I'm hoping 'The Truth' is willing to follow up, as this is all important stuff, given (1) the ongoing debacle involving the MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN rights situation and (2) the by-and-large undiscussed issue of UK creator proprietary laws vs. US copyright and TM laws.
I hasten to add, I am posting here as an interested creator with 30 years experience as a freelance creator, not an attorney -- I'd looooooooove to read someone genuinely verse in law (US and UK/Europe) weigh in on this in detail.
First off, let's be clear: We're discussing three 'entities', if you will, now four:
(1) The Mick Anglo MARVELMAN body of work created and published in the UK prior to 1980.
(2) The character of Mick Anglo's MARVELMAN relevent to that body of work, and all relevent trademarks.
(3) The Alan Moore & various artists/Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham (is that right? I'm writing off the top of my head here) body of MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN work created after 1980.
(4) The character of MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN, based upon Mick Anglo's original creation, as revised and revamped by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, et al after 1980, and all relevent trademarks.
As far as my reading and experience (I'm friends with, or was friends with, a number of those involved in #3 and #4) goes, it's clear to me that somewhere between the end of the runs of Mick Anglo's MARVELMAN -- created, by all accounts, to 'fill the gap' suddenly created by the demise of CAPTAIN MARVEL UK reprints following Fawcett's closing up shop (prompted by National Periodical/DC's lawsuit against Fawcett contending CAPTAIN MARVEL was a SUPERMAN ripoff) -- and the historic resurrection of MARVELMAN in WARRIOR #1, either a legal transaction over, or an assumption of rights to, MARVELMAN took place involving UK WARRIOR publisher Dez Skinn. This event, and Dez Skinn's involvement, is absolutely critical to the entire Mick Anglo MARVELMAN ownership issue.
To date, I've read or heard no coherent account of "whatever happened." I welcome anyone who can definitively clear up that matter, as THAT is the key issue as far as 'The Truth''s strident claims on this board.
Thereafter, we've got the further complications caused not only by Dez Skinn's involvement (as publisher of WARRIOR, and whatever promises he made to the WARRIOR MARVELMAN creative teams: Alan Moore, Alan Davis, etc.), but by the partnership later in the 1980s between (ahem) Dez Skinn in the UK, the creative MARVELMAN (hereafter MIRACLEMAN) teams in the UK, and the US comics publisher Eclipse Comics.
Sadly, the various tales of Dez Skinn's myriad adventures and misadventures in comics publishing do not create a clear legal trail here -- nor, by my own first-hand experience with Eclipse as a publisher, can I put a great deal of confidence in the various accounts of Eclipse's legal dealings regarding this character, these copyrights, and the tangled international trademark and rights issues.
(Again, though I have no first-hand experience regarding MIRACLEMAN, I vividly recall the phone call from one of the MIRACLEMAN creators after their visit to France, where they found a French edition of MIRACLEMAN licensed via Eclipse without the knowledge or participation of the creators. In my own dealings with Eclipse, I found lapses in respecting contracts and/or legal agreements and less than happy dealings with materials related to those works, right up to the final auction sale of the Eclipse negatives, including some of my own work -- which leads directly to the following:)
Further complicating matters, we also know, via various public documents (interviews with the involved creators, etc.), that:
(a) Alan Moore 'deeded' his 'share' of whatever rights he owned or believed he owned to his respective MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN works to Neil Gaiman. This is characteristic of Alan's dealings with other (uncontested) creations and creators, and as such is nothing but honorable and worthy of our collective appreciation -- whatever the complications, Alan's intentions were clearly honorable and of good intention.
(b) In the auction of Eclipse properties, Todd McFarlane purchased (1) the negatives to some portion (if not all) of the Eclipse-published MIRACLEMAN comics and graphic novel collections;
(c) In the auction of Eclipse properties, Todd McFarlane claims to have also purchased Eclipse's 'share' of the Eclipse-published comics and graphic novel collections -- and claims that 'share' or those 'shares' included proprietary rights to the TRADEMARK and the relevent copyrights.
The latter two points are not at all clear; Todd's claims seem contradictory over the years, and his outright contempt via his actions to the rights of all others involved (and the subsequent court verdict, re: the Gaiman vs. McFarlane trial) via his attempts (two, at least, that I know of, via Diamond Catalogue solicitations) to relaunch the MIRACLEMAN character(s) and trademark as his own property only muddies the waters further.
HOWEVER, there is still the matter of:
(d) The nature of UK copyright and creative ownership laws, relevent to both the Mick Anglo era of MARVELMAN and the WARRIOR revival of MARVELMAN;
(e) The nature of UK copyright and creative ownership laws relevent to the Eclipse-published MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN material, both phases of which were written by British writers (Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman) but in part illustrated by American (John Totleben, Rick Veitch) as well as British artists;
(f) The nature of US copyright and trademark law, relevent to the Eclipse-published era of MIRACLEMAN, and the contracts signed between Eclipse and the various creative parties involved with that body of work.
As should be obvious, (d) through (f) is of enormous consequence, and in and of itself presents an enormous legal tangle, which to my knowledge hasn't been addressed adequately in any public venue.
Further complicating this rat's nest are whatever legal exchanges may have occurred since the demise of MIRACLEMAN and the collapse of Eclipse -- I mean, though I'm still friends with many of those involved (Neil, John T., Rick V.), I've no idea what if any agreements may have or may not have passed between those parties.
Regardless of whom owns the trademarks, the ownership of the individual phases of the MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN property, from Mick Anglo and his collaborative partners to Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and their various artistic collaborators requires an enormous (not insurmountable) amount of legal work to sort out. Eclipse was sometimes quite cavalier about contracts and such, and I do recall that the French MIRACLEMAN collection was something that fell outside the contracts or arrangements, per the conversations I had with Alan, John, etc. at that time.
Thus, I've little confidence in the merits of the Eclipse/McFarlane chain of ownership (if that's what it is), founded as it is upon the reportedly dubious Dez Skinn chain of ownership.
Thus, championing Mick Anglo while slandering Alan or Neil or anyone else is of little value.
However, illuminating this lengthy and increasingly historic proprietary legacy is of great value.
I, for one, would love to see Mick, Alan, Neil, Alan, Steve, John, Rick, 'Bucky', etc. and/or their heirs able to profit from the re-release of their remarkable respective contributions to the MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN saga. It's a crime that they aren't -- and Todd, rather than working on behalf of these creators and making something extraordinary possible, continues to carry on in an appalling manner.
One can always hope he'll see the error of his ways and turn the tide...