Marvelman (a.k.a. Miracleman a.ka. the superhero at the center of one of the most screwball legal struggles in comic book history) returns to print this summer. Marvel Comics will publish a one-shot, series, and hardcover of Marvelman's past exploits.

Here's the scoop from Marvel Comics' 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!


Marvelman was the ne plus ultra of unfinished comic book series. Here's an extremely abbreviated snapshot of the convoluted history of Marvelman/Miracleman:

1.) In 1954, Marvelman debuts in the UK. He is a thinly veiled analogue of Captain Marvel (aka Shazam!). Captain Marvel's publisher, Fawcett Comics, had ceased Captain Marvel's publication due to a copyright infringement lawsuit from National Comics, who claimed that Captain Marvel was a rip-off of National's Superman. Marvelman's series runs until 1963.

2.) Alan Moore resurrects Marvelman in 1982, complete with a new gritty, po-mo matte. Marvelman is renamed Miracleman due to legal pressure from Marvel Comics. Eclipse Comics picks up the character. Moore finishes his run with Miracleman, and Neil Gaiman inherits the series.


3.) Neil Gaiman writes Miracleman until Eclipse Comics goes bankrupt in 1994. Eclipse's bankruptcy ends Gaiman's run midway through. In 1996, Todd McFarlane's Image Comics purchases Eclipse's creative properties. Lawsuits concerning Gaiman and McFarlane's ownership of Miracleman (as well as several Spawn characters) prevent further publication of the title or any anthologies of Moore's or Gaiman's work. In 2002, Gaiman finally wins ownership of his Spawn characters (but not Gaiman's Miracleman material) and pens Marvel Comics' miniseries 1602 just to fund his legal foibles over the character.

4.) 2009: Marvel Comics acquires the rights to Marvelman from the original creator, 94-year-old Mick Anglo. Still no word on what's the deal with Gaiman's run.

[via Newsarama]