A grand theme of this year’s San Diego Comicon seems to be the return of several great old school characters to the comics fold. Who am I talking about?
Well the biggest news of the con so far is probably the acquisition of this fella by Marvel Comics. That’s right. Marvel Comics has bought Marvelman (better known to American fans as Miracleman) outright from creator Mick Anglo. No one is quite willing to say what plans they have for the character, but considering modern Marvel’s working relationship with Neil Gaiman, methinks they will give us a conclusion to the classic series. Hopefully they will give us reprints of both the Gaiman/Buckingham and the Alan Moore issues as well.
DC has made its own deal with the new owners of the THUNDER Agents license. The classic Tower heroes will join the Milestone and Archie/Red Circle heroes as part of the ever expanding DC Universe. I am not sure I am in love with the costume redesigns, and I sure as hell want to know where Noman is, but I cannot help but feel excited that one of the best teams in comics is finally back. And sans the terrible remake attempt that was canned by DC a few years ago after problems with the previous rights owners. I have no clue how The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves will interact with the current UN peacekeeping body Checkmate, but I suppose we will all have to wait and see on that one.
Finally, Dark Horse has acquired the rights to publish new books based on the classic Gold Key characters, such as Dr. Solar, Magnus Robot Fighter, Turok, and Mighty Samson. You might recognize those first three names from the Valiant comics of the nineties. So did Dark Horse, as they have hired Valiant creator Jim Shooter as the man to bring the new line of titles to life. This one doesn’t even come with a fancy image (hence the old Gold Key cover), so we will have to see when they get published the changes Shooter and co. will make.
The real question is whether the market can support these books. I hope the answer is yes, because a hardcore fan of the THUNDER Agents like myself has been waiting since childhood to see these characters return. Good luck on all of these, guys, and once again I think the statement has been proven: Everything old is new again.