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Steve Replogle On Why Marvel Would Want To Give Us More Miracleman
posted January 19, 2014
I'm writing to respond to some of your comments and questions about Miracleman. For example, you recently wrote, "I'm still not all the way clear why Marvel is so hot on giving us more Miracleman."
I can think of several reasons.
First, they are not giving us more Miracleman, they are giving us the only Miracleman, period! The comic is not available, except at very high prices. It's simply not in circulation, and should be. Secondly, it's a kind of publishing coup that will allow Marvel to become the publishers of record of important works by both Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. Now the company can point to it's own publication by the authors of Watchmen and Sandman whenever DC gets too uppity. Thirdly, it's just good comics, or even great comics. Hey, if I ran a comic company, this is what I would try to reprint (and then have Neil and Mark Buckingham complete, as they're doing).
And fourthly, it might be that Neil Gaiman went to Marvel, and that he was the one who was eager (if not hot) to do it. After all, he knew Alan Moore would probably never agree to DC, no matter how nice they might be toward Mick Anglo. I'm not sure why Neil went to Marvel instead of an independent publisher, but it may have been related to the need for a long-term commitment, as this deal has been a number of years in the making. Or it may be that Marvel simply has deeper pockets, both to promote and reap the benefits of Neil's 1602 and Eternals, and to help cover the court costs with Todd McFarlane. Not to mention the business folks and lawyers who presumably have worked extra in order to secure all the rights to the work from everyone, British or American.
Heck, it may have simply been Neil's canny decision to show DC he could always go to their primary competition if they mess with Sandman.
Well, the truth is Miracleman is a seminal work, but not just "for this generation of Marvel creative higher-ups" as you put it.
I'd love to read a good interview from Neil Gaiman about these matters, but in the meantime, let me share my own view. As a comics fan in my mid-fifties, I joke about having a disorder related to Jack Kirby's unfinished New Gods series. The "Unfinished Kirby Traumatic Syndrome" or something like that. I can name series after series that was cut off in its prime. I'm sure you can, too. For me, it started with the New Gods, but it's happened again and again with comics I loved, from Barry Windsor-Smith: Storyteller to Steve Diko's Shade the Changing Man to Chester Brown's Underwater. These are not good comics that, having ended, could still be continued (like Corben's Den, like Wagner's Mage). We're talking comics that stopped right in the middle.
Of course, Alan Moore has had this happen a lot, hasn't he? There was 1963, that's the one I really miss. But there was also Big Numbers, and all the series he started with Rob Liefeld's characters. So, the return of Miracleman redresses (ahem!) a long-standing injustice. Plus it's fun. Moore finished his story for the character, of course, but now Neil Gaiman will, too. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, keep up the good work. I check in on you every day. I really appreciated your list of 100 Positives, and I also enjoyed the holiday interviews. Thank God Beto and Jaime have never had their work stopped in mid-flight.