Pádraig Ó Méalóid continues his look at the history of Marvelman over at the Beat, covering the years between the original strips and Alan Moore’s revival, and makes a surprising suggestion:
There is reason to suspect that Mick Anglo might have believed he was the rightful owner of the copyright on Marvelman. In the mid-seventies he wrote a book called Nostalgia: Spotlight on the Fifties. The last chapter in the book was called The Age of Marvelman, and this was accompanied by a reproduction of a page from Young Marvelman #38. Along the edge of one panel on this page is written ‘Mick Anglo Ltd – ©’ in Anglo’s own handwriting. The thing is, this copyright notice doesn’t appear in the original issue when it appeared in 1954. There is a standard copyright notice on the inside front cover of that comic, as there was on all issues of Marvelman and Young Marvelman, saying ‘All stories and illustrations are the copyright of the publishers,’ that publisher being explicitly stated as Miller… Either way, however, adding a notice claiming copyright to a reproduction of previously published work probably doesn’t add up to actually owning that copyright, and of course it is always possible that he was only claiming copyright in the art, rather than in the character himself, although this kind of detailed subdivision of rights, whilst commonplace today, might not really have been prevalent at that time.
If Anglo didn’t own the rights to the character, what did Marvel actually buy back in 2009?