Marvel Comics had a couple of big announcements today at the Cup O’ Joe panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, and one that frankly blew my mind. The big announcement of the day was that Marvel has apparently acquired the rights to Marvelman — or Miracleman as he may be better known as. (See SDCC 09: Marvel Acquires Rights to ‘Marvelman’.)
This news came as a shock to the audience, since the rights to the character have been tied up for many years in a long string of legal disputes. The announcement today states that they have purchased the rights from original creator Mick Anglo, who knows how this will work out with the other disputes, but publisher Dan Buckley went into a bit of how they were dealing with Mick Anglo and it sounds like they have everything lined up. I’m curious myself to learn more details on how this happened, but since I’ve never been able to read the work that Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman did with the character in the 80’s and 90’s, I’m very excited. Now specific publishing plans were announced, beyond a vague 2010 release, but Buckley said that they were talking with Moore and Gaiman, and the artists from the most recent stories, so it sounds like they are treating the character with a lot of respect. It will be interesting to see how much information comes out on this in the next few days.
Another item out of the panel today is the news of a sequel to World War Hulk, titled World War Hulks. The story will start in a one-shot out in December titled World War Hulks: Gamma and will be written by Jeph Loeb and will feature art by John Romita Jr. The story will then become a crossover for six issues between Greg Pak’s The Incredible Hulk and Loeb’s Hulk series. The story features a major death of a character in the Hulk mythos, and of course will feature lots of smashing. World War Hulks: Gamma will be out in December.
Starting in November, Bob Gale will be writing a new series of Spider-Man stories that will be released first on Marvel’s webpage, and will later see print. The stories will be 8 pages in length, and we should see a new story every two weeks. No artists were announced, but it’s said these will be in continuity and will begin on November 9th.
Also announced was a new series staring Dethlok, starting in November. This one will be written by Charlie Huston (Moon Knight) and will have art by Lan Medina, and will be out under the Marvel Knights imprint.
Also, anyone interested in Spider-Man villain The Lizard will be pleased to know he will be returning in February of next year in a story by Zeb Wells, with art by Chris Bachallo (presumably in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man).
Finally, coming out of one of the Q&A questions, it sounds like a new Alpha Flight series is in the works, possibly written by Jim McCann (recently of New Avengers: The Reunion) and that there may be more adventures of the West Coast Avengers spinning off from The Reunion. Otherwise, it was another pleasant back and forth with the Editor in Chief, and one young fan was able to walk away with an exclusive Marvelman shirt.