Everyone has been talking up the Marvelman business, from Neil Gaiman, to Mark Buckingham and Rick Veitch. Now the man who previously owned the rights to Miracleman, talks to Comic Book Resources and says:
“Here’s what I know as a guy who’s been living a complicated life: I will be having meaningful conversations with my lawyer when I get home.”
Complicated in the sense, that it just isn’t clear what is going on. Melrose details how McFarlane came to have a stake in this character.
McFarlane entered the picture in 1996, when he purchased for $40,000 the creative assets of bankrupt Eclipse, which supposedly included the Marvelman licensing agreement with Warrior publisher Quality Communications. Although McFarlane apparently had plans for Marvelman, those rights eventually became leverage in his dispute with Gaiman over ownership of the characters Angela, Cogliostro and Medieval Spawn. It later emerged, however, that Marvelman was not part of the Eclipse assets, and that Quality never owned the rights in the first place.
Oh I see. Except for the fact that the character, when owned by McFarlane, was titled Miracleman. Right? The name was changed to appease Marvel. So, that’s why in the weeks after Comic Con we haven’t heard anything from McFarlane. Though it does take some time to lawyer-up, and present suit but I don’t think there’s much McFarlane can do. For me, considering when McFarlane had the character, he was known as Miracleman. With Marvel buying the character known as Marvelman, I would say the only rights Marvel has to the character’s stories is under that name, or whatever rights Gaiman, Veich, et. al give them for their stories. So, I guess, McFarlane doesn’t have a legal recourse when it comes to “Marvelman.”
Whatever. Clearly, I’m into this whole situation and I’m sure I’ll be annoying the hell out of you all with it until the day the first issue of the new series comes out.