess for 20 years. The problem is that Marvel’s press release makes no mention of Moore, likely due to Moore continually distancing himself from the entire Miracleman kerfuffle, so I can’t be 100% positive that the Moore written issues are what they are going to be reprinting here.
It could be that the Miracleman #1 that we see in January is the first issue of Gaiman’s run, which would make it a reprint of Miracleman #17 of the Eclipse run, which was published after Warrior Magazine came to an end (Eclipse took over the series after Warrior Magazine closed up shop). However, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because, as I understand it, you need to have the context provided by the Moore issues to really know what’s going on in the Gaiman issues, and since not that many people have read the Moore issues, this seems like a bad idea. Marvel mentioned that they had worked with the Miracleman “artists,” plural, and since Mark Buckingham was the only artist on Gaiman’s run, and there were various artists on Moore’s run, so that leads me to believe that the Moore issues are where they will start reprinting.
Marvel also mentions that the reprints will be from “the original creators that began in Warrior Magazine” which is where Moore’s work was originally published, so again, I’m almost positive that Marvel’s Miracleman #1 will be a reprint of the Eclipse version of Miracleman #1, written by Alan Moore with art by Gary Leach. Or they could even start over at the very beginning of Miracleman and reprint the work by the characters creator Mick Anglo originally done in the 50s. I guess we’ll find out in a few weeks when the Previews solicitations are released for January.
Is this cool news? Yes. Readers have been waiting since that original 2009 announcement to see the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman stuff, and it looks like we may finally be getting that. It’s also very cool to know that Gaiman will have a chance to finish the story he had planned so many years ago, although one wonders if his story may have changed over the last 20 years. However, I’d really like to know exactly what we’re getting in January, and I hope that Marvel isn’t just starting at the start of Gaiman’s run. We’ll see when the solicits for that first issue come out.
In the meantime, here are a bunch of covers for the Marvel reprints by Buckingham, John Cassaday, Leinil Yu, Skottie Young, Joe Quesada, Mike Perkins, and Mike McKone.
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