As part of Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s two-thousand-one-hundred-and-sixty-eight part investigation into the history of Marvelman and Miracleman he when it comes to working out who owns it suggest that, well, maybe no one does.
Firstly, he establishes that Mick Anglo’s claim to the character is disputed by Arnold Miller, the son of the original publisher;
The real story as I remember is this, Mick Anglo was employed by L Miller and Son Ltd to write and draw story lines for Marvelman and the Marvelman Family comics, the rights to use the titles were given to L Miller and Son Ltd by Fawcett Publications. Mick Anglo has no copyright on the title Marvelman or Marvelman Family.
Fawcett were aware of L Miller and Son Ltd publishing and using the name Marvelman, Marvelman Family etc. Mick Anglo was commissioned by L Miller to draw material for the content, he has no rights to the cover material, this was supplied by Fawcett.
It seems as though Mick Anglo has a vivid imagination that extends far and above drawing. His meetings with Len Miller my father did not occur. I would mention that Mick Anglo was not flavour of the month with Florrie Miller my mother, who did not trust him.
I wrote to Mick Anglo and advised him that he had no copyright on the material he supplied and was paid for by L Miller and Son, and as I expected there has been no reply.
But moreover, he raises the possibility that, with the close of publisher Len Miller And Co, that the rights to Marvelman are owned by nobody at all.
Which remarkably seems to mirror an earlier dismissive description of Dez Skinn’s claim to the character as seen in Warrior, as having found them just lying around.
Marvel own the trademarks to Marvelman and Miracleman now, it seems, by registering the trademarks and publishing the old Mick Anglo comics. And as for the Moore/Leach/Davis/Austen/Veitch/Totleben/Gaiman/Buckingham run, the creators all own their own work on the book.
But what did Marvel exactly pay the million dollars for?