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Garry Leach (1954 – 2022).

§ March 30th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, obituary § 5 Comments

Admittedly, I bought that Miracleman #1 Eclipse put out in 1985 because I was totally in the bag for Alan Moore comics. Knowing he had a whole big thing going on in England long before he wowed me my beloved Swamp Thing comic made me want to get my mitts on anything that eventually made it over the ocean and into my local shop.

That first issue of Miracleman did not disappoint, seeing Moore take a Captain Marvel (“Shazam,” to you young folks) clone and work what was to me mostly (cough) unprecedented twists on classic genre formulas.

But what stuck with me the most from that first issue, what seared into my brain and made me anticipate the following issue more than just about any other comic I’ve ever read, was this pic right here:

Miracleman’s former young partner, Kid Miracleman, having never said his “magic” word to change back to his normal human identity of Johnny Bates, is now grown up, his superpowered body having evolved into something terrifying as it aged. There he is, just hanging in the air, charged with energy, leering at his intended victims, made all the more terrifying because he’s just wearing regular people clothes, not a skintight emblem-adorned costume with a flowing cape.

Who drew that image? Who was responsible for putting that weirdly offputting yet compelling scenario into my eyeballs, making me ponder it for a month as I awaited the next chapter, making me remember it even now, nearly forty years later?

That Garry Leach fella, that’s who.

He was only on the Miracleman (or as it known originally, and I’m sure you already know, “Marvelman”) stories for a few installments, before Alan Davis took over. However, he established the look, the dark, mundane, and near-depressing world of the strip, where the garishly-clothed Miracleman should stand out in stark contrast, but still feels…reduced, in a way, pulled into the real world and away from the kid’s comics in which he was born. A brilliant trick, one that definitely sold the kind of story Moore was trying to tell.

Of course Leach did far more than these Marvel/Miracleman strips, but it was this comic that had the greatest impact on me. Someone on Twitter had posted the two pages that lead up to that pic above, in the original black and white printing as it appeared in Warrior in the UK, and those 40 years between seeing Eclipse’s color reprint and today just washed away. It was like seeing it again for the first time…just as powerful as it ever was.

Thanks, Garry, and so long.

A dream of variants.

§ February 7th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, variant covers § 6 Comments

Okay, I had planned to jump back into Variant Cover-age Mondays here on the site again, but as I was working on the planned subjects for said post, I realized I didn’t have the info I needed to properly put them in their retailing/collecting context. So, let’s have that one sit in the oven a little longer.

Instead, I’m going to go on a variant tangent, as well as touching another popular topic on this here website, and take notice of this forthcoming variant for the Marvel Comics one-shot Timeless:

Due out in a couple of months, it plays up the fact that (spoiler, I guess) a character has visions of the Miracleman (or is it?) logo, revealed at the end of the story. I found out about that particular twist just in time for me to have sold out of my last copy…I did get a restock of some of the variants, but none of those did anything for me. And the forthcoming 2nd printing features that awful Punisher redesign, so a hard pass on that.

But that third printing? With ol’ MM front and center? Drawn by Mark Buckingham, the fella who illustrated Neil Gaiman’s truncated run on the character? Yes sir, that’s for me.

Now Miracleman at Marvel has not had an easy time of it. First, Alan Moore asked that his writing credit be removed (replaced by “The Original Writer”). Then the comics themselves were bloated, expensive messes, featuring the comics people actually wanted to read, backed up with extra editorial pages and reprints of “pre-return” Marvelman stories that nobody really wanted. And then of course there were the printing screw-ups, which, by the way, Marvel never did reissue corrected copies of that comic. Plus there’s the fact that the promise of new stories picking up from where the original series left off (with Eclipse Comics going out of business) was never fulfilled.

Well, Marvel put a lot of cash and time into straightening out all the rights issues and getting the character under their umbrella, so I guess they need to get their money’s worth. Now whether this is a new version of Marvelman (separate from the Miracleman comics by Moore and Gaiman), still called Miracleman but again separate from Moore/Gaiman, or (the most hilarious option) the next chapter of that Moore/Gaiman story, with MM dipping into the Marvel U. between installments of his own book.

I have no idea what will be the case, of course, and one wonders what kind of a fit MM would have in the Marvel Universe, even if only temporarily (see also: DC Universe and Watchmen). But we’re either getting an ongoing series with the character out of this, or (crossing fingers) those new stories from Gaiman and Buckingham picking up from where they left off decades ago will finally see the light of day.

Anyway, writing about this reminded me of the limited-run non-3D editions of Miracleman 3-D Eclipse offered way back in Ye Olden Tymes. This article seems to have that pretty well covered.

So anyway, as I was saying….

§ August 26th, 2019 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, publishing § 5 Comments

Sorry for the extended hiatus, pals…my eye isn’t *quite* back to where it was before the last incident, but it’s getting there. Now all I have to do is try to remember where I left off.

jmurphy mentioned in the comments from my last post about reprinting the unreprinted comic book series:

“Nearly one-fifth of the way through the 21st century, and Print-On-Demand can’t handle this? One of Warner’s other subsidiaries uses On-Demand technology for out-of-print audio CDs and movie DVDs. Books can be printed on demand, maybe someday the technology will be applied to comic trades as well.”

I’m pretty sure it has been, to some extent. I believe at least a couple of Rick Veitch’s original graphic novels available through Amazon (Boy Maximortal and Rare Bit Fiends), and surely there must be other examples. Turan thinks that ownership shenanigans may give some folks cold feet about doing something similiar, but I suspect wouldn’t be doing it if he thought his intellectual property was at risk.

Hooper triples down on this reprint idea:

“Finally thought of something I wish was/is collected in print – Impact’s Fly by Parobeck and Strazewski.”

Hey, did I ever mention I once met Len Strazewski? Years ago he came into my former place of employment. Nice guy. Anyway, since this is a licensed title from Archie Comics and published by DC, I support it falls within the “non-Marvel/DC” parameters of the original inquiry as to what we’d like to see reprinted And Impact Comics as a whole, I thought, was pretty good. I had the complete set, including the looseleaf Who’s Who binder pages.

Anyway, The Fly is a nice suggestion, and it’s a shame that any Mike Parobeck work is out of print. I was quite partial to The Jaguar as well. In fact, I think there was a lot of solid work in these comics, and if there’s any consolation, at least they should be cheap if you happen to find them in any shops. I’m not even 100& sure I have any in my shop right now.

The King of the Moon proclaims

“I’ve got a cool idea, they could finish MiracleMan”

Oof…again, it’s a Marvel property now, but it started out as someone else’s so we’ll let it slide in there. Yeah, it’s too bad that it all started out as such a big deal and then just kinda…went away. I suppose we’ll see the new, hopefully concluding issues of Miracleman eventually, then reprinted in collected editions forever and ever until Marvel inevitably lets volume 2 fall out of print, requiring anyone waqnting to complete their set of the books to go pay stupid prices for it on eBay. I mean, I’ve waited this long for the story to continue, I suppose I could wait a little longer. Not too much longer, though, I’ve probably only got about 25 to 30 years of life left in me, so let’s get cracking, people. Though every time I hear about Neil Gaiman getting a new TV or movie deal, I think “well, that’s Miracleman pushed back another year or three.” Good for him, honestly, but the comic fan in me is like “ACK, COME BACK TO US NEIL.”

Okay, my eye is twitching at me, so I’ll wrap up this post here. Oh, wait, I thought of another thing I’d like to see in print: Popeye from Charlton Comics. I know IDW did a lot of the Dell/Gold Key stuff, but I have a real soft spot for those ’70s Popeyes. Probably zero market for them right now, but we’re talkin’ ideally, not realistically.

THE EYE SAYS STOP TYPING. Back Wednesday. Thanks for reading, pals.

It’s a miracle I’m still talking about this, man.

§ June 13th, 2018 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, retailing § 1 Comment

Just a brief follow-up on MIRACLEMAN TALK (from this day and this other day)…I did ask my former boss about the comic and the relative scarcity thereof, and once again I called upon his powers of recollection regarding his comic orders from decades ago.

To the best of his memory, while in general his Miracleman orders had dropped as the series went on over the years, his numbers hadn’t varied that much during that end run by Moore and Totleben. In other words, he didn’t suddenly cut orders on #15, purposefully making that the “rare” issue. While delays and such did affect sales a bit, Ralph said that he quite liked Miracleman and wanted to support it. It was generally agreed that the likely explanations for that one issue’s relative scarcity was the reputation it had garnered when it was new and on the shelf, thus bumping up sales to curious readers who hadn’t been following the title before, and in the years that followed said reputation kept the comic out of circulation as, to repeat what I’d said before, it was “hot and rare” because it was “hot and rare” – an assumption of collectability that fed into itself.

Related to the former assumption that some of those #15s that were bought as one-off samplings of the series by folks who didn’t otherwise read the comic is the idea that many of those particular comics were just simply lost or discarded — “ah, I just have the one” [tosses it into the trashcan], that sort of thing. Or perhaps they’re still there, buried in neglected short boxes out in the garage, with tools and pieces of wood and that old tire pump that doesn’t really work all that well but you never seem to get around to buying another one so the old one will do for now, all piled on top of the lid. That’s just talking about the people who dipped in and out again buying the one issue, inflating those rack sales…I’m sure there are plenty of full runs of Miracleman out there equally languishing. I mean, I know I have a set of the series tucked away for another reread after I actually catch up on all the recent comics I’ve not had time to read yet.

Anyway, the scarcity of #15 was borne out by his recollection (and mine, from my years tending the comics mines at that shop) that as far as backstock storage went, Ralph still had leftover unsold stock on most of the Miracleman issues, but didn’t have any #15s. Without cycle sheet information tracking sales at the time, that was our only real indicator of the increased demand for that one issue over the ones around it. Now, whether that was specifically from rack sales or just secondary market demand, that’s hard to say today. (Eventually most of the rest of the stock was sold off, too, as Miracleman went through occasional fits of demand over the years…and of course with the advent of eBay, the stock depleted even further).

So there we go…plenty of assumptions and some distant memories…nothing but the coldest, hardest facts here at Dubba-U Dubba-U Dubba-u Dot Progressively Ruined Dot Weirdcountrycode. Also, as I was talking to Ralph, the topic came up of, as I said, cycle sheets, plus the actual process of ordering back in Ye Olden Dayes, so look forward to that, and more Comic Crash Talk, in the next day or so.


§ June 5th, 2018 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, marvel, miraclemarvelman, retailing § 2 Comments

It’s been a long week for me already, and it’s only Monday night/Tuesday morning as I write this, so…well, let me just cover a couple of things:

First, regarding the seeming scarcity of Miracleman #15 that I was discussing when last we met, a discussion with pal Andrew on the Twitters put me onto the Google search for any print run information. This site here seems to have come up with what they call a “rough estimate” of 37,000. Not sure entirely how they came by that number, but it seems reasonable enough to me, given the publisher, the time period, and so on. Now, how many of those copies are still extant, or even in circulation, I’m not sure…that website labels this particular comic as “common,” and I suppose, despite the relative difficulty in the past of turning up copies in stores, there always seem to be plenty on eBay, and I suspect after all this time the number of people looking for it has declined, while the number of available copies have perhaps increased. I mean, I’ve seen two copies pass through my store within the last year or so, while is quite the improvement over the past decade or three of my observations.

Second, speaking of rare comics:

Definitely the first time I had one of these in my hands. Was looking forward to having that iconic cover in my case, but didn’t have it in my possession nearly long enough…like, a few hours at most? Anyway, it’s off to a happy home, but it was neat to have it around at least for a little while. There was an original Hulk #6 in the collection too that also sold, but alas, didn’t have time to take any pictures of that one. As per usual for the original Hulk series, it was a little worse for wear…I bet some mint copies exist somewhere, but never among the many copies I’ve seen over the years. Ah well.

Third, I may again be a little light on content this week, for which I apologize. Still more health things I’m addressing, but I should have another post on Thursday, and then with any luck, a new End of Civilization post next Monday. There, I’ve typed it, I’ve gotta do it now. THAT’S BLOG LAW.

I’m not entirely sure how Alan Moore could disguise himself, frankly.

§ June 1st, 2018 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 4 Comments

So the other day I purchased a small collection of Miracleman from Eclipse Comics, including what I tweeted as “the hard-to-find #15,” which is pictured below:

Almost since its release, it’s been more-or-less accepted that Miracleman #15 has been the most difficult to find, which is borne out by my experience over the last few decades, as all the issues around it would regularly turn up, but not that fifteenth one. The price in the Overstreet Price Guide tends to reflect that assumption, with #15 listed much higher in value than the issues around it.

This is not a thing I’ve really looked into or thought about over the years. I mean, I had some general assumptions about Why This Was, mostly involving…well, let me get into that in a second. First, let me point out this tweetery from Twitter pal Tom, who noted

Now, 1963 I would argue is a slightly different situation…this was a ’90s Image comic during the whole boom/crash of the market, and the occasional urge to over-order on certain titles still hadn’t been driven out of retailers’ habits. I mean, yes, the promise of A New Alan Moore Project certainly helped bump up numbers, but being A New Image Comic probably helped, too. Also, the fact that 1963 wasn’t a “serious” superhero comic, y’know, drove down demand from those folks who insisted their superhero funnybooks be SERIOUS BUSINESS. And it was notoriously an unfinished series, with the never-released 1963 Annual, and that drove down aftermarket sales as well. (Okay, not that Miracleman didn’t end on a still-unresolved cliffhanger or anything, but at least Moore’s segment came to a conclusion.)

So, why is this particular issue of Miracleman so hard to find? As I was about to say eariler, my personal belief for the cause of its scarcity was its hyped-up reputation for being a particularly dark and violent superhero battle, graphic and unpleasant and totally unlike anything we’d seen in superhero comics before. Even previous issues of Miracleman, with its moments of graphic violence, weren’t a patch on the horror so disturbingly illustrated by John Totleben. As I vaguely recollect, there was at least some promotion of the title as such in the fan press and Eclipse’s advertising, which surely attracted buyers beyond those who regularly read the title.

Which brings me to another possible answer, and one that I initially replied to Tom with…that despite all the hype and anticipation, orders may have been lower than normal. Miracleman was a comic that had been plagued with delays…which may have caused retailers to drop numbers believing that lateness would affect potential sales. Remember, this was back in the day when late shipping books weren’t nearly as common as they’d be in succeeding decades, with, you know, three years between issues an’ all. Something consistently late-shipping would normally see attrition in sales, Alan Moore or no Alan Moore.

Now, the problem with this assumption is that I don’t have ordering/sales records for my old place of employment at the time. I’d need to talk to my old boss and see if he can recall, but this is still 30+ years ago. What I’m working on is my knowledge is how I’d approach the problem of a late-shipping book, at least in the context of the 1980s marketplace, vs. the somewhat more lenient comics market of today. I’m sure I would have cut orders…maybe not by much (it’s still Alan Moore, at the peak of his initial Alan Moore-ness) but as someone running a store and maintaining a budget and juggling what I can afford and not afford, that’s the call I would likely have made. Now of course with 20/20 hindsight we’re all “you should have ordered a million of these and perhaps fewer of ALF #9″ but what’s done is done.

Another possible answer, which has its own problems with I’ll come to in a moment, is the simple fact that people are holding onto their copies. The fact that this issue has this “mystique” about it, that it goes for a lot in the secondary market, becomes in a way a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s hot and rare because it’s hot and rare, and folks hold onto their copies because it’s hot and rare, making it even more hot and rare, and so on. Now this is a bit trickier, because it seems like if someone is aware enough of Miracleman in the first place to know about #15’s reputation, it would seem unlikely that they would unload their other issues of the series while hanging onto the one issue. Or maybe they already sold their #15 for a premium price (like on the eBay, where there’s no shortage of them) prior to the rest of the issues being brought to us for sale. Or maybe they never got a copy of #15 in the first place, having sold out before they could get to a shop and they’re now unloading their incomplete series onto stores.

Anyway, that’s just a few possibilities. I’m sure there are some I haven’t considered, like Alan Moore surreptitiously traveling from shop to shop buying up copies of #15 just to stick it to fanboys. And perhaps things are changing anyway, as, in the couple of Miracleman collections I’ve picked up since being at my own shop, #15s have been included. Maybe Marvel’s recent reprinting of the series has loosened some collectors’ grips on the originals…I even thought briefly about unloading my own run and replacing them with the reissues, though a couple of problems with the reprints made me glad I hadn’t.

In conclusion…Miracleman #15…I have one for sale here at the store in case anyone wants one.

Also, if you want to read more about Miracleman, I’ve definitely said plenty over the years, but Twitter pal Tom, whose blog I’d already linked above, also has his own Miracleman category you should peruse.

And that spot is right in my skull.

§ June 19th, 2017 § Filed under buttons, miraclemarvelman § 2 Comments

So longtime readers remember how I love buttons. Hoo boy, do I love gathering pinbacks of all kinds to admire and display. Of late, my button acquisition has slowed down a bit, as I haven’t had the time to properly maintain the collection, though a few here and there still end up in my hands just as a matter of course.

I bring this up because I recently purchased a run of the British Warrior magazine, famous of course for being the initial home for the Marvelman revival and V for Vendetta, early and important works by writer Alan Moore (with artists Garry Leach and David Lloyd, respectively). Included in the batch was a copy of the Marvelman Special, which I’d previously discussed on this site at length several years ago (though honestly it feels like I just did so…time flies, and all that).

I didn’t mention it at the time, but was reminded of it again looking at this other copy of the magazine that appeared in this collection…there is a great ad for buttons (or “badges,” if you prefer) on the back cover:

…featuring several of the properties that have been appearing in Warrior. My eyes of course immediately went to the swell batch of Marvelman pins that I would love to get my greedy mitts on, down there in the bottom row. I went looking on the eBays and found nothing, though I did find this pic via Google image search, and I hope the person who posted it on this message board doesn’t mind me using part of his (or her, I don’t know!) pic here:

Those are some snazzy pins, and would look great on my blazer or my beanie. Alas, all I have is this ad to remember them by (though pal Dave suggested I make them into pogs, and I don’t know if I should thank him or hate him for even bringing that up).

I also found the Axel Pressbutton badges to be amusing, particularly since they come in “clean” and “blood-splattered” variations:

I’m going to guess that anyone who actually wore one of these was poked right in the pinback several times a day. Probably had a good bruise beneath by the time the poor sap got home.

This Bojeffries Saga pin with Ginda is amazing:

And if you haven’t thought about Zirk in a while, don’t you think it’s time you have?

Speaking of Marvelman pins, like I was just a moment ago if you remember, I was reminded of the button released by Eclipse Comics back in 1986, back when they were handling the character (under the Marvel Comics-enforced name of Miracleman). Under the thrall of Mr. Moore and of Miracleman as I was, combined with my long-existent love of pin collecting, I of course had to have this item, which I wore on my jacket and/or backpack to high school, to such admiring calls of my classmates as “who the hell is that?” and “hey, get a load of the dork!” Anyway, 31 years on, I still have the button in my possession, and though I featured a tiny little scan of it on this very site quite a while ago, I thought I’d rescan it and give you some big ol’ pics. To wit:

A little wear and tear on the button, to be sure, but still a beloved item in the collection just the same. Hopefully I can track down some of those other Marvelman pins at some point…I recently told a pal that I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of knick knack-y detritus in my home, but I have a soft spot for Marvel/Miracleman, and for pinbacks, and especially for the two combined.

Eventually we’ll get a one-shot starring the three-eyed fish, and I will read that like my life depended on it.

§ September 7th, 2015 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, this week's comics § 3 Comments

So I put out my bafflement on the Twitters yesterday afternoon, wondering why this comic was still being polybagged enough though the content was hardly warranting it. Yes, previously there was the childbirth issue, and the all-violence issue, but to the best of my recollection there’s nothing in issues yet to be reprinted that require that plastic protection from prying eyes.

As I discussed this with pals, it occurred to me that Miracleman is still branded under the Marvel imprint, and still has a “MATURE READERS” slug on the cover. That’s probably “why the polybag,” as opposed to Marvel’s other much more adult-y type titles like Powers, which are published under separate imprints like “Icon.” Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything particularly parent-shocking coming up, unless Gaiman and Buckingham have an “ALL-NUDE SPECIAL!” planned once they start doing new stories again.

And speaking of which, I’m sure somebody’s glad they can start crediting the actual writer now, since Alan Moore didn’t want his name attached to the previous reprints. Should make it easier to market once those new stories do start showing up. …Man, new Miracleman stories. Hard to believe they’re so close now. Big news for those of us who’ve been waiting decades for this to continue.

The thing I keep hearing is “the new creative team of Daredevil is going to have a hard time following that,” and yes, the Waid/Samnee/etc. run was a good’un. It got me to read Daredevil for the first time in a long time, probably since…the Kevin Smith run, I think? I know, I know, everyone’s all “ACK! KEVIN SMITH!” now but those were pretty good, too. But back to my original point…yes, the new creative team is going to have a rough go winning folks over, but this is Charles Soule writing the new series. Soule, who seems to impress with nearly everything he writes. Who is also a lawyer. Who excels at writing lawyerin’-type stories, as seen in She-Hulk. And seeing as how Daredevil’s day job is “lawyer,” I think everything’s going to be just fine.

I could have sworn this was a four-issue series, but nope, there’s a number 5 on that cover, so I guess I read all five issues and, um, it was fine, I guess. It’s the only Secret Wars tie-in I followed, what with it following up on Peter David’s plotlines from his initial run on Incredible Hulk (and the previous Future Imperfect mini with George Perez). Even if the book felt stretched a little thin (hence my surprise that it was a five-issue series), it was still fun to revisit the characters. There were a couple of clever twists along the way, but even if the ending was of a type we’ve seen often enough before, it did manage to strongly underscore the inherent tragedy and, well, patheticness (shut up, it’s a word) of the Hulk character, especially in this series’s role as the Maestro.

Just wanted to mention again that I love these character-specific Simpsons one-shots. Bongo could almost literally do these forever, what with The Simpsons having one of the most amazing supporting casts in television history. (Maybe they could…NAH.)

These one-shots usually have some kind of gimmick insert, like stickers and such. I hope the eventual Ned Flanders one-shot has a Jack Chick-esque tract stapled inside.

A lot about the Fantastic Four, and a wee bit about Miracleman.

§ August 7th, 2015 § Filed under fantastic four, miraclemarvelman § 5 Comments

In response to yesterday’s post, Earl asked:

“Out of curiosity, regarding Doom, do you have a favorite version of him from the various Marvel animated series?”

And to be honest…aside from my memories of watching a whole lot of the 1960s Spider-man cartoon, and some random installments of various series here and there over the decades, I really wasn’t much of a Marvel cartoon watcher. I have a vague memory of watching some animated version of Doom who spoke with a heavy accent, but I’m not sure what cartoon that may have been from, assuming I didn’t just cook that up myself in this aging brain of mine. The end result is that I don’t really recall enough about any of these cartoons to be able to pick out a fave Doom.

Earl suggested the Dr. Doom from the 1960s Fantastic Four cartoon [EDIT: um, Earl actually said the Doom from the 1970s FF cartoon – oops, my brain apparently needs new batteries], and having taken a brief look at a sample:

…why, he’s adorable! That’s some voice he’s got, so watch enough of the video I linked there to experience it yourself.

Other comments from yesterday: esteemed longtime reader G23 suggests that maybe they should just stop trying to do a live action FF altogether, and while I understand the frustration, I’d hate to not see one at all. Now, I realize a live action FF wouldn’t add anything to the comics, wouldn’t improve the overall state of culture, wouldn’t cure the common cold, etc. and so on, but boy I’d like to see one anyway, and I don’t think it’s so insurmountable a task that it can’t be done. I know it’s fanboyish wishful thinking, but it’s so fundamentally a part of the artform I’ve devoted most of my life to, I’d hate that the world at large wouldn’t get to experience at least some portion as to why we all like the FF so much. In fairness, though there was a lot they didn’t get right, at least those two previous Fantastic Four movies managed to do a good job with Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew. The Thing, as I have noted before, is one of those creations that is so strong on its own that its basic essence can survive even the worst circumstances, though I understand the new film puts even that to the test.

Anyway, I think a good FF film isn’t impossible. It’ll probably just take a little more understanding about what made the original comics work, and a little less fixing it ’til it’s broken.

Another longtime commenter Jer notes that the problem with getting a Dr. Doom that’s like the Dr. Doom in the comics comes down to basic Hollywood blockbuster film-making. Everything’s gotta tie together, that gun in Act One better shoot something in Act Three, an’ all that. The trend — and Jer lists several examples — is that the villain is inextricably tied to the hero’s origin. And, in a way, the Doom of the comics is tied to the heroes…specifically, to his old college roommate Reed Richards, who tried to warn him about his experiments, and, well, you get the picture. But that’s probably not dynamic enough for a Big Moving Talkie, so we get the Doom who’s caught in the same accident as the rest of the FF and thus also gets superpowers.

Now arguably, one could say that there’s no such connection between the film versions of Superman and Lex Luthor, or between Nolan’s version of Batman and the Joker. But even without an origin/plot connection, there’s a thematic connection: brain versus brawn, order versus chaos. I suppose Reed Vs. Doom could be “science for good vs. science for evil,” but that’s not quite as basic a thematic struggle on which to hang your superhero movie, I guess.

At any rate, we’re probably some ways away from the next attempt at the World’s Greatest Comics Magazine That Hasn’t Quite Managed A Great Movie Yet, but I hear tell the final battle in the new film actually approaches the FF we know. Maybe, on the very slim chance the planned sequel actually happens, we can get past this rough set-up and get down to the business of punching Galactus and tangling with the Impossible Man, as God, and Stan and Jack, intended.

• • •

In other news, someone asked Neil Gaiman on the Twitterers how many new issues he and Mark Buckingham were going to produce to wrap up his Miracleman story, and the answer was “about nine.” The reprints for the previously-issued Gaiman and Buckingham comics are about to start up, so we’re that much closer to seeing some decades-old plot threads finally getting resolved. Barring any more production errors, of course.

Spoilers for Miracleman #14, probably.

§ January 7th, 2015 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 11 Comments

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (1/9/15): Newsarama just ran an article on the situation that cites me, including the extra bit of info that I didn’t mention here, that the missing text will be sent to retailers, somehow. (I talked about that on my Twitter account, but wasn’t yet clear on how the text was going to be distributed.)

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (1/8/15): Apparently there was a miscommunication somewhere, as replacements aren’t on their way, since Marvel has opted not to replace this issue with a corrected edition. Digital copies have apparently been fixed, however, and it will be corrected in the eventual hardcover/paperback collections. …Well, it was nice selling the print editions of the individual comics while it lasted.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed by Diamond that replacement copies are on the way, with the error corrected.


Well, hopefully Marvel will be going back to print on Miracleman #14 to release corrected editions, because certain word balloons on page 15 that originally looked like this in the original 1988 Eclipse comic:

…now look like this in the Marvel reprint out this week:

…though you can read the dialogue from those balloons on the original artwork pages in the comic’s backmatter:

It wasn’t just that panel; all the black word balloons on that page lost their lettering. Well, not “lost,” exactly…at first glance I thought the balloons were entirely black, but upon looking at the scans I can see the lettering is there, just miscolored to the point of illegibility.

Now, mistakes happen, I know, and I realize 1) it’s going to cost a lot, and 2) it’ll suck for everyone involved to bite the bullet on this, but I really do hope Marvel does fix this error with a new printing of the comic. After going through all this trouble to get this material back into the marketplace, it would be a shame to have something like this mar the rerelease. Maybe they can save a few cents by not polybagging the corrected version.

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