Marvel now owns MIRACLEMAN…the trademark

201209140247 Marvel now owns MIRACLEMAN...the trademark
Danny Best rolls out the relevant documents to show that Marvel now seems to own the Miracleman trademark. Does this mean the way is clear for the finale?

Clearly part of the settlement between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane included McFarlane giving up his rights to the Miracleman name, and a deal between Gaiman and Marvel would have been sealed as far back as the lodging of the original case in 2002, when Marvel advanced Gaiman money against the 1602 mini-series.  The actual machinations of the deal will surely see the light of day eventually, but, for now, with Marvel now owning both the Marvelman and Miracleman names and trademarks, the way is now clearer for both a reprinting of the Miracleman/Marvelman series by Alan Moore, Alan Davis, Garry Leach, Rick Vietch, John Totleben and co, along with the Neil Gaiman/Mark Buckingham Miracleman series.  It also means that, finally, Gaiman and Buckingham might well take the opportunity to finally finish their storyline, over two decades after they started.


We don’t know any more about this but we’ll tell you one thing: if there is a new Miracleman comic finally…it will have variant covers.

Comments

  1. Ha! Variants!

  2. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Let’s all be honest for once: the only Marvelman anyone gives a crap about is the Alan Moore stuff.

    Nobody cares about the old material, which was simply reskinned Captain Marvel stories. Note this isn’t a slight against Mick Anglo as that’s exactly what Marvelman was originally created by him to be.

    Nobody cares about the Gaiman stuff except for Gaiman fans. It’s a potentially decent revenue stream, sure, but it’s not on the level of Alan Moore.

    Nobody cares to read new Marvelman material as he’s a generic super-hero without all the Alan Moore exotic sex and hyper violence that today’s editorial would never allow. Look at what Grant Morrison’s Marvel Boy was turned into if you don’t believe that.

    Marvel has paid a million up front and then who knows how much in court costs because the Alan Moore issues are a Watchmen that they can own. Moore’s Marvelman is a popular adult story that they can keep in print and make money off of for eternity. And this isn’t even counting the cash from the inevitable Zack Synder movie adaptation.

  3. Jeremy Henderson says:

    Still curious to see how they will handle the scene of superhuman children crashing repeatedly into the World Trade Center towers for entertainment.

  4. Technically, Marvel owns only a pending, intent-to-use trademark application* for the mark MIRACLEMAN, which does not actually connote exclusive ownership of the mark, but rather an indication that Marvel intends to use the mark in the future. (Exclusive trademark rights do not accrue to a party until the party makes actual use in commerce of the mark.)

    Marvel doubtless plans to move forward with using the mark, but it does not yet “own” the mark.

    * Marvel also owns another pending application for MIRACLEMAN for toys and action figures. Interestingly, there’s also a pending application for the mark MIRACLEMAN for jeans, owned by an unrelated third party. Remains to be seen whether the USPTO will allow the pending Marvel applications to register in the face of this prior pending application.

  5. Just put out the trade of Alan Moore’s stuff. Please. Take my money.

  6. jonboy says:

    Looking forward to Marvelman joining The Avengers (or the X-Men. or both).
    And then I can look forward to the day they kill him in some event that changes comics forever.
    And then I can look forward to the Return of Marvelman.

  7. There is no way this material can equal readers’ expectations after all the years of legal crap.

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    Wasn’t the Sentry Marvel’s Marvelman?

    Yes, a hardcover omnibus would be nice.

    But it would be a disappointment to many. Much what was ground-breaking and shocking (like a live birth) is either passé or done-to-death (pun intended).

    Marvelman was the first comics series to take a serious look at a superhero (1982). Much has been published in that sub-genre in the following decades.

    I would like to see Gaiman and others finish the series, to see the final tragedy of Miracleman.

  9. “Let’s all be honest for once: the only Marvelman anyone gives a crap about is the Alan Moore stuff.”

    Man you’re tripping if you don’t think people want to see the Gaiman books. It’s a more “Vertigo” style storyline but incredible stuff. Cloned Andy Warhols, people making a pilgramage to see Miracleman by climbing his 25,000 ft tower, Kid Miracleman cults springing up with him as the true savior a la Judas Iscariot.

  10. Scratchie says:

    Agree that the Gaiman stuff is good, and will certainly sell, but the point that Marvel wants to own their own “Watchmen” is very accurate as well. Gaiman’s Miracleman is more like owning their own “Death: The High Cost of Living”.

    The Alan Moore stuff holds up very well today, I’d say, at least as well as Watchmen. As with Watchmen, even though the basic concept has been copied a million times in the intervening years, nobody does it like Moore. It has plenty of entertainment value beyond its considerable historic value.

  11. Miracleman doesn’t hold up nearly as well as Watchmen. Hope they do a basic recoloring, colors were terrible.

  12. “Nobody cares about the Gaiman stuff except for Gaiman fans. It’s a potentially decent revenue stream, sure, but it’s not on the level of Alan Moore.”

    Neil Gaiman’s issues weren’t quite as good as Alan Moore’s take, but were still *really* good and I imagine a lot of people outside of Neil Gaiman fans would still buy it.

    Not to mention how big Neil Gaiman’s fan base it these days with the novels, movies, Doctor Who episodes and more, that I wouldn’t be surprised if Gaiman’s Marvelman trades sell better than Alan Moore’s in bookstores.

  13. As @BMAC notes, the Marvel filings were actually intents to use – one filing for Miracleman in comics; another for Miracleman in action figures. This gives Marvel 6 months to use the Miracleman mark in commerce in each category & to submit statements of use. If Marvel does not use the mark or file an extension, someone else can file.

    Marvel’s Marvelman filings illustrate how this works. Marvel filed its intents to use on Marvelman several years ago. It used the mark in comics in July 2010 (the Mick Anglo reprints, IIRC), filed a statement of use and secured registration. The other filings, including an intent to use on beach towels, underwear or other items of clothing, are in their fourth or fifth extension periods. If Marvel doesn’t use the marks in commerce, the marks are abandoned and other folks can file their own intents-to-use. If you see Marvelman underwear in the next six months, well, you heard it here first!

    To keep both marks live, Marvel would have to use both the Marvelman and Miracleman marks. For instance, they could sell Marvelman reprints/figures while also selling new Marvelman continuity, figures and beach towels. Or they could sell have the characters set in different universes or have separate Miracleman/Marvelman characters in one universe. Whatever way they choose, given the intents-to-use & the public attention given these marks, it’s likely that Marvel will do what it must to secure both in all the areas they’ve been filed.

    Another interesting bit of trademark trivia re the Miracleman mark is that in 2011, a Pennsylvania sportswear company filed an intent-to-use for jeans and swimwear. Marvel’s Miracleman filings are only for comics, trading cards and action figures.

    Outside of law, the passage of time since publication is striking. Nineteen years or so passed from the end of the original Marvelman to Moore’s version, roughly akin to the passage of time between the original Marvel family series & the DC relaunch as Shazam!. A similar amount of time has passed from the Gaiman continuation until now. Comparative perception of relative comics time deserves study.

  14. b.t.t.c. says:

    “the way is now clearer for both a reprinting of the Miracleman/Marvelman series by Alan Moore”

    Well, no, because Moore would have to sign off on that, which he’ll never do.

    I’m also thinking that McFarlane still owns the proofs of the Eclipse issues.

    In other words, we’re still where we were years ago, when gullible fans instantly assumed, based on one Comic Con statement, that Marvel owned everything and that Moore/Gaiman reprints and continuations of the Eclipse series were nearly ready to be released.

    But, still, the best they’ll be able to do is for Gaiman and Buckingham to randomly start producing new stories, without any reprint run-up to them. Few people even want that. I’d buy it, I guess, but the watered-down fey Gaiman of 2012 is a far cry from the writer circa 1990.

  15. spike says:

    I can’t wait to have the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman issues re-released in a trade.
    PLEASE DON’T LET BENDIS WRITE MARVEL MAN if Marvel does start putting out new issues.

  16. @b.t.t.c. —

    “the way is now clearer for both a reprinting of the Miracleman/Marvelman series by Alan Moore”

    Well, no, because Moore would have to sign off on that, which he’ll never do.<<

    Moore gave his 30% share of the rights to the property to Gaiman years ago.

  17. Far as I can remember – and there was an interview with Moore around the time Marvel bought the rights (or thought they had) – Moore has “given his blessing” in so far as he has no real objection to the stuff being reprinted. I think back in the day, once he realised Warrior had not sorted out the rights correctly and given Mick Anglo his due, he’d walked away anyway and seemed happy enough that Marvel paid Anglo a bug sum of money a few years back for the rights.

    Not sure if he wants his name included on it but I’d imagine Marvel would rather they had an Alan Moore comic to sell and plaster his name on it.

    Oh and there is the issue of the artists involved, all of whom – and correct me if I’m wrong – ALSO have a say in whether their work gets reprinted. Pretty sure I read that they each own their individual artwork to each issue, so Marvel are going to have make a deal with everyone involved.

    Though maybe they could re-draw those Chuck Dixon issues, eh?

  18. Linnen says:

    Chuck AUSTIN.

  19. Scratchie says:

    > continuations of the Eclipse series

    Oh, sweet Jesus, I hadn’t even considered this possibility. “After Miracleman”.

  20. Alan Moore doesn’t have to sign off on this- he GAVE his share to creator Mick Anglo, who later sold it to Marvel for one million.

  21. Jon_in_Austin says:

    I pulled out my back issues a few weeks ago and reread them for the first time since the 80s.

    The story is much easier to read and follow as a set. Definitely better than having them dribble out every 9-10 months or so, like they did when they were issued.

    And I agree on the books needing better coloring. They were really muddy.

    I have a feeling this story is all rumor and speculation, but I’d be delighted if it were true.

  22. Robot out of Left Field says:

    I think Marvel should hire Rob Liefield to redraw it all.

  23. Jesse says:

    This all sums up comics now. I was incredibly lucky to grow up in the 80’s and read all this stuff when it was new and exciting. Now comics are piles of uninspired crap, rehashes and legal battles. (by comics I mean the two not everyone else…)

  24. alistair says:

    Robot out of Left Field:

    “I think Marvel should hire Rob Liefield to redraw it all.”

    You are now on my death-list. Keep looking over your shoulder and step wide of the shadows!

    :o))

  25. I just want to echo the basic point that, if these stories were finally reprinted, I would buy them all THE DAY they went on sale. I read a friend’s copies once, and I have a few of the old back issues, but I really want to have them all, to reread and share.

  26. gordon says:

    Puh -leasze…. this stuff is 25 years old+++, can’t they do a new thing?!

  27. Sawney says:

    Do a new thing? You do realize this is comics?

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