“So what’s the good news?” “The good news is that Miracleman is coming back!”

§ October 18th, 2013 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 18 Comments

And lo, there were solicits for the Miracleman revival:

MIRACLEMAN #1 & 2
THE ORIGINAL WRITER & MICK ANGLO (W)
GARRY LEACH, ALAN DAVIS, PAUL NEARY, STEVE DILLON & MICK ANGLO (A)
ISSUE #1 – COVER BY JOE QUESADA
Variant COVER BY JOHN CASSADAY
Variant COVER BY MARK BUCKINGHAM
Variant COVER BY JEROME OPENA
Variant COVER BY LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Sketch VARIANT BY JOE QUESADA
YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
CLASSIC VARIANT BY GARRY LEACH

ISSUE #2 – COVER BY ALAN DAVIS
Variant COVER BY ARTHUR ADAMS
Variant COVER BY MIKE PERKINS
Variant COVER BY MIKE MCKONE
Sketch VARIANT BY ALAN DAVIS

• KIMOTA! With one magic word, a long-forgotten legend lives again!
• Freelance reporter Michael Moran always knew he was meant for something more — now, a strange series of events leads him to reclaim his destiny!
• Relive the ground-breaking eighties adventures that captured lightning in a bottle — or experience them for the first time — in these digitally restored, fully relettered editions!
• Issue 1 includes material originally presented in WARRIOR #1 and MIRACLEMAN #1, plus the MARVELMAN PRIMER. Issue #2 includes material originally presented in WARRIOR #1-5, plus bonus material.
ISSUE #1 – 64 PGS./Parental Advisory…$5.99
ISSUE #2 – 48 PGS./Parental Advisory…$4.99

First off…holy crow, that’s a lotta variants.

Second, since Steve Dillon is mentioned as one of the included contributors, I think that means we are getting that previously-unreprinted story from Warrior #4.

Third, “The Original Writer” is what they’ll be calling Alan Moore on this, since Marvel is following Moore’s wishes not to associate his name with the work, I guess. There goes a major selling point to the uninitiated (though I imagine any comic fans with interest in this material pretty much already know).

Fourth…well, it looks like Marvel is depending on the reputation of the material to sell the books, what with a $5.99 debut issue that, if I’m interpreting things correctly, includes the redialogued classic Marvelman story that began the Eclipse Comics MM #1, the initial 8-page installment of Moore and Leach’s revival from Warrior, and your second chance to not read all that stuff from the Miracleman Primer you didn’t read in the first place. So, like, 18 pages of comics, and 46 pages of other stuff if, again, I’m understanding correctly. And I’m guessing the “material from Warrior #1″ business in issue #2 is a typo, since there ain’t that much MM stuff in Warrior #1 to begin with, unless they’re splitting an 8-page story across two issues of reprints.

At a $5.99 price point, that’s basically telling the reader who may have a casual interest to not bother. Modern comic fans aren’t necessarily going to dive into this long-unavailable comic simply because the names Moore and Gaiman are attached. (Well, not attached, in Moore’s case, but no media coverage of this comic is not going to mention him.) No matter how special and in how high of regard old fanboys like me who originally bought these comics way back when hold them, it’s still reprints of decades-old comics starring a superhero nobody’s heard of and featuring storytelling tropes that everyone’s seen by now and really why should I, a young, hip comic book reader who follows all two dozen Avengers titles done in the cool modern styles of today, bother to read this old thing just because Grandpa read it and liked it?

I exaggerate, but only a bit. I’ve already seen people expressing disinterest, folks who once enjoyed Moore’s and Gaiman’s work, now no longer so enthused about their output for whatever reasons. And I’ve seen people who might have tried out the comic decide to pass at the proffered price points, particularly since it seems these will be coming out at a more-than-monthly pace given the dual solicitation in a single month’s catalog. I would have loved to see an introductory issue at the promotional $1.00 price point — just comics, with maybe a minimal historical text piece, all killer, no filler — that could have grabbed a much larger base readership. A base that, having been exposed to the material, may be far more willing to follow along with the series at $3.99 per subsequent installment.

But instead we have $5.99 on #1, effectively capping the potential audience. There are the completists who’ll buy it regardless. There are the people who have genuine desire to finally own this material after hearing about it all these years. And there may even be some people who, despite Marvel’s best efforts to dissuade them, will pick up the first issue anyway out of curiosity. And those initial sales numbers will dwindle as the series progresses, until finally bumping up again as the new material finally appears in the series and all the original old Miracleman fans return to the book after previously having given up on rebuying comics they already owned.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope they do sell well. I love the old Eclipse Miracleman comics. I reread them every once in a while and they’re still as entertaining and fascinating to me now as they were when I first experienced them. And I’m really, genuinely happy that Miracleman will soon be available again for everyone to read. I’m simply hoping the strength and beauty, the joy and wonder, of the material can overcome the initial hobbling of its presentation.

Anyway, I’m sure these will eventually make a nice series of hardcovers. Assuming they don’t blow this “relettering” they keep ballyhooing.

18 Responses to ““So what’s the good news?” “The good news is that Miracleman is coming back!””

  • John says:

    Can’t we give Alan Moore a pseudonym a la Alan Smithee? Magister Southhamptoni, for example.

  • John says:

    Er.. Magister Northamptoni, I meant. (Sorry, it’s early)

  • Still think a huge super-omnibus hardback would have been the better bet, from even the most commercial point of view.

    Also: “The Original Writer”? What a pompous dork! Besides, isn’t the original writer Mick Anglo?

  • Jer says:

    I assume that Marvel is only putting these out there to amortize the publishing cost. And so they’ve already factored in the idea that the only people who are going to buy this in single issue are the folks you’ve outlined above. So they will try to soak as much money out of those folks to get as much as they can to cover the costs of doing the digital restoration and payment for the rights to republish. I seriously doubt that they’re trying to get new people who haven’t heard of Miracleman/Marvelman on the individual issues – their history with reprint books tells them that it’s a hard sell to get people to pick up individual issue reprints in this market.

    Joe S. Walker – they need to communicate that Alan Moore is the writer without actually using his name. Because that will piss off the die-hard Alan Moore fans on the Internet that they are counting on buying this. They’re trying to be respectful and not snarky or silly about it because the last thing they want to happen on a book that they aren’t expecting to sell in huge numbers anyway is an Internet boycott that might actually damage those small numbers. So “The Original Writer” is a matter of fact way of saying “Alan Moore Wrote This You Know You Want It”.

  • rubber cat says:

    “The Original Writer”… looks like Alan Moore’s evolution into evil wizard is complete.

  • Robert in New Orleans says:

    After having waited so long to own these stories, I will definitely be able to wait until everything is collected together in a nice hardback version. Marvel typically puts them out quickly after the single issues have appeared anyway. And to your point, the single issue prices ARE keeping me away from buying the material right away in floppy form.

    The right way to hook in new readers is the free or $1.00 issue. IDW did it with the THUNDER Agents #1 reprint this week. And so did Oni Press with a new title called Letter 44. That is a good book and I think I’ll buy a few more issues to see if it continues to be so.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    I’m with Robert on this one. I’m lucky enough to have a complete run of the Eclipse HCs (which I should have put up on eBay last month) so the single issue price point just doesn’t work for me. I’m not too worried about the re-lettering fuss.

    Also, when the omniabsolutmasterwork edition is published, I hope Marvel includes the MiracleMan Apocrypha LS issues.

  • Ivan T.W. says:

    I hope they list him as ‘The Original Writer’ on the covers.

    And I’ll buy them, fer sure, since till now I’ve only had crummy digital files to read. Is it irritating that they’re going for so much, I guess Marvel is just banking on them to sell entirely through the gruff old comic reader demo. And as for relettering, the only thing that I can think of that might be nice is the obvious whited-out and rewritten ‘Miracleman’ in cramped lettering. Hopefully they’ll post a teaser page or two so we can see what it looks like sometime before they come out.

  • Adam Farrar says:

    As a fan with several of the Eclipse issues, I’m excited for the chance to own everything and get the conclusion but Marvel is certainly making me think harder than normal about how I’ll be buying this. I can imagine the extra stress on retailers.

    I prefer single issues over collections and loathe buying anything twice. But the prices on these single issues are too high. Also, I’m wary of any errors in the lettering and recoloring which could potentially be corrected for the collection. So I’ll wait for the hardcovers that will inevitably out a month after the issues (…and yes, could still include any errors in the lettering/colors) for the reprints.

    In trying to figure out how Marvel will collect the stories, I made this Google Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuVQ2a3jydyydDlIQmJYY1BwN0swT0pheHZZalhjaEE&usp=sharing
    If they keep up a four Warrior story pace for subsequent issues, Eclipse’s Miracleman #7 could be Marvel’s #6, Eclipse’s #8 can be skipped, and Eclipse’s 9 and 10 become Marvel’s 7 and 8.

    I imagine the collections will follow the Eclipse pattern and bind the Moore/Davis/Leach/Beckum/Ridgeway/Veitch/Totleben/Yeates run in three books. Those three books will probably cost around the same amount of $81 ($6 for #1 and $5 for the subsequent issues) for 15 issues (including Marvelman Special).

    I will say, I’m excited about the rescanning and recoloring as most of those early stories. There’s obvious room for improvement in translating the black and white stories from Warrior into color but I hope it’s done by someone who will make the fantastic elements pop without filling the book with lens flares and CGI sunsets. I’m thinking someone like Javier Rodriguez or Jordie Bellaire.

  • Lane says:

    Instead of the original writer, change it to a symbol just like the artist formerly known as Prince.

  • Bryan says:

    I would’ve picked the first issue up based on curiosity after having long heard about “Miracleman”, regardless of the price point (it’s easier to take a stab at something for $6 rather than a $20+ collection), but the re-lettering is the warning sign for me. I generally don’t buy collections other than Essentials, but I once bought the Stan Lee/John Romita Spider-Man strips hardcover, and there’s a typo in the first panel or so because of the typed re-lettering.

  • Chance says:

    Man, hearing all you comics fans saying you’re not going to buy issue #1 is only confirming that I already know: I’m snapping up #1 at that price point now because a year or two later it’s going to be worth crazy LQQk LQQK RARE #ALANMOORE ANONYMOUS BOOK FIR$T PRINTING money.

    Or not.

  • Chance says:

    Or is it “L@@K L@@K”?

  • Snark Shark says:

    They should credit Moore as THE LIZARD KING!

  • Snark Barracuda says:

    Took this off another MM comment thread, but I’d like to see the credit for “The Original Writer” be replaced by “Giant-Size Man-Thing”

  • Hurm Winningham says:

    I would prefer “The Bearded Clam.”

  • Jeff R. says:

    I’d just go with “Kurt Vile” for history’s sake.

    Wonder how much they’re going to charge for whatever issue hits the 3D special. (Hopefully they won’t skip it entirely, since the frame was written by TOW and did contain relevant foreshadowing/hints…)

  • David G says:

    “And I’m guessing the “material from Warrior #1″ business in issue #2 is a typo, since there ain’t that much MM stuff in Warrior #1 to begin with, unless they’re splitting an 8-page story across two issues of reprints.”

    Wasn’t there some separate Big Ben (The Man with No Time for Crime!) or Warpsmith stuff in #1? I’d have to dig those issues out of the garage, but that’s what I vaguely remember.