The Big Picture: Miracle, Man.

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Miracle, Man.

MovieBob takes us further down the rabbit hole that is Miracle Man.

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Aw man, you used a picture from the Ace Attorney movies! That's pretty cool because now i can feel good about recognizing a rather obscure reference!

Also, i am not very familiar with Gaimans history in comic book writing. But i do enjoy his novels.

My god, todd;s power level is over 9000.....yeah someone had to do it.

Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

Man my brain hurts. People are silly

And this is why you spring for the lawyers when you're writing up the contracts rather than waiting until shit hits the fan...

So comics are weird, but intellectual property rights are weirder. Here's hoping that Gaiman gets the rights to Miracle Man and Medieval Spawn, then writes a comic where the former kills the latter.

Also, does anyone know why Bob used a picture of Big Bird as the "giant middle finger" (around 5 minutes in)?

My opinion of all this legal malarkey can be summed up with one of my favourite lines from the film Burn After Reading:

"Jesus Christ, what a clusterfuck! So, that's it then?"

Can you do an episode on Avengers/Justice league super villains?
I just started playing a mobile game Marvel War oh hero's and I've taken an interest in some characters I've never heard of like Black Bolt and Ultron.
So I realized I barely know any of the the biggest villains in comics like Darkseid or that pink guy at the end of the Avengers. I'd like an episode to see what kind of stuff we could expect from the future Avengers 2 and JL.

She is a good source for TnA, if by TnA you mean Tribulation and Agony :P

You know, Walt Disney wasn't all that great of an animator. He didn't even animate a lot of his shorts (though HE did do some). He was definitely more of a visionary and a rally cry then the kind of guy who could actually do what his company is famous for... I don't know why, but hearing about who Todd MacFarlane was more interested in merchandising then actually drawing/writing comics, it reminded me of Walt Disney, especially how in later years, Disney was more interested in pushing Disneyland and Epcot then his movies.

Though I have to admit, comparing Walt Disney to Todd MacFarlane is pretty bad on my part, so, sorry. :(

The only two things I took out of that is that there may be a vapid TnA character in the next Avengers movie (cause there isn't one already, right guys?) and that the mental image of Todd McFarlane going super saiyan is an awesome one. So all in all, a pretty informative Big Picture for me.

does MArvel (the company) need a another Marvel named person in their universe? They already have captain Mar-vel, mr. marvel, and mrs. Marvel and i feel like there was a team named the marvels at some point or another. maybe i'm wrong about any or all of those so it may be exaggerated from my perspective. still though.

Man the comics industry is one big clusterf*** huh?

Urh:
My opinion of all this legal malarkey can be summed up with one of my favourite lines from the film Burn After Reading:

"Jesus Christ, what a clusterfuck! So, that's it then?"

Yeah, that movie sums up the entire pointlessness pretty well.

Also, being European, this is all a book with seven seals to me. At the same time, all of it sounds frighteningly like stuff people do. It's just that it's all about comic books that makes it feel kind of weird.

Odd thing about this: the same thing happening over games or novels or movies doesn't...

Thunderous Cacophony:
So comics are weird, but intellectual property rights are weirder. Here's hoping that Gaiman gets the rights to Miracle Man and Medieval Spawn, then writes a comic where the former kills the latter.

Also, does anyone know why Bob used a picture of Big Bird as the "giant middle finger" (around 5 minutes in)?

I am only British, but via pop culture osmosis, I swear Americans often refer to putting the middle finger up as 'giving someone the bird'. That would at least make sense.

You know, there are several things in nerd/geek-dom that I never got into.

Tabletop gaming, Dr. Who, Comic Books being a few..

After watching this today I actually found myself saying "Comics are Weird". I'm rather glad I never got into them myself. It seems like an expensive and confusing hobby.

IP laws: Fuck 'em.

The comic book industry is probably the most self-evident example of how these failed imitations of "ownership" being applied to monopolistic art regulations and publishing censorship, are just resulting in stories that are entirely twisted around to fit arbitary legal fictions.

Just let everyone write whatever the hell they want to write about, at least about anything that is already older than a decade. Problem solved.

Thunderous Cacophony:
So comics are weird, but intellectual property rights are weirder. Here's hoping that Gaiman gets the rights to Miracle Man and Medieval Spawn, then writes a comic where the former kills the latter.

Also, does anyone know why Bob used a picture of Big Bird as the "giant middle finger" (around 5 minutes in)?

Who owns Big Bird? Muppets people or PBS? Might have something to do with the matter.

ITMT: Miracle Man is a British adaptation of Captain Marvel. Cap is owned by Marvel's competitor DC. This is gonna be weird.

Me? I don't care. Issues 1-15 of Miracle Man were among the best I've ever read. Just get more stuff in print ASAP!

I really hope Bob's wrong about Marvel maybe introducing Marvel/Miracleman in Age of Ultron. See, Marveleman was really only notable for Alan Moore's reworking of him, before that he was just a generic,ripoff of Captain Marvel and by extension Superman. The Eclipse Comics stuff though, put him down into a world where there were no other superheroes and Moore wasn't bound by a status quo, which allowed Moore to go crazy with the character, throwing him into apocalyptic battles and dark conspiracies and questions about identity, ultimately ending the series as a quasi-benevolent dictator of a transformed Earth.

Putting Marvelman into the the Marvel universe though, would mean that he can't do any of that stuff, because at the end of the day Marvel Comics wants their fictional universe intact so that they can still tell stories and sell comics with the X-Men and Thor and all their other properties.

We saw the same thing when Marvel introduced the Sentry, that kind of superman-analogue just doesn't fit into the Marvel Universe's paradigm, so they're left awkwardly shuffling from story to story, no writer ever quite sure what to do with them.

I'd like to point out that the whole "Angela is coming" thing kinda dropped out of the press either before or shortly after last week's episode. What happened was Marvel said she's showing up and the nerd media went on a massive "The fuck?!" and blew it way up.

canadamus_prime:
Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

It's not really that absurd, I did an even more basic summary of it in response to the first half of this. Basically Mcfarlane and Gaiman were partners of a sort, had a falling out, hate each other, and have been slap fighting over the rights. Mcfarlane being a money hungry douche of the highest order.

The big problem with Bob's analysis is that he spends a lot of time knocking Angela because he doesn't paticularly care for the character, it, and it's popularity, is pretty much anti-thetical to his entire persona and what he wants to think. The rights to that are not only attached to Spawn, but the character itself has held onto enough of a following where during movies a mere walkthrough by someone who might have been that character got a lot of attention for that reason. What's more I'd argue that while renegade demons and hellspawn are a dime a dozen, you don't see all that many characters with Angelic or Celestrial powers and origins in comparison, and really Angela could be argued to be the reason why the few characters like that that we've seen even exist.

Given that Spawn is pretty much Mcfarlane's biggest success, the entire issue of someone else owning part of the rights based on the old "Image" contracts is awkward especially with his failing fortunes. Someone putting characters added into that continuity into other comics opens some unplesant doors for them to ultimatly claim usage of the rest of his universe and creations.

To be honest I think Bob might have things a little backwards here in that while Marvelman might have been a big deal for a while, he's hardly that well known or popular as a concept. I mean even Bob points out that he's pretty much a "Captain Marvel" knockoff, and while The Big Red Cheese was at one time the world's most popular super hero, he's now kind of a B-lister to the point where in looking at the promotional material for "Infamous" people like me actually had to explain to some people who he even was (who was that boy who is not a boy fighting Doomsday?) and this was here on The Escapist which is pretty much geek central. Angela on the other hand is a character more comtemporary comics fans recognize and who has a degree of enduring fandom leftover from the 1990s and Gen-Xers who liked the character and the universe. With Angela they have something of a build in fan base for an event, with Marvelman I suspect they would have to pretty much sell the character from scratch, and really given that it's a giant Captain Marvel ripoff, it probably amounts to trying to sell a character who despite apperance in a lot of modern media including the DC Animated Universe has pretty much remains a B-lister... except in this case they don't even have the real deal, but the knockoff. It could be done mind you, but it seems like more of a long shot than using Angela for a 90s nostolgia cash-in and perhaps working on the "heavenly" aspects of The Marvel Universe (even if she's a renegade).

Bob's theory seems to be based largely on the fact that Gaiman wanted the Marvel/Miracle-man rights and was willing to give up his Spawn-verse characters for them at one point. However I'd imagine the situation then was a bit differant than it is now, and he didn't have the connection with Marvel, or Marvel it's current movie-based popularity, to turn this into something of a quick, immediate, payday, with some long term prospects. With Marvelman it relies on tapping a nostolgia market which would have been better at the time when this avenue didn't exists, and the very risky venture of rebooting an old, once-popular character for a new audience which is something that tends to backfire with comics as much as it succeeds. Angela is more of a guarantee even in the short term, Marvelman seems to be a dice roll.

Ishal:
It seems like an expensive and confusing hobby.

Depends on how far down the rabbit hole you plan on going.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I had a collection inherited from my dad which showed off an era where there weren't a ton of crossovers (at least, not on an epic continuity level) and it wasn't all that bad.

Of course, then there were current comics. And suddenly, even relatively minor characters were being thrust into these big event comics. I remember Darkhawk being in a few, and Darkhawk was a comic that, while I was interested in, I expected to last about 12 issues (Because that was a fairly standard run for a low-rent comic at the time).

And being a Spider-Man reader, just about everyone crossed over with him, and....Yeah, that's one of the main reasons I dropped out of comics. But it doesn't really have to be that way. Except these days, I guess it kinda does.

So I guess ignore everything I just said.

Also, comics these days. GET OFF MY LAWN!

I brought most of that up because my mind went back to what Bob was talking about with the 90s and the speculator boom. This is one of the things that they decided sold comics. Big events. I don't know if it really works, but this is one of the bits they've held on to.

I just want to watch guys in tights beat up other guys in tights. or possibly power armour.

And for that, I guess we have comic book movies.

If this happens it's not Marvel Macfarlane should be afraid of. It's Disney. Their lawyers and their influence go deep in the American justice. Todd MacFarlace will have a legal battle that is not going to please him. Even if he wins, it will be a moral victory only.

Therumancer:

canadamus_prime:
Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

It's not really that absurd, I did an even more basic summary of it in response to the first half of this. Basically Mcfarlane and Gaiman were partners of a sort, had a falling out, hate each other, and have been slap fighting over the rights. Mcfarlane being a money hungry douche of the highest order.

And that doesn't sound utterly absurd to you?

Augh! Stop it with all the event comics! I still haven't even caught up to Fear Itself! Which I heard is pretty crap but hey, Secret Invasion was my entry point and I'm sticking with it.

Its actually significantly more absurd than all of this appears, if you're willing to read between the "lines" as it were in terms of the legal battle both sides have basically been carrying on a series of meaningless grudges and then translating that into... well money. So the logic we're following here, MF has actually recovered from bankruptcy twice since '96 by the by, is that:

1. Creator rights.
2. Copyright law.
3. ?????
4. Profit.

Not even being remotely facetious. Gaiman can be forgiven for the most part, as a lot of the stuff past '02 was really the doing of a whole other bunch of interested parties and not him directly (all profit aside), but the fact that MF continues to remain solvent by basically gaming the system to remain somewhat in the black while simultaneously leaving small curled piles on money on the doors of Gaiman and all others involved should be worrying to everyone.

Of course this was before Disney decided to get involved, whatever dark magic MF may or may not possess is no match for Disney.

COPYRIGHT LAWS

ARE

BULLSHIT!

Seriously, I couldn't agree more with Jim on this one. Artistic properties should go back to their original creators after a set period of time and in the case of group works (such as video games) everyone should get a piece, I know this would be complicated but I don't care. You should reap what you sow not sponge off the hard work/creativity of others like some leech.

Zachary Amaranth:

And for that, I guess we have comic book movies.

Even that will go the way of the dodo if they keep on pushing with the Avengers and Justice League and whatever else cross-canon film stuff. When there's three films that are basically required viewing so you understand the context of a new film before watching it, when it's not explicitly mentioned to continue on from said movies that weren't actually connected to each other either... and when they all have their own individual self-contained universes that exist separately from the larger group they're a part of...

I confused myself just typing all of that.

Yeah, I can't follow comics. All of these "Comics Are Weird!" episodes exemplify exactly why that is.

canadamus_prime:
Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

Something to consider: no matter how insane a fictional continuity is, reality is FAR more bizarre.

Now put that in perspective of the comic book industry in comparison to comic book continuity.

SilverHammerMan:
I really hope Bob's wrong about Marvel maybe introducing Marvel/Miracleman in Age of Ultron. See, Marveleman was really only notable for Alan Moore's reworking of him, before that he was just a generic,ripoff of Captain Marvel and by extension Superman. The Eclipse Comics stuff though, put him down into a world where there were no other superheroes and Moore wasn't bound by a status quo, which allowed Moore to go crazy with the character, throwing him into apocalyptic battles and dark conspiracies and questions about identity, ultimately ending the series as a quasi-benevolent dictator of a transformed Earth.

Putting Marvelman into the the Marvel universe though, would mean that he can't do any of that stuff, because at the end of the day Marvel Comics wants their fictional universe intact so that they can still tell stories and sell comics with the X-Men and Thor and all their other properties.

We saw the same thing when Marvel introduced the Sentry, that kind of superman-analogue just doesn't fit into the Marvel Universe's paradigm, so they're left awkwardly shuffling from story to story, no writer ever quite sure what to do with them.

This goes with my question: why go through all this trouble for a Captain Marvel (and as you pointed out, therefore a Superman) ripoff? I've never read any Marvelman books, but after your description of Moore's run, I'm also not seeing how he'd fit into the Marvel Universe. So again, why does Gaiman give so much of damn about this character that he would sink his own comic book profits into buying him?

Oh, and it wasn't just the Sentry. Marvel has tried this shtick before with other characters like Hyperion, and it didn't take off then either. I don't get why Marvel has such a Superman envy.

LordLundar:

canadamus_prime:
Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

Something to consider: no matter how insane a fictional continuity is, reality is FAR more bizarre.

Now put that in perspective of the comic book industry in comparison to comic book continuity.

I think I need to go lie down... >_<

Marvel already had a character called Marvel Man, originally Marvel Boy, an old golden age character, who later changed his name to Quasar because some kid told him that was a stupid name in Incredible Hulk #234. I used to have that issue. Pity.

canadamus_prime:

Therumancer:

canadamus_prime:
Is it really as incredibly absurd as it sounds?

It's not really that absurd, I did an even more basic summary of it in response to the first half of this. Basically Mcfarlane and Gaiman were partners of a sort, had a falling out, hate each other, and have been slap fighting over the rights. Mcfarlane being a money hungry douche of the highest order.

And that doesn't sound utterly absurd to you?

Nope, sounds like a typical business falling out to be honest. If you wound up in a company with a partner and then parted ways with them... badly, you'd probably wind up fighting over who gets what as well, especially if your dealing with the remnants of profitable collaberative work like we saw with Image.

In this case it seems like a pretty straightforward issue, things tend to seem "absurd" to me when arguements are based entirely on technicalities. In this case there are some very real, defined, IPs being argued about, and a lot of money coming from them.

To me absurd is when someone like Todd Mcfarlane decided to go after Palladium for their "Nightspawn" game because he felt the title and dark fantasy nature of the game made it too similar to "Spawn" even if it wasn't even close.

Another absurdist situation in this arena was one where Todd was actually a victim of sorts, with him being sued because he made a mobster named "Tony Twist" who looked vaguely similar to a well known Hockey Player by that name, it being an intentional homage to one of his heroes. The player successfully sued him for it, in one of the more WTF situations in comics, and pretty much establishing a doctrine by which it's difficult to give anyone a nod, wink, or acknowlegement like that in the media for fear that they might smell blood and come after you for money.

In the overall arena of geekdom legality this isn't absurd. It's also incredibly tame when you just look at the garbage that has followed Todd Mcfarlane around in paticular.

To be honest I largely suspect he bought that infamous baseball to dump his money because of all the people he pissed off. You can't get blood out of a rock to to speak, and the most they could do in the long run would be to basically auction the BB and fight over the proceeds. Of course I imagine he also suspeced the record it was connected to would last longer and be less contreversial, and thus worth more in the long run if he ever decided to cash it in. But this is all speculation on my part. Mcfarlane is pretty much a financial/legal soap opera when you get down to it. His situation is arguably absurd, but this paticular case with Gaiman really isn't, which is why I suspect Gaiman has been winning so often in the disputes (as Bob mentioned), it's actually downright straightforward.

Todd McFarlane going Super Saiyan.

Am I the only one with the phrase "We are so...BONED!" going through my head just now upon picturing that?

Therumancer:

canadamus_prime:

Therumancer:

It's not really that absurd, I did an even more basic summary of it in response to the first half of this. Basically Mcfarlane and Gaiman were partners of a sort, had a falling out, hate each other, and have been slap fighting over the rights. Mcfarlane being a money hungry douche of the highest order.

And that doesn't sound utterly absurd to you?

Nope, sounds like a typical business falling out to be honest. If you wound up in a company with a partner and then parted ways with them... badly, you'd probably wind up fighting over who gets what as well, especially if your dealing with the remnants of profitable collaberative work like we saw with Image.

In this case it seems like a pretty straightforward issue, things tend to seem "absurd" to me when arguements are based entirely on technicalities. In this case there are some very real, defined, IPs being argued about, and a lot of money coming from them.

To me absurd is when someone like Todd Mcfarlane decided to go after Palladium for their "Nightspawn" game because he felt the title and dark fantasy nature of the game made it too similar to "Spawn" even if it wasn't even close.

Another absurdist situation in this arena was one where Todd was actually a victim of sorts, with him being sued because he made a mobster named "Tony Twist" who looked vaguely similar to a well known Hockey Player by that name, it being an intentional homage to one of his heroes. The player successfully sued him for it, in one of the more WTF situations in comics, and pretty much establishing a doctrine by which it's difficult to give anyone a nod, wink, or acknowlegement like that in the media for fear that they might smell blood and come after you for money.

In the overall arena of geekdom legality this isn't absurd. It's also incredibly tame when you just look at the garbage that has followed Todd Mcfarlane around in paticular.

To be honest I largely suspect he bought that infamous baseball to dump his money because of all the people he pissed off. You can't get blood out of a rock to to speak, and the most they could do in the long run would be to basically auction the BB and fight over the proceeds. Of course I imagine he also suspeced the record it was connected to would last longer and be less contreversial, and thus worth more in the long run if he ever decided to cash it in. But this is all speculation on my part. Mcfarlane is pretty much a financial/legal soap opera when you get down to it. His situation is arguably absurd, but this paticular case with Gaiman really isn't, which is why I suspect Gaiman has been winning so often in the disputes (as Bob mentioned), it's actually downright straightforward.

Well it is still absurd, it's just on the lowest end of the absurd spectrum. Regardless it still sounds like one hell of a clusterfuck to me.

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