Marvel announced on Friday that they are set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Miracleman with the release of a hardcover omnibus, collecting dozens of comics originally published between 1982 and 2014. That's all the issues Marvel owns, except the recent run by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham. The project names creators published between its covers as "Alan Davis, Garry Leach, John Totleben, and more." That "...and more," of course, includes writer Alan Moore, whose writing shaped the character. Moore, due to disagreements with Marvel and DC over the treatment of creators and the handling of his work, has publicly distanced himself from much of his back catalogue, most notably asking Marvel to remove his name from Miracleman reprints and refer to him only as "the original writer."
It isn't specific to Marvel, either; film adaptations of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did not carry Moore's name in the credits, per Moore's request, and neither did HBO's TV adaptation of Watchmen. In the case of Miracleman (originally called Marvelman, but renamed in the '80s to avoid any potential lawsuits from Marvel Comics), Moore said years ago that his royalties should all go to the character's creator, Mick Anglo, since he [Moore] did not realize until later that publishers had likely not compensated Anglo for creating the character, and had seized his copyright via the same kind of shady comics-industry contract Moore is repulsed by.
"As soon as I knew that the rights to Marvelman had never been with the Official Receiver, I said, 'Well, if I'd known that, I would have never taken the job, and, yes, if I can help, I do feel bad that I must have been instrumental in taking these rights from their rightful owner, whoever that might be,'" Moore explained in a 2013 interview with The Beat.
Moore had also signed his share of the rights, obtained when one publisher folded without paying the creative team, over to Neil Gaiman. Those rights would later become one of the issues behind a protracted legal battle between Gaiman and legendary comics artist Todd McFarlane.
The omnibus, set for a release in September, will include what the publisher describes as "a massive trove of covers, original artwork and rare features." It will feature cover art by Garry Leach and Kevin Nowlan. The issues collected include:
- Material from Warrior (1982) 1-18, 20-21
- Miracleman (1985) 1, 3, 6-16
- Marvelman Special (1984) 1
- Material from A1 (1989) 1
- All-New Miracleman Annual (2014) 1
You can read the official synopsis for Miracleman's omnibus below.
Middle-aged reporter Michael Moran always knew he was meant for something more. When an unexpected series of events leads him to reclaim his destiny, Miracleman is reborn. But Miracleman's return threatens unravel Moran's life. Their connections to Dr. Emil Gargunza and Project Zarathustra bring with them disturbing revelations and trigger the return of a childhood friend who, beneath his sinister smile, has become something terrifying. Pushing the concept of the super hero to its logical conclusion, MIRACLEMAN is nothing short of a revelation.