Last week, Marvel released a series of one-word teaser posters hyping the winter round of Marvel Now relaunches (but not reboots! Marvel doesn’t reboot! And Mile Morales has always been Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe! And Cyclops has always dressed like Nightwing on his way to an evening at The Ramrod’s Tower of Power night!). And while the first round of pre-San Diego Comic-Con teases were pretty transparent – “Mighty,” Marvel? Really? – the last few have been downright inscrutable. “Killers” could mean anything from a team led by The Punisher to some anonymous soul in Marvel editorial subtly bragging about blowing Brandon Flowers.
Okay, “Superior” could mean a lot of things, particularly considering that the teaser doesn’t even hint at a creative team attached to whatever it is – again, for all I know this could be some kind of nod toward someone’s skills with lead singers. Marvel has said that they will announce the team and some of the particulars about whatever project this refer to at a retailer’s breakfast during the New York Comic Con in October, but the conventional wisdom has fallen into one of two camps:
- Multiversity Comics claims to have a source who has intimated that Spider-Man will be relaunched (but not rebooted! Marvel doesn’t reboot! And Phoenix has always been a pale white guy in Eurotrash wraparound shades and a banana hammock!) as part of Marvel Now, and posits that this teaser is hyping a new Spider-Man book. Which makes a certain amount of sense; “The Superior Spider-Man” has a certain ring to it, and Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has been intimating that he has something big planned leading into Amazing Spider-Man #700 in a few months. Slott claims that the story will include the last days of Doctor Octopus, and how it involves Doc Ock’s knowledge that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, which probably won’t end well… although I can’t personally see a full-on reboot of Spider-Man coming from this (Because Marvel doesn’t reboot! And One More Day was just an everyday story about selling your hot wife to the devil!). Replacing Peter Parker with Miles Morales was a big enough risk in the non-616 Universe; if Dan Slott announced he was doing something irrevocable to Peter Parker, he’d be found behind the Javits Center with multiple contusions and a homemade Spider-Man mask clutched in his shattered typing hand. Or:
- Many people believe that this might be teasing the return of Marvelman.
The timing of a big Marvelman announcement would certainly be right, with the recent revelation that Marvel has the trademarks to both Marvelman and Miracleman. And hiding the creators’ names would make sense, because even if the news about the trademarks hadn’t broken, seeing a teaser with the names “Gaiman” and “Buckingham” would probably give the game up right out of the gate…
But my personal fear is that it is a Marvelman announcement… but that Gaiman’s and Buckingham’s names might not be attached to it.
I wrote yesterday about the possible pitfalls that could arise from trying to finish up or reprint the original Moore / Gaiman Miracleman stories – enough people have potential rights to enough pieces and characters in the story who aren’t Marvelman that almost anything could pop up to prevent the reemergence of the original stories. However, there’s probably nothing stopping Marvel from dropping Marvelman into the Marvel Universe proper… which would be the worst possible thing that Marver could possibly do with the character.
Let me go on record here, and state clearly and unambiguously: nobody gives a flying fuck about Marvelman as a character. Marvelman as a character is nothing but a Captain Marvel knockoff, which makes him a third-rate Superman, and Marvel already tried that once. It’s the reason that, when Marvel reprinted the original Mick Anglo Marvelman stories following Marvel’s purchase of his rights to the character, copies were snapped up by absolutely fucking nobody.
What is special about Marvelman is the stories that Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman wrote, and their deconstruction of superhero stories by making Marvelman basically the only superpowered being in the world. The extrapolation of having an immortal, godlike character in the real world, and figuring out where that would really go. You drop Marvelman into a universe full of superheroes, he’s just another guy in a funny suit punching other people in funny suits. And no one cares about that; we already have that.
Okay, enough ranting. Regardless, we should get the official word on what “Superior” means around the time of the New York Comic Con in October. I sincerely hope that it turns out to be an announcement about Marvelman… provided that it’s the right announcement.