Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's going to happen to Marvelman?

Yes, yes, da Internetz is all abuzz over Marvel's acquisition of Marvelman. Everyone is speculating over whether Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman's stories will now see print (or re-printing, as it were), whether we'll get to see Neil Gaiman's final storyline which was never published, whether Alan Moore will send a pox down upon the American comics industry, what DC might do since Marvelman is a direct copy of Captain Marvel, and on into infinity...

I'm left wondering what Marvel will actually do with the character.

See, if DC had acquired the character (which would have been a mighty interesting turn of events!), they might have re-published the original stories in some great big Absolute edition with new coloring and such, finally published the remaining storylines, printed any number of limited series and such, and, lastly, found some way to integrate some version of the Marvelman Universe into their DC Universe cosmology. Earth 16 or something would have become the world of the Marvelman Family and there might have been crossovers with the Justice League. Or the whole Marvelman Family will suddenly appear in England and there might have been crossovers with the Justice League and the Marvel Family. Or some other such thing.

But Marvel... what're they going to do?

Create some alternate dimension, like the Ultimate Universe or the Marvel Zombie Universe?

Have some sort of Golden Age/Silver Age back story like they did with The Sentry and The Blue Marvel and integrate them into the current Marvel Universe?

Introduce Marvelman to the current Marvel universe with a crossover story starring Captain Britain?

Create a line of stories in the Marvel Adventures books to introduce Marvelman to kids?

Have Kurt Busiek write up a big crossover story involving the Avengers, the Squadron Supreme, the Grandmaster and the Marvelman family?

I'm kinda convinced that Marvel as a company is now old enough to be at the Silver Age stage that DC was years ago. Older characters, like Thor, Captain America/Bucky, and Spider-Man (with the Brand New Day stories), have been re-introduced for new readers much like the Flash and Green Lantern were introduced to new readers in the 1950's. Spider-Man, their flagship character, has his share of storylines (Clone Saga, One More Day) that some readers would like to forget much like Superman and Batman did during the 50's. I'm sure there are other analogies, but those are the ones that come to mind.

One thing that Marvel is new at is acquiring licenses of existing characters formerly owned by other companies, and doing something interesting with them. For example, in the 90's Marvel acquired Malibu Comics, but let those characters disappear from the minds of readers everywhere. Here, however, Marvel's got a brand new toy to play with.

Just what are they going to do with this new toy, I wonder?

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