One of the earliest Alan Moore stories was Marvelman, a violent and dark repurposing of a character that had been a pretty straightforward rip-off of Fawcett Comics’ (and later DC’s) Captain Marvel. Publication of the original character had stopped in the 60′s when DC pointed out that the character was really a bit too similar to Superman for comfort, and those were some awfully nice printing presses, and it would be a shame if something were to happen to them.
Moore’s version of the character was almost the Prototype of Watchmen’s Dr. Manahttan, with Moore looking at a theme that has been prevelant throughout his whole career – namely that conventional Superhero morality iss a bit silly when you get down to it. Neil Gaiman took over the character briefly in the 90′s, until Todd McFarlane and image comics tried to publish their own Miracleman (the name change having been applied earlier to appease Marvel) without consulting Gaiman. The legal wranglings from this have continued to this day. Now it seems that Marvel have bought the rights wholesale from someone, with plans to publish this summer. From the press release:
Marvel is proud to announce the return of Marvelman to shelves everywhere with the release of Marvelman Classic Primer #1 in June! Who is the mysterious Marvelman? And just why is he one of the most enduring super heroes of all time? The answers arrives in this commemorative one-shot featuring interviews with creator Mick Anglo, superstar Neil Gaiman and more who contributed to this character’s history over the years! [...] Then, in July, thrill to the debut of Marvelman Family’s Finest #1, a new ongoing series reprinting Marvelman’s greatest adventures for the first time in the US! Plus, no comics fan can miss Marvelman Classic Vol.1 Premiere HC, reprinting Marvelman’s earliest adventures in chronological order!
This sounds as though they’re reprinting the early 50′s and 60′s stuff, but this surely has to be a precursor to the Alan Moore tales, if not the Neil Gaiman ones. There’s very little value to the character without these two authors’ contributions, something Marvel can’t have failed to spot. At least this way Gaiman doesn’t have to republish them under the title Mackerelman, something he’s been jokingly threatening for a while.
Source : http://io9.com/5500491/marvelman-zooms-back-to-comics-this-june