Classic Comics – Miracleman (Eclipse Comics)

Some very nice comics arrived from Ebay.co.uk today. A bunch of Miracleman comics, from the classic Eclipse Comics series. Issues 12, 14 , 22, 23, and Miracleman: Apocrypha #3 (of 3), to be exact. Leaves me just #’s 11, 13, 15 and 24 of the main series to complete the entire run. I was outbid on #24 at the last second (with the previously winning bid from me sitting at £21), something that I was rather pissed off about (to put it very mildly).

This series is a much sought after classic title. And the asking prices reflect that. Certain individual issues will pop up regularly at £30 or more – I expect the hotly demanded #’s 15 and 24 to cost me a pretty packet at some point. The four trade paperbacks of the main series – A Dream of Flying, The Red King Syndrome, Olympus and The Golden Age (there is also a fifth, covering the Miracleman: Apocrypha 3-part mini-series) – go for exorbitant prices (and only cover up to #22 of the 24 parts).

I still need A Dream of Flying and Olympus, but the high asking prices for the trade paperbacks have forced me to concentrate on the original comics instead. In a way, this is preferable, as the original comics are worth more anyway – the trade paperbacks only have artificially inflated prices only because of the fact that the series is unlikely to be reprinted anytime soon due to the complicated legal situation surrounding the creators rights. But I’d definitely like to get the other two tpbs, eventually (and at the right price), as this series is structured to fit four “books”, and are extremely collectible in this format.

I don’t usually pay this kind of inflated collector’s prices for comics – I have better things to do with my money – but, for a series like Miracleman (originally known as Marvelman, an infinitely better title, at least in my opinion), it’s well worth paying out over the odds. The original modern incarnation of Marvelman first appeared as a black and white strip in the classic British comic, Warrior, at the start of the 1980s. It was written by a then relatively unknown Alan Moore (later an equally relatively unknown Neil Gaiman – this comic has some serious creator pedigree) and drawn by Garry Leach (later Alan Davis and others), and totally redefined the stagnant superhero genre. It blew me away. It was, and remains, my favourite superhero strip of all time. By a huge margin. When you rate something as highly as that, you’ll pay what it takes to get it.

I’ve been following the Gaiman vs McFarlane legal squabble over Miracleman copyrights with interest. Apparently Gaiman says that issue 25 was mostly completed before Eclipse went under, and that he’d get it finished, and the Miracleman story finally wrapped up, if the legal situation ever gets resolved in his favour.

Lets hope that’s how it turns out, and sooner rather than later.

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