Miracleman (originally Marvelman... it has reverted to its old title) refers to two separate and related creations, the second based on the first.Version OneA 1950s homegrown British Captain Ersatz version of superhero Captain Marvel (himself an Expy of Superman, though different in many ways), created by Mick Anglo. Michael Moran, Johnny Bates and Dicky Dauntless were three young boys who on saying a particular "magic word" became Marvelman, Kid Marvelman and Young Marvelman respectively. Like Captain Marvel, they had a series of adventures with often fantastic and absurd settings with Dr. Gargunza being their arch-enemy(Gargunza is an Expy of Dr. Sivana, Captain Marvel's recurring arch-enemy).These books were published by, L. Miller & Son, Ltd., had the rights to make reprints of American Comic Book Captain Marvel for the UK. However, when Fawcett Comics, publishers and right-owners of Captain Marvel in America, had to cease when DC Comics threatened to sue due to similarities to Superman, L. Miller was faced with the reprint material drying up. So, ironically, he had one of his writers, Mick Angelo, created Captain Ersatz versions of the character and his supporting cast. Marvelman's adventures lasted from 1954 to 1963, for about 350 weekly issues. The books were popular as young men's reading material, its bright colour adventures were considered refreshing in England in The Fifties.Version 2The Alan Moore version, from the 1980s, later continued by Neil Gaiman.A young Alan Moore was one of the readers of the original Mick Anglo run and in one of his first interviews, he stated a desire to write the long discontinued title, hoping to do a fresh spin for modern audiences. Word of Moore's intentions reached Dez Skinn, publisher of Warrior magazine. Skinn had somehow gained rights to Marvelman and had entertained ideas to bring it back into print. It was with Marvelman that Moore started what became part of his Signature Style. Take a previously known character that had become obscure and rewrite and Retcon its origins and submit the entire premise to a Genre Deconstruction. His work with Marvelman attracted a great deal of attention and this later led to work with DC on titles like Swamp Thing which also radically changed the character from the ground-up. Moore's run on Marvelman essentially covers three separate long story arcs.The first arc is largely an "origin" story dealing with a grown-up, Happily Married Michael Moran who works as a reporter and has dreams of life as a "superhero" but has forgotten his magic word. He rediscovers it("Kimota") at an Atomic power plant and becomes a superhero in the grim 80s of Thatcher's Britain. The Driving Question of the first story is the circumstances of Michael Moran's existence, the tension in his marriage caused by having two different identities in a single body and his reunion with childhood acquaintances, Johnny Bates("Kid Miracleman") as well Dr. Emil Gargunza. The second arc dealt with him meeting Miraclewoman, a Distaff Counterpart and takes the series into a cosmic direction as Miracleman goes to outer space and meets aliens with similar powers and abilities as him.Sadly, Warrior stopped publication about one-third through his run; the series would have remained lost and unfinished if not for Eclipse Comics, who offered to buy the US rights to the property and let Moore finish the series. Unfortunately, Marvel Comics was not thrilled with Moore and the fact that his character was called Marvelman. So the character was changed to Miracleman. Miracleman debuted in 1984 to rave reviews, though there would many problems: Eclipse Comics had its corporate headquarters destroyed in a flood and Alan Davis (the original artist for the series) left over the fact that Moore's antagonistic relationship with Marvel Comics threatened to get Alan Davis blacklisted from working stateside.Several artists were called in to draw the rest of Moore's run (along with an issue that reprinted classic Miracleman stories, something that the book's editor replied was only being done because of the aforementioned flood), among them Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch of Swamp Thing fame and Chuck Austen (yes, THAT Chuck Austen). The third part of the series, called "Olympus" had the series undertake a Genre Shift into Cosmic Horror and science fiction as Moore started to explore Miracleman's drift from humanity. He ended his run with the memorable final two issues of 15 and 16, memorable for the hitherto unseen levels of violence depicted in superhero comics. Alan Moore's run would be followed by Neil Gaiman, who sought to write a trilogy of story arcs beginning with The Golden Age continuing on with The Silver Age and ending with The Dark Age. These would have explored Miracleman's new order and its ultimate downfall. Though The Golden Age arc concluded, the book was cancelled again shortly after the commencement of The Silver Age with the collapse of Eclipse Comics. Gaiman's story has remained unfinished to this day.With the collapse of Eclipse Comics, the rights to the series fell into legal limbo hell, made worse with Todd McFarlane buying up ownership of Eclipse Comics assets when the company went down. McFarlane drew much controversy in his desire to incorporate Miracleman into the Spawn universe and holding usage of the character and the chance to finish his story, as blackmail material to force Neil Gaiman (who, thanks to Alan Moore, had partial legal ownership claim to the character) in exchange for Neil giving up his long-standing legal fight over ownership of popular Spawn character Angela and claims to royalties that were being withheld from by Todd. However, it would be for naught as it was revealed that the real rights were held by Mick Anglo, who due to a various number of loopholes with the British copyright system, had never signed away his rights to the characters and that the deal with Alan Moore for usage of the character for Warrior and Eclipse Comics was invalid. This allowed, ironically, for Marvel Comics to cut a deal to buy the rights to the entire franchise from Anglo (as well as the scripts to the 80s comic series, as the artwork has to be renegotiated since Gaiman still owned the rights to the Miracleman scripts).The series remains in limbo to this day, though as part of their deal and as a means to help out Anglo (who never saw a dime for his character in the years after Moore revitalized him and was terminally ill), Marvel republished several trade paperbacks of the original 1950s Miracleman series (now Marvelman again) in hardcover and mini-series format. This in turn brought back into the spotlight many characters that Anglo created that were abandoned by Moore in his revival, most notably Nastyman and Young Nastyman, a pair of Black Adam Expies. Marvel also is said to have a verbal commitment with Neil Gaiman to let him complete his Miracleman story once the artwork rights issues are resolved. Thanks to the myriad copyright controversies, physical copies of Marvelman/Miracleman are extremely hard to find. An online archive of all the Moore/Gaiman stories, however, can be found here. It was revealed at NYCC in October, 2013 that Marvel had fully acquired the rights to Miracleman and, beginning in January 2014, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman's volumes would be reprinted and reissued, in addition to allowing Gaiman to complete the story left unfinished twenty-five years ago.