Because this really couldn't wait until Tuesday...
Gaiman Writing For Marvel! Gaiman Writing For Marvel!
Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas,
and Neil Gaiman held a joint press conference yesterday to announce that
the man behind The Sandman will write a 6-issue mini-series for
In Gaiman's words,
he's "…going to write as many characters as (he) can without doing a
Secret Wars kind of thing." The book will leave open what he refers
to as "…fertile ground" for other writers to come in and pick up the
threads, much as Gaiman feels his 75-issue run on The Sandman
did for the DC Universe. (And if you have any doubt of his impact on
the DCU, look no further than this month's Green Arrow.)
The big kicker
is that the book's profits will not technically be going to Marvel.
Instead, all the money will be poured into a legal fund. The purpose
of the fund? Get all the rights to Marvelman/Miracleman in the hands
of Gaiman, so that the book can be reprinted and his near-legendary
run be finished. He hinted that he had at least nine more issues to
go before publishing house Eclipse Comics imploded a decade ago.
For those not familiar
with the character, here's the convoluted history: Miracleman had been
a British continuation of Fawcett's Captain Marvel. When Fawcett stopped
publishing Captain Marvel in 1953, the British house reprinting it changed
the name to Marvelman, changed Mary Marvel to Young Marvelman (they
were boys' comics, after all), and ran adventures for several
more years. A young maniac by the name of Alan Moore revived the character
in the '80's for a British magazine called Warrior.
After that magazine's
collapse, Eclipse Comics began reprinting Marvelman under the title Miracleman,
since a certain major company had, um, issues with it. With Eclipse, Moore
was able to finish the storyline he had begun in England, before handing
over the writing chores to Gaiman. An already intense book under Moore,
Gaiman took it to further heights, being one of the first to explore the
question of just what would happen to an Earth that had a whole family
of supermen, supermen determined to leave the place better than they found
The story never
finished, as Eclipse went belly-up.
A few years ago,
a little-known entrepeneur by the name of Todd McFarlane bought most
of Eclipse's assets, including its characters, and even went so far
as to release an action figure of The Heap, who had appeared in Eclipse's
Airboy. But the big question remained: did Eclipse really
own Miracleman? The publisher of Warrior, Dez Skinn, disagreed,
and so did Alan Moore, though both of them really just wanted to see
Gaiman finish the book.
Sharp readers of HellSpawn:
The Way I Would Have Done The Book If I Weren't Trading Off My Spider-Man
Fame At The Time will notice that McFarlane had begun laying the groundwork
for Miracleman's return to the Spawniverse, despite his not necessarily
owning the rights. Gaiman and McFarlane have been playing a game of He
Said, He Said for several years over this issue.
If McFarlane chooses
not to fight and instead voluntarily hands over his share of the rights
(as Gaiman alleges he promised to do in exchange for the creation of
Angela), the profits will go into the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund,
a floating entity that helps comics creators defend their properties,
rights, and in a few cases, their freedoms.
As a result, it's
astounding and pleasing to say that everybody wins: Marvel, Gaiman,
Miracleman (who Marvel is even willing to let revert back to being Marvelman),
and most importantly, fans.
Okay, so DC doesn't
necessarily win, but they've still got The Dark Knight Strikes Back!.
(But they don't have a Harry Potter adaptation coming, despite
being a sister company to Warner Brothers - Quesada is working on making
that happen. Hmmm.)
this and more in the Fanboy forums.