Friday, May 3, 2013

Marvels big (possible) reveal and why it scares the crap out of me!

with the upcoming marvel big event/crossover/cluster hump called age of Ultron, Marvel has put quite a lot of attention that the minor and relatively lame character of Angella, who first appeared in Spawn, but was created by the talented Mr Gaiman, wold become a part of the Marvel universe, which is either a big middle finger to Macfarlane who was at one point Marvel's golden boy who could do no wrong, but burned that bridge when he, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, and a few others left the big publisher, over the fact that the publishers held the rights to characters that they helped create. while there is a lot more to the backstory including Gaiman's beef and Lawsuit with Macfarlane, but that's a story for another time. what I am here to discuss is the theory that Angela's asymilation into the marvel verse is a smokescreen for a bigger change. A change that could bring one of the biggest Indy comic heroes into the Marvel fold. A fan favorite that could blow fans minds, in short, the coming of Marvel Man.

Or Miracle Man, if you prefer. Marvel recently did reprint many of the original Marvel Man stories form the 1950s, and with Gaiman working for them, this book could be a huge boon for Marvel. For those of you who don't know Marvelman/Miracle Man, allow me to explain. When the golden age of comics hit with action #1, every publisher got in the super hero game, and one of the biggest and most popular contenders was Captain Marvel (aka Shazam). For a while US publisher Fawcett, basked in the sales of a hero that eclipsed even Superman's popularity, but D.C. Lawyer end up, squashed Fawcett, and eventually bought the good captain, and his former company lock stock and Barrel, meanwhile Fawcett sold the rights to a UK publisher, to bring their hero to the Brits, but the lawsuit saw The UK affected as well and the up and comic disappeared from British news agents as well as ours. But the crafty publisher made a modified version, who was modeled to be different enough to not get a lawsuit, but like enough to entice fans who were deprived Earth's mightiest mortal. The comic was a hit in the UK, and once a young fan named Alan Moore, did a gritty reboot of Marvelman, it became a fan classic, reprinted by Eclipse here in the USA, it never finished due to Eclipse, going out of business.

So why does this worry me? After all,a fan favorite of the Indy scene can get recognition, fame, and even an action figure by hasbro to proudly display next to my Captain America, or Spider-Man, right? Well that's true, but it also means putting my faith that Marvel/Disney will respect what made Marvel Man as popular as he was. Also, considering how many Marvel fans start their "marvel is better" diatribe with comparing how shitty and overpowered Superman is, and then wax nostalgic about Marvel's more relatable stable of heroes, it is fascinating how much Marvel has a hardon for trying to ape the man of steel, Sentinal, Hyperion, the purchase of Prime and the rest of the Ultraverse from Malibu. Now we have a street cred Superman clone, to add, but how will this work as MM will be expected to fight along side, Deadpool, or Wolvereen? I just don't know, the history of a character like this has somewhat been written. It seems silly even flat out wrong to shoehorn him in to the current continuity of Marvel. How will this work, will they play with his origin to embed him squarely in the Marvel Universe? Was Marvel Man's origin now tied to the trying to recreate the experiment that made Steve Rogers Captain America, as Hulk's now seems to be? I kinda doubt they would just put him in his own book separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe, when a team up with him and the Fantastic four might sell a few more books.

What's more, the story of the Ultraverse is another reason this worries me. after Image came out, and caused quite a stir in the industry some fans realized it was all flash and no substance, (thankfully not true currently, with books like invincible!) and other companies wanted to make a flash too, indy comic maker Malibu started touring their own new stable of heroes, called the Ultraverse, fans were unenthused at the ads and the promises, bud We'd be damned if they didn't deliver. Fun fact, Prime's (their variant on the captain marvel theme) second book was worth a ton more than its first initially becasue malibu like all companies printed a bunch of #1's and didn't anticipate demand for #2 but fans were enthralled! Fun characters, great writing and well done stories even with crossovers, mad the Ultraverse a bit of a staple, then Marvel bought them, up and prettymuch mutliated them, they killed and revamped Mantra, turned Exiles into an X-title, and practically abandon most of the rest of the universe, except for poor Nightman who got bastardized into a bad Glen Larson syndicated TV Show. That being said they were killed mid stream, from popular to forgotten. and while they never quite hit the fame of Miracleman, it's still an example of buying out your foe, and stripping them for parts which seems even more heartless in a creative industry like comic books. Let's hope this isn't the fate of Marvelman!


  1. Wow...that just blew my mind. I actually understood everything you were talking about and recognize all the players. How soon will it be until Valiant shows up. Now those were some good comics. I was always freaked out a little by the Untraverse cartoon. It just felt 'off' for some reason.

  2. Glad you liked it, I kinda forgot about Valiant in this but they had some good books, some, well not so good. I think the Ultraverse was in that growing pains situation where they still hadn't gotten the hang of the "new medias" the toon was awkward from what I remember, they did do a pretty decent 1 shot video from a character of theirs called "firearm" Who was like the punisher except he was pithy. That could have made a decent TV show.