Today it was announced by Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso that an announcement on Miracleman/Marvelman was impending. I watched my Twitter explode with tweets of joy, and have seen how Newsarama has taken the news and have become quite confused.
While it may have held critical acclaim at one point, the series has reverted into a cult following as the creators battled over who truly owned the characters and series. So when Marvel announced that it held the rights in 2009 it was more than a bit curious as to how they got it.
Since then, fans across the internet have been speaking about how excited they are at seeing the character in the Marvel Universe. However, as time has gone on the excitement has only waned. It’s nearly 4 years since that announcement and nothing has happened until now. And even now it’s only a very vague suggestion that there might be movement in that direction.
Now my ultimate question is, how will it be done? Surely Marvel doesn’t have the rights to reprint the entire run, and if they did, why haven’t they done so until now. Without the original run, they have only a shell of a character and series to work with. Marvelman/Miracleman within the main stream Marvel Universe would require a clean slate for two reasons. Either they start completely over and we see the construction of a similar, but very different character, which would be sure to anger many hard core fans. The second would be to add him with his continuity in tact, and do very little to flesh out the characters backstory. This would only serve to help alienate new readers and muddle the Marvel Universe in general.
So I’m ultimately confused as to the excitement over this character. His time has seemingly passed, and with the original’s nigh but impossible to find, modern comics readers are not going to know who the character is. While this might be sad, this is what happens when a character is stuck in limbo for so long. It took Captain Marvel (Shazam for all you Marvel fans out their) years to find its way into the DC Universe proper. And even though he is now integrated into the DC universe, he is far from as popular or important as he was before everything went down. Would M/M man not fall into this category as well? Would integrating him into the universe not just undermine the narrative significance of the original works?
While I understand Marvel wanting to use all of their assets, I can only see adding Marvel/Miracle Man into the Marvel Universe as a way to not only alienate and upset the remaining fans of the character, but to eliminate much of the narrative integrity and clout that places the original work on a pedestal.
I think Marvel (and fans) should be content with a reprint of the original materials, if Marvel has that legal power. Wouldn’t that be better? For everyone?
Let me know what you think,
Until the next time, pray for a miracle. Or a marvel. Or a man.