web stats

CSBG Archive

You Decide: Should Miracleman Join the Marvel Universe?

Once Neil Gaiman finishes his original work on Miracleman, do you think Marvel should add the character to the Marvel Universe or should he remain as a stand alone character?

Read on for the poll…


No. I appreciate the “merging hundreds of different stories” aspect of the MU. When all those stories combine and meld together well, they make an incredibly rich and detailed world. However, I’m not sure if Miracleman would meld with the normal Marvel Universe.

Clearly the world and history created by Moore and Gaiman is incompatible with the Marvel Universe, but there’s another option altogether. The Miracleman story needs to stay its own separate thing and then conclude when Neil’s last story is done. Maybe reprint the Apocrypha as well, but nothing more. End Miracleman there, full stop. And then Marvelman could be introduced as essentially a new character to the Marvel Universe, unencumbered by history or reader expectations. It’s just too bad the company already plowed a similar furrow with the Sentry, because something similar (albeit considerably less whiny, one hopes) would work much better here.

Of course Miracleman is going to go into the MU, and be integrated into the machinery, and etcetc, I give it two years before he’s part of the Avengers and five more years after that before he’s remembered as that character that had all the rights issues way back when who nobody cares about any more.

I thought he already did and was called The Sentry.

Miracleman? Never.

Miracleman is essentially a creator-owned character that Alan Moore used to deconstruct superhero tropes, in general, and the Marvel Family, in particular. He bears superficial similarities to a character named Marvelman that Marvel acquired a few years back, but they are really not the same. Miracleman was the protagonist in a very specific story that Moore and Neil Gaiman were telling that is entirely incompatible with the Marvel universe. Miracleman shouldn’t show up in the Marvel U anymore than Dr. Manhattan should be hanging out with Batman.

Marvelman, on the other hand, is totally fine.

Voted no, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it’ll happen.

Yeah, seems like the was already done with The Sentry, and it was a stupid idea to integrate him into the Marvel U then. Doing the same thing with a different name isn’t going to make it a good idea the second time around.

That said, I agree with Jake that he’ll probably be an Avenger within 2 years.

I am, however, super pumped that the original Miracleman is finally going to be reprinted. I got issue #2 when I was fairly young, and it blew my little mind. Have never read another issue, but have been dying to for years. So no matter what happens going forward with the character, at least we get to see the original stuff and can ignore any stupid crap Marvel does with him going forward.

I’m with the crowd, here. If the Marvel Universe needed or even could easily accomodate a Captain Marvel knock-off, the Sentry would have worked. And Miracleman comes with a whole family of similarly-powered people as well, as well as one origin that would require reworking the foundational super-soldier-program mythos (and another origin that’s too silly for modern readers)…

He might work as a refugee from another universe, I guess. But that seems like a lot of work for very little gain. Or as something integrated from the start into the Fifth[1] Marvel Universe if Ultimate is ending and they want to go for another blank slate again.

[1] 616, New Universe, Heroes Reborn, Ultimate

My gut reaction was “No way” and then my second reaction was “who cares?”. Whatever people want, Marvel will probably integrate him anyway, and it’ll essentially be a totally different character (how would they integrate his taking over the world with Marvel continuity…parallel earths, maybe…) but in any case, nothing should take away from the stellar work of Moore and Gaiman that should stand alone in fans’ minds.

I ended up voting with the gut “no” anyway, just ’cause it’d be nice just to respect what Moore and Gaiman did and leave it alone. But Marvel’s in the business of making comics so I can’t get too mad when they try to make more comics.

Not sure why I bother to comment when Dean Hacker is just going to come along and make the same point I did, but doing it better!

Also not sure why no one else is picking up on what he and I are saying: Miracleman and Marvelman can be two different guys.

If they make Mircaleman a Marvel character, Alan Moore is going to have a hissy fit that will make his reaction to Before Watchmen look like a sissy slap fight.

There’s no “Jesus Christ, no, what are you, insane?” option.

Only if he comes into like Angela did.

Which I sort of dig, all of her adventures did happen, but since she is in a new universe, there is no reason to be specific about those events.

It is going to happen. Every “No” vote in this poll is currently convincing Marvel that they are making the right choice in planning to bring him in. To be fair, I did also vote no.

Look for this to be the headline-grabbing big story in a few years, just like Angela was this year, and the original Marvelman announcement was a few years ago. People will say they hate it, and Marvel will sell an obscene number of copies when it happens.

Superman doesn’t work in the Marvel universe – it’s why Sentry had to die. Miracleman was a great series that would be diluted by having him become a part of the Marvelverse.

Doubly no.

One, the concept of Miracleman is pretty much at odds with the idea of a shared universe.

Two, I don’t think the concept has a lot of stories left in it, either. Good as some of his stories are, they are also somewhat self-limiting far as a continuing tale goes.

Realistically, all the $$ and time they have spent getting hold of this character, they are going to have to put some version of MM in the MU.
I don’t want it, but I’m happy with the compromise of keeping Miracleman its own thing, and making Marvel Man a lesser powered version within the 616.
If it confuses people, who cares, read the wikipedia page.

Was Angela actually a headline grabbing story, though? I know Marvel wanted it to be, but my impression was that most people were like “Oh, that one character that appeared in a few Image comics 20 years ago is now part of the Marvel U. I guess that’s interesting.”

Granted, that could just be my reaction to it. But as much as Marvel tried to hype the big reveal at the end of Age Of Ultron, it didn’t seem like it actually took with the comic buying public in my opinion.

Adding Marvel/Miracle Man into the Marvel U seems like the same thing. Most of us long time comic fans or newer fans in the know want to see the original stories, but those people aren’t going to want him to be part of the main Marvel U, and people that were unaware of Miracleman aren’t going to care if he is.

Is the only way Marvel can make their money back from this purchase, realistically, is by making a movie?
How much can the comics bring in? If the buy out was close to 3 million dollars, it will take decades to make that money back. Money from trades of the Moore run, will help with that.
Do they even have film rights? How awesome would Moore’s third volume make for a film. DC will have to cancel all Shazam film plans, and if they rushed their film, that only helps Marvel.

I don’t know what the buyout terms where. However, the trade collections of Miracleman will likely sell very well, so I think they’d be fine, money-wise, even if they only stick with reprinting the comics.

John Klein – there have been a lot of people saying that Marvel didn’t even get the full rights to the character, that what they were actually sold is only the film rights. I don’t think that’s correct, but it’s interesting that there is apparently less dispute that they own the film rights than anything else.

I think they’ll try that because they want a movie character like Superman.

I also think Marvelman will be integrated into the Marvel Universe, but not fully. Not the way they tried to force Sentry in. More like the way the Inhumans exist, but they are usually off doing their own things.

Prior to Angela, has the Marvel Universe ever integrated a character that they didn’t originally own? I know DC has done this quite a bit, with Shazam, Plastic Man, Blackhawks, the Charlton characters, the Wildstorm characters… But I don’t think Marvel has ever done it before.

I agree with others that Marvelman could work in the Marvel U, but not Miracleman. It wouldn’t surprise me if when Marvel starts reprinting the Moore and Gaiman stories, they do it under the MAX line, so that way they would be free to introduce Miracleman into the Marvel U with the understanding that the continuity wouldn’t carry over from the MAX title. It would even be fun to introduce the whole 1950’s cast of characters. Comics have been missing someone named Dicky Dauntless for FAR too long.

And does anyone know if Marvel’s deal with Gaiman for Angela was tied into his deal for finishing his Miracleman saga? I have a feeling that they went together somehow, like one was a “gift” for fulfilling the other.

Lastly, and a bit random and off topic, but I’m surprised the Big Two have never bought Solar, Magnus, and Turok. Those are three great characters that have name recognition, and as Valiant showed in the early 90’s, they can work really well in a shared universe. Maybe whoever owns them are determined to never sell, only license. But imagine Turok in the Savage Land, or Magnus teaming up with young Cable in the far future. Those characters are too good to keep journeying from defunct series to defunct series.

I don’t know what the buyout terms where. However, the trade collections of Miracleman will likely sell very well, so I think they’d be fine, money-wise, even if they only stick with reprinting the comics.

Plus it gets them projects from Gaiman and potentially earns Marvel some credit with creators in an era when most creators (wisely) want to minimize their work for corporate publishers and reserve their original ideas for creator-owned projects where they control the IP. It won’t convince anyone to sell their cool original character idea to Marvel, but it might pay off in getting big names or rising indie talents to look at Marvel before DC when they want a Big Two paycheck.

Prior to Angela, has the Marvel Universe ever integrated a character that they didn’t originally own?

Several times, actually, nearly all of them dealing with either licenses or public domain characters. The most prominent are probably Fu Manchu and other elements of the Sax Rohmer novels, which have stuck around under new names since Marvel lost that license; ROM and the Spaceknights; Godzilla; and to a rather lesser extent stuff like the Transformers and G.I. Joe. In all of these cases, Marvel has retained original characters created at Marvel for those franchises, including Shang-Chi and much of his supporting cast and rogues’ gallery, the Spaceknights other than ROM himself and the Dire Wraiths, and minor Marvel baddie Doctor Demonicus.

More successfully, Marvel has essentially claimed and sometimes promoted characters from now-defunct 1940s publishers whose IP is now in the public domain. The Western Ghost/Phantom Rider was not originally a Timely-Atlas character, for example. Neither was Doctor Nemesis in the current X-Men books, who was originally imported by Roy Thomas as turncoat Nazi villain alongside a handful of other minor 1940s characters from long-closed publishing houses. (Oddly, no one in the X-books seems to have addressed the character’s canonical Nazism…or his apparent death in that same Invaders miniseries.) Surprisingly few fans know that the Prince of Orphans from the acclaimed Immortal Iron Fist is a refitted Centaur Comics character of the 1940s, Amazing-Man.

Also a few characters from the Conan mythos have stuck around and become lasting parts of the Marvel Universe, including Shuma-Gorath and Kulan Gath. Shuma-Gorath was at least mentioned in Robert E. Howard books; I think Gath was created just for the comics.

What I anticipate happening with Miracleman is crossing over into the Marvel Universe much like Marvel Boy did once his main arc concludes. Like I said, I don’t like the idea, but that’s my prediction.

We need an option for “HELL no”.

Kulan Gath is a really weird case, since he was co-created by Roy Thomas and Michael Moorcock for a story featuring Moorcock’s Elric character as a specially licensed/permitted guest star. Gath was then used as a Marvel character for decades, but as of the recent Spider-Man/Red Sonja miniseries with Dynamite!, Gath is often described as being with the Red Sonja rightsholders rather than Marvel.

Of course, Red Sonja herself, as Brian Cronin has covered in the past, is essentially a Marvel original character who ended up owned by the Howard estate instead due to Roy Thomas deliberately making that happen.

@Omar & Buttler

I think those are all good points, but also a little bit more like sidesteps than what I was referring to. In all of those cases, Marvel has retained characters they created for properties they didn’t own, but they’re still characters created at Marvel. I’m talking more about the DC model of buying a character from another company to specifically become a permanent DC character, as they did with Shazam, Plastic Man,Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, etc. I mean, all of those guys joined the Justice League at some point.

Marvel has retained a lot of things from properties they licensed, but those licensed properties are also all gone now. Has Marvel ever purchased a character from an outside source with the intention of that character permanently becoming a Marvel Universe fixture?

Er, no…all the public domain characters I listed were created elsewhere.

No option for “I don’t care”? That does not mean I think it is a good idea to bring Miraleman/Marvelman to the Marvel Universe; but as long as I can get a reprint of the original Moore/Gaiman run (even if unfinished) then Marvel can do what ever they want with the character. So many characters are retconned or changed over the course of time into something so unrecognizable from their roots (i.e. from Marvelman’s original stores to Moore’s work on him to whatever Marvel may do in the future) that it is really an industry standard and should be expected. Some changes I like and some I hate and I will buy the one’s that appeal to me.

Marvel should just use MM in his own universe.

Why all the fuss about the dude from Fantastic Four #3? Isn’t he already a part of the Marvel U?

Oh. Wait.

Brian Cronin: “I don’t know what the buyout terms where. However, the trade collections of Miracleman will likely sell very well, so I think they’d be fine, money-wise, even if they only stick with reprinting the comics.”

Yeah, this was probably their main motivation with Miracleman. Marvel is hoping to acquire their own Watchmen, a trade (or series of trades) that will sell and sell and sell, for decades. Hence the need for Gaiman to complete the series.

I liked in the January solicits for the 1st two reprint issues Alan Moore is listed as “The Original Writer.”

Travis: I’ve changed my mind. Miracleman is going to arrive in the Marvel universe by bursting through the Miracle Man’s stomach in the middle of a rematch with the FF.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives