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A “lost” story from comic-book legend Grant Morrison will see print for the first time this holiday season, when Marvel’s Miracleman Annual No. 1 publishes the first new material featuring the character in more than two decades.
The script dates back to the mid-1980s, when Morrison was asked to continue the series — then called Marvelman and running in the pages of British anthology Warrior — following the character’s revival by Watchmen writer Alan Moore. As Morrison explained in the 2010 Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods documentary, “They asked me to continue Marvelman, because Moore had fallen out with everyone in the magazine and taken away his script, and they said ‘Would you follow this up?'”
Morrison’s story was never published, in part because the writer asked Moore for his blessing and, well, didn’t get it. “I wrote to him and said, ‘They’ve asked me to do this, but obviously I really respect your work and I wouldn’t want to mess anything up, but I don’t want anyone else to do it and mess it up.’ And he sent me back this really weird letter, and I remember the opening of it. It said, ‘I don’t want this to sound like the softly hissed tones of a mafia hitman, but back off.'” (As it happened, Moore eventually continued with the strip himself, for American publisher Eclipse Comics; Warrior folded soon after.)
When Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada heard Morrison’s story, he explained to Vulture, he had several immediate responses. “One was, Oh my God, this actually happened. Another was, Oh my God, he may have the actual script.”
It turns out, he did — and, after being approached by Marvel, it’ll finally be published as part of the company’s high-profile repackaging of a series that shaped the development of the superhero genre over the last three decades. Out of print due to confusion over ownership of the material — confusion that included a lawsuit between Neil Gaiman, who eventually followed Moore on the series, and Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane — the series returned earlier this year with reprints of Moore’s initial work, with a brand-new continuation to existing material planned for 2016.
Alongside the Morrison story, which will be illustrated by Quesada himself, Miracleman Annual No. 1 will also feature an entirely new story reuniting the X-Statix creative team of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred. The issue will be available digitally and in comic stores December 31.
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