Superhero Rights



Miracleman, a 1980s comic written by Alan Moore, set the tone for the darker and more literary superhero stories to come. Now it's back in print-a victory over lengthy copyright squabbles.

Moore's series, published in America by Eclipse Comics, deconstructed the 1950s hero Marvelman who was himself essentially a renamed Captain Marvel, who D.C. Comics killed in the 1950s for being a Superman ripoff. After Moore left the comic, Sandman scribe Neil Gaiman picked up the story. But things got complicated in 1996 when artist-publisher Todd McFarlane bought the rights to Eclipse's creative properties. Gaiman filed suit, and a long legal battle ensued.

In 2009, McFarlane's purchase of the Eclipse character line was judged illegitimate because Eclipse didn't truly own the rights anyway. Marvel Comics bought the rights from Marvelman's creator Mick Anglo, and began the practically miraculous process of bringing the series back to print.