Thursday, 6 June 2013

Who Owns Miracleman?

Cerebus #274 (January 2002)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
PADRAIG O MEALOID:
(from Poisoned Chalice Part 13 at The Beat, 12 May 2013)
...Considering that Todd McFarlane was claiming that he owned Miracleman free and clear, he seemed to have been very shy of actually just going ahead and publishing a comic with a clearly identified Miracleman character in it. In fact, he seemed to be acting in exactly the opposite manner to how you’d expect someone who was sure they owned something would: If he really owned Miracleman, as he continually claimed, surely he would have met Gaiman's legal challenge to his publishing Hellspawn #13 - which was to feature the return of Miracleman - head on, instead of giving in to it. He was, after all, no stranger to the inside of a courtroom at this stage. And he would have started calling the unnamed character he used in the Image 10th Anniversary Book Miracleman, if he owned the rights to the character, instead of having to evolve a completely different name and origin for it after being warned away by Gaiman. As to why McFarlane kept pursuing a course that was pretty obviously colossally stupid, who knows? Perhaps he thought that, in the same way that Dez Skinn had said he wished to do when he first published Marvelman in Warrior in 1982, he could establish rights in the character by the act of publishing it. Or perhaps he was hoping to provoke Gaiman into taking a case against him directly about the ownership of the character...
Cerebus #274 (January 2002)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Pádraig Ó Méalóid explores the convoluted history of Marvelman/Miracleman's ownership in an ongoing series of 'Poisoned Chalice' posts at The Beat.

1 comment:

Tony Dunlop said...

Wow. By the time this sequence came out I was paying absolutely no attention to the mainstream comics "bidness" and so I had absolutely no idea what was being parodied. I knew who McFarlane and "Spawn" were, of course, but other than that I was totally at sea. In particuar I was completely mystified by McFarlane's wearing of a Miracleman shirt. Well, as my college buddies used to say to each other back in the 80s, "Kimota, baby."