Just some questions. Is the black girl that climbed Mt Olympus in the first chapter Jason Oakey's girlfriend later in the book?
What artistic gift does she develop? Does Marvelman draw inspiration from his friends the Andy Warhols and teach her screen printing of T-shirts?
Ida puts on a bit of weight between the 6th and the last story.
You may be right about the girl. Jason's girlfriend isn't named (that I can find), but it looks like Gwen and they have similar hair. On the other hand, Jason's girlfriend seems impressed that he got to meet Miracleman. Gwen did, too.
I took the Gargunza T-shirt designs to mean that Miracleman authorized their use outside of the underworld.
Now that I look again, I see you're point about Ida. Chapter Five was set in Oct. 1993 and Chapter Seven in Aug. 1994. I assume Chapter Six is in between; not really enough time to explain a weight difference like that. But, Ida is obscured in her first appearance by a narrative caption.
BEGINNING BOOK FIVE: THE SILVER AGE
By Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham
SUMMARY: Super-powered teens are playing games in the New York of 2003. These games invariably consist of punching one another through empty skyscrapers while changing into different, comic-book inspired bodies. Mist, now appearing as a teenager too, interrupts the fun with news of a teen from the past: Young Miracleman, who is about to be resurrected. They return to a house among the clouds, where a girl picks up on a psychic transmission from Olympus, and we listen in. Young Miracleman awakes in a bedroom that appears appropriate for someone with memories of the ’50s. But from a window, all he can see are clouds, and then he remembers the exploding airship. Miracleman comes in and starts to fill in the missing details, about how the bomb killed him and that Bates is dead, too. Young Miracleman understands little, and his untempered youthful optimism shows that he still views the world through Gargunza’s make-believe filter. “I may have a lot to learn, but, well, you’ve probably got knowledge pills here in the future — take two before bedtime and in the morning I’ll know all there is to know about wristwatch wirelesses and flying motor cars.” Then, Winter unexpectedly intrudes. With her floating, naked 20-year-old daughter (who still appears to be about 5) already in the room, Miracleman decides there’s no point delaying further and takes Young Miracleman outside to meet the rest of the Olympus pantheon. A brief introduction is all he needs to want to retreat back in the bedroom. There, Miracleman tells Young how Gargunza kidnapped them and programmed their memories. Gargunza also led Young Miracleman to believe that his father was a World War II hero, when in fact he killed himself after finding his wife and best friend in bed together and slaying them. And Miracleman lets Young know who now rules the world — him. Young Miracleman asks for time to digest all he has heard, and once he is finally alone, he changes to Dicky Dauntless and begins to sob. The psychic transmission ends, and the teens of 2003 plan resume their games.
COMMENTS: This is a story of culture shock, punctuated by the contrast of the teenage Young Miracleman with the teen “superheroes” of 2003, and aggravated by Miracleman’s relentless divulging of the truth. I’m not sure who is looking out for Young Miracleman’s interests in this future; everyone seems to regard him as Gargunza regarded his “beasts.” Similar to the last chapter of “The Golden Age,” I find myself scouring for the line that tells me where this story is headed. Gaiman is notorious for dropping into Chapter One what will happen by the end. For example, look at the quote I lifted for my summary of the final chapter of “The Golden Age.” Sandman is replete with these, too. It’s bound to be in here somewhere, but I can’t find it. (I certainly hope it’s not “Neither of you would have been a match for Kingsor the Galaxatron,” or “I wish I could pick up heavy things, and fly unaided, as you do. But let us rather celebrate diversity” — perhaps the most forced line in the entire series.) But at the same time, a lot of this chapter is designed to catch up new readers; we’re retracing our steps as much as we’re moving forward.
CONTINUING (AND, FOR US, CONCLUDING) BOOK FIVE: THE SILVER AGE
Summary: Young Miracleman has been alive again for a week. He has attended celebrations around the globe where he is feted, but he is still suffering from culture shock. On this day, he is to attend a parade in his honor in New York. A servant named Jordan accompanies him, as does Winter in a Jiminy Cricket role, allowing only Young Miracleman to perceive her. In New York, he meets the teens from Chapter One. He also encounters a spaceman, who delivers a cryptic message. Back at Olympus, Miracleman and Miraclewoman watch the moment on television. “Crimes of Light?” Miracleman says. “I wonder what he meant by that.” Miraclewoman replies, “It was Dicky’s message. Not yours. He’ll find out in time.” The conversation shifting, Miraclewoman pushes Miracleman to confront Young about his homosexuality — during their first encounter in the ’60s, she sensed an unrequited love in Young Miracleman for his namesake. That night, Miracleman visits Young and finds he is in good spirits. “Isn’t this great, MM? A midnight snack and a jolly old natter? We’re chums together again. Special chums, aren’t we?” But he also admits to dreaming about Bates and being concerned about being as potentially destructive as he was. Miracleman changes the topic. “Dickie?* How do you feel about me.” […] “MM? What are you talking about?” “This.” Miracleman leans forward and kisses Young on the lips. Taken aback, Young Miracleman responds by punching Miracleman through an outside wall and into the upper atmosphere. Young Miracleman then flies off into the night admonishing Miracleman not to follow him.
COMMENTS: First of all, I do not have a copy of this issue nor have I read it personally in its entirety. My summary is pieced together a little from Web sources, but mostly from Jeff of Earth-J, who offered me his thoughts. (A tip of Ben Grimm’s cap to you.) Ever since “Olympus” (and arguably earlier), Moore and Gaiman have taken Miracleman into morally ambiguous areas in regards to sex, and it culminates with this incredibly inappropriate moment. Miracleman, for his own good, needs to get knocked out of the clouds because, incredibly advanced or not, he has become delusional in his personal relationships.
So, here we are at the end. Eclipse went bankrupt shortly after Miracleman 24 was published, and the characters have been in copyright limbo ever since. Marvel now says it owns the rights. When will this story finally continue? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to see!
* — Another example of Eclipse’s fine editing. Young Miracleman’s name is spelled Dicky and Dickie over two chapters.
Tim Callahan points out that the introductory sequence to "The Silver Age" was a nod to the Stan Lee-Jack Kirby Marvel Comics of the Silver Age: superheroes punching each other through skyscrapers in New York. Seems pretty obvious when you think about it -- though I have to admit, not reading the whole story makes it much harder to pick up on the meaning of individual scenes. For his part, Callahan didn't mention the titles as another throwback.
It does beg the question as to how different the last twenty years of superhero comics would have been if this series hadn't been published.
So well put.
Alan Moore's online interview concludes here. Overall, he comes across as very humorous yet very down on today's industry and his legacy.
Here's a snippet relating to Miracleman:
Marvelman was amongst my very first continuing strips. I think that a lot of the things that were original about Marvelman have probably since been done to death by other people. I suppose I’d only ask the readers to just bear that in mind—that some of these ideas don’t look very new and fresh now. Indeed, I am probably one of the people who has done some of those ideas to death. If the reader could perhaps try to imagination, charitably, what it was like back in 1981 when these things were brand new. That was nearly 30 years ago. I haven’t read them for a long time, but I think that they probably still hold up—or at least most of the episodes.
Are you sure they didn't help?Oh, as this thread seems to be drawing to a close, my thanks to everyone who read along or otherwise took part. It was perhaps most amusing to see how the futuristic descriptions of a worldwide computer network have come true, even without the Warpsmiths help.