To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Miracleman, Marvel has announced Miracleman #0, a one-shot anthology that will feature stories by Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Jason Aaron, Michael Carey, Ty Templeton, Ryan Stegman and more.
Gaiman and Buckingham, whose previous work on Miracleman back when it was published by Eclipse Comics was cut short, “will deliver an exciting prelude to their upcoming new chapter of Miracleman.” Marvel also promises more Miracleman news will be coming later this week.
Alan Davis, who worked with Alan Moore on his epic reboot of the character back in the 1980s, provides the cover for the one-shot.
Marvel teased the return of Miracleman in the recent Timeless one-shot, which came out at the tail end of last year. The character has a long and sorted publishing history; he was created by Mick Anglo in the 1950s for L. Miller & Son, Ltd., a UK company that has been publishing reprints of Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel title. When Fawcett discontinued the title due to a lawsuit from DC, Anglo created Marvelman and a whole new mythos that was, shall we say, inspired by the whole Shazam! mythos. Marvelman survived until the 1960s, when L. Miller & Son, Ltd. went out of business.
Two decades later, Quality Communications began publishing the UK comics anthology Warrior, which featured a revival of Marvelman by Alan Moore and Gary Leach. The name was eventually changed to “Miracleman” due to objections from, ironically, Marvel, who would come to own the character so many years later. Davis eventually took over on art. Eclipse Comics brought Miracleman to the United States, reprinting the Warrior stories and then continuing them with new stories by Moore and artist Chuck Austen (yes, the former X-Men writer), Rick Veitch and John Totleben. With issue #17, Gaiman and Buckingham took over the title, and they made it to issue #24 before Eclipse declared bankruptcy and went out of business. Issue #25 was completed but never published.
That was in 1994, and circa 2001 things got more interesting. Todd McFarlane purchased the rights to Eclipse’s creative assets in 1996, and in 2001 he claimed ownership of Miracleman and planned to introduce him into the Spawn universe. This led to a legal battle between Gaiman and McFarlane that also included the character of Angela, who was introduced in a Gaiman-written issue of Spawn. But wait — in 2009, here comes Anglo, some 50 years after creating the character, who claims he still owned the character. He then sells the rights to Marvel. Also, Gaiman obtained the rights to Angela, and he sold her to Marvel. And now, finally, it seems that Gaiman and Buckingham will return to the story they started all those years ago and fans will finally get to see how it ends. Say it with me now — It’s a miracle!
Update: Oh hey, Marvel also announced a round of variant covers featuring Miracleman and various Marvel characters for September, which you can see below: