After I heard that Marvel had acquired the rights to the Marvelman/Miracleman franchise, it sent me scrambling to find my back issues published by Eclipse. I had read the Alan Moore run in TPB form shortly after its U.S. publication and most of the Neil Gaiman/Mark Buckingham issues as they were published. (I originally wrote “monthly issues,” but this book was rarely on schedule —Marvelman might be an eternally cursed property.)

I gave up reading comics in late 1993, roughly the same time that Eclipse went bankrupt and the Gaiman-Buckingham run was suspended. They were about halfway through the second of three six-issue arcs. When I returned to comics this decade, I became aware of the legal wrangling to gain control of Miracleman and the resulting lawsuit between Gaiman and Todd McFarlane. I also learned that many of today’s comics fans had not read Moore’s run, one of his classic works, or even the Gaiman issues because the series had been out of print since Eclipse folded. I never suspected that Miracleman would become the rarest, and probably most valuable, piece in my comics collection.

In this thread, my goal is go through the Moore and Gaiman issues, a chapter or two at a time, with story summaries and comments. There will be spoilers, undoubtedly, so that may keep away some people who wish to wait for republication. But, the series is on my mind now, so I’m starting this thread just the same.

Ready? We’ll begin in the morning!

Views: 2861

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Man, I'll have to look up the release dates! 

(Note:  I haven't read the previous 18 pages of this thread as I wanted to go into this "fresh", so I'm probably going over some well-trodden ground, or asking questions that have already been answered here. Sorry about that.)

 Read Miracleman Book One: A Dream of Flying

  1. The art on this is good.  Perhaps unsuerprisingy, it reminds me a lot of some British comics that I read as a kid.
  2. This is Moore doing what Moore does so well - taking an aspect of popular culture,  pointing out  how absurd it is and them taking it seriiously so that it's not so absurd after all.
  3. Maybe I missed something, but Johnny Bates turning out to be so thoroughly evil seemed to come out of left field.  Perhaps later we'll see that there were hints that he was always a little squirrelly.  Also, if he was so completely mental, then it's amazing that he restrained himself all those years that he was building his company.  I'm sure that we'll be seeing Kid Mircleman again.
  4. I'm also a little unclear as to why Sir Dennis Archer became so convinced that the "Miracleman Family" had to be destroyed.  As it is, it seems to me that he just woke up one morning and thought, "Well, gotta kill those guys."
  5. "Big Ben - The Man Without time for Crime"  It feels as though there ought to have been an actual Golden Age hero called "Big Ben", but we never found one when we made the list.  He's very reminiscent of a certain type of British comics character from when I was a kid (early-to-mid-70's) that appeared in the various  LionTigerEagle and Valiant annuals that my parents used to brting me back from their trips to Canada.
  6. If I understand the transfer process they describe, doesn't that mean that Dicky Dauntless' human body is still in "infra-space"?  I wonder if his consciousness snapped back there when his "Young Miracleman" body was destroyed.  Maybe he's still stuck there after all these years.
  7. To me. at least, Dr. Cream is never quite a full-blown racist cliche, but he's not a million miles away from one, either.  He's not as bad as Rakma in Camelot 3000, who's kind of cringey, now.

Overall:  A very interesting read - I had to restrain myself from plowing through all three volumes last night.  I'm grateful that I was given the chance to read it.

As was pointed out to me on Facebook, reading these decades after having read umpty-zillion subsequent comics that may have been influenced by these stories is probably not having the same effect as it would have had i read them when they first came out.

The Baron said:

(Note:  I haven't read the previous 18 pages of this thread as I wanted to go into this "fresh", so I'm probably going over some well-trodden ground, or asking questions that have already been answered here. Sorry about that.)

 Read Miracleman Book One: A Dream of Flying

  1. The art on this is good.  Perhaps unsuerprisingy, it reminds me a lot of some British comics that I read as a kid.
  2. This is Moore doing what Moore does so well - taking an aspect of popular culture,  pointing out  how absurd it is and them taking it seriiously so that it's not so absurd after all.
  3. Maybe I missed something, but Johnny Bates turning out to be so thoroughly evil seemed to come out of left field.  Perhaps later we'll see that there were hints that he was always a little squirrelly.  Also, if he was so completely mental, then it's amazing that he restrained himself all those years that he was building his company.  I'm sure that we'll be seeing Kid Mircleman again.
  4. I'm also a little unclear as to why Sir Dennis Archer became so convinced that the "Miracleman Family" had to be destroyed.  As it is, it seems to me that he just woke up one morning and thought, "Well, gotta kill those guys."
  5. "Big Ben - The Man Without time for Crime"  It feels as though there ought to have been an actual Golden Age hero called "Big Ben", but we never found one when we made the list.  He's very reminiscent of a certain type of British comics character from when I was a kid (early-to-mid-70's) that appeared in the various  LionTigerEagle and Valiant annuals that my parents used to brting me back from their trips to Canada.
  6. If I understand the transfer process they describe, doesn't that mean that Dicky Dauntless' human body is still in "infra-space"?  I wonder if his consciousness snapped back there when his "Young Miracleman" body was destroyed.  Maybe he's still stuck there after all these years.
  7. To me. at least, Dr. Cream is never quite a full-blown racist cliche, but he's not a million miles away from one, either.  He's not as bad as Rakma in Camelot 3000, who's kind of cringey, now.

Overall:  A very interesting read - I had to restrain myself from plowing through all three volumes last night.  I'm grateful that I was given the chance to read it.

As it happens, I too read the equivalent of "A Dream of Flying," but I was reading the omnibus (which I have been eagerly awaiting since it was first solicited). "Miracleman" first appeared in #1-21 of Britain's Warrior, then those stories were later reprinted in #1-7 by Eclipse. New stories began to appear in #9 (#8 was a reprint), and my belated discovery of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing led me to experience Miracleman #1-8 in one swell foop. The first issue I bought new off the racks was #13 in 1987, and reading Miracleman as an ongoing periodical could be frustrating due to its lack of frequency. 

"As was pointed out to me on Facebook, reading these decades after having read umpty-zillion subsequent comics that may have been influenced by these stories is probably not having the same effect as it would have had i read them when they first came out."

That's a good point, but neither did you have to endure this publishing (dare I call it a) schedule.

#9. JUL 86 (First issue of new material)

#10. DEC 86 (5 months after #9)

#11. MAY 87 (5 months after #10)

#12. SEP 87 (4 months after #11)

#13. NOV 87 (2 months after #12)

#14. APR 88 (5 months after #13)

#15. NOV 82 (7 months after #14)

#16 DEC 89 (13 months after #15)

Point that out to your friends on Facebook.

The original run of Miracleman in Warrior contained a prologue, an actual Miracleman Family story from 1956, rescripted somewhat but following the same plot. Eclipse reprinted the prologue in Miracleman #1, but not in the tpb. I am pleased to  report that, not only has the prologue been restored in the omnibus, the original version is included in the back as well. Fully half of the omnibus comprises special features, such as un-inked pencils, uncolored inks, sketches and the like. Also included are all of the covers of Marvel's Miracleman reprint series from several years back but, sadly, no covers from Eclipse's reprints (which included works from the likes of Gary Leach, Howard Chaykin, Jim Starlin, Paul Gulacy and Timothy Truman). 

"Maybe I missed something, but Johnny Bates turning out to be so thoroughly evil seemed to come out of left field."

I don't see it that way. Here's a kid, a teenager, who suddenly finds himself the most powerful being on the planet with no supervision whatsoever. It's a classic case of absolute power corrupting absolutely, but it didn't happen overnight; it had been building for 18 years. 

"I'm also a little unclear as to why Sir Dennis Archer became so convinced that the 'Miracleman Family' had to be destroyed."

More about that will be revealed in "The Red King Syndrome."

"It feels as though there ought to have been an actual Golden Age hero called 'Big Ben'..."

Not Golden Age, but there was an earlier version of this character created by Dez Skinn and Ian Gibson. I, myself, was surprised to learn that Big Ben wasn't an Alan Moore creation (as discussed further up in this thread).

"If I understand the transfer process they describe, doesn't that mean that Dicky Dauntless' human body is still in 'infra-space'?"

You do. It is. Keep reading.

"To me. at least, Mr. Cream is never quite a full-blown racist cliche..."

Not to me, either. He is the only Black comic book character I can think of who hates being Black. 

"I haven't read the previous 18 pages of this thread as I wanted to go into this 'fresh'..."

Good call. I recommend that you do read it (up to b_dog's coverage of #16, at least), after reading (and commenting on) "Olympus" for yourself. Me, I'm off to read "The Red King Syndrome" right now. 

Miracleman Book Two: The Red King Syndrome

  1. We get a lot of backstory in this one, which is cool. I love a good backstory.
  2. I ;like Moore's tak on a "How will our hero survive this?" story.
  3. I was a little surprised by the death of Dr. Cream, Ithought he'd last longer.  This story uses a lot of the kinds of things that happen in regular comics, but then doesn't pay them off the way that regular comics would.
  4. The same for the death of Dr, Gargunza. "I threw him at a planet."
  5. The Whoever-They-Were (aliens, I assume)  were interesting.  The reference to "cuckoos" made me think of  John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, which may well have been what Moore intended.
  6. I can see where the birth scene would have caused them trouble back in the day.  Childbirth is kind of weird when you think about it.
  7. The newborn talking was kind of freaky, although there had been hints that this was no ordinary child.
  8. Winter is obviously mentally influencing Liz She's way advanced beyond Miracleman.
  9. Who is this Doctor Lear and/or McCarthy?  I'm sure we'll find out.

Overall:  An interesting middle segment.  Definitely leaves one eager to see what happens next.

"I threw him at a planet."

This series has a lot of memorable one-liners.

"I can see where the birth scene would have caused them trouble back in the day."

For some of the "trouble" (brought on by editor Cat Yronwode herself) see earlier this discussion.

"Childbirth is kind of weird when you think about it."

Penciller Rick Veitch used the book A Child is Born with photographs by Lennart Nilsson as reference.

"Who is this Doctor Lear and/or McCarthy?"

Don't forget Rebbeck.

Miracleman Book Three: Olympus

  1. It seems really wierd to me that with everything Gargunza did, miracleman comes to think of him as of a father.
  2. For me, Miraclewoman came out of nowhere.  Was there a "Marvelwoman" in the old comics?
  3. To me, Miracleman's "Utopia" seems creepy, artificial and antiseptic, with an unpleasant graidiosityreminiscent of Hitler's plan to re-make Berlin into "Welthauptstadt Germania" had he won.. Miracleman even malkes the comparison himself, so i assume that was deliberate on Moore's part.
  4. Miraclewoman is kind of a weird character. The fact that she doesn't get all that worked up about Gargunza repeatedly raping her is kind of disturbing.  She comes across as not entirely sane.
  5. "Young Nastyman" is just such a goofy-sounding name.
  6. Young Miracleman seems to have been pretty much just a throwaway character here, with no development except for the implication that he was gay and attracted to Miracleman.
  7. The space stuff - in particular the settling of the differences between th Qys and the Warpsmiths - is not especially interesting to me.
  8. I don't really "get" the bits with Miracleman dancing.  I've never really "dug" that kind of quasi-"poetic" stuff.Not a big fan of interpretive dance.
  9. Baby Winter flying around naked is disturbing to me.  However, I've read enough Moore to suspect that he likes "disturbing" people.
  10. Was Huey Moon an original character for this, or did he have a "predecessor" somewhere?
  11. Well, we knew that "Bad Johnny " would get out again at some point, didn 't we?
  12. Totleben really knew how to draw over-the-top scenes of slaughter and destruction, didn't he?
  13. No 80's British comic would be complete withput a little dig at Thatcher, I suppose.
  14. Miracleman's "Utopia" comes about way too quickly and smoothly, even if there were super-humans organizing it. It's the least plausible part of the story.
  15. "The British Bulldog"? I womder if moore followed pro wrestling at all.  The British Bulldogs (Davey-Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid) would have been in their heyday around this time.
  16. I like how Liz understood what was wrong with the "Utopia" even  if Miracleman didn't
  17. On the other hand, the very end makes me think that Miracleman understands on some level - maybe only subconsciously - perceives the falseness of his imposed "Utopia".

"Olympus" Overall:  An OK wrap-up ..While I enjoyed it. I would judge it the weakest of the three parts.  It felt a little rushed, as though someone had said, "Alan, we're really sorry, but due to  bad planning, we need you to wrap up Miracleman a good deal soomer than we had originally planned.

Moore's Miracleman Overall:  Great stuff, glad I got a chance to read it.  One overriding impression I get from this is of what a "British" story - or even what a "British comic" story - this is., even if some of the characters were originally derived from British interpretations of American characters.. An American - or Japanese or French, etc. - writer would never have written this kind of story in quite this way.

"Great stuff, glad I got a chance to read it."

I think Miracleman is probably my favorite of Alan Moore's work.

"An OK wrap-up ..While I enjoyed it. I would judge it the weakest of the three parts."

"Olympus" is actually my favorite of the three parts. But it can't be read independently; all three "books" must be considered as a whole. 

"It felt a little rushed..."

Things did happen quickly (as you note), but I think Moore told the story he intended to tell all along. One of the reasons [in addition to the flooding of the Eclipse office (in the town of town of Guerneville, CA) by the Russian River] for the scheduling delays was that artist John Totleben was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a disease of the eye, and he wanted to draw the entire arc. (Moore wanted him, too.) hi. For the most part, his vision was unimpaired, but he occasionally had attacks of fuzzy vision, sometimes in one eye, sometimes in the other, sometimes in both. 

"Who is this Doctor Lear and/or McCarthy?"

Lear (and Rebbeck) were first mentioned in issue #5, but their full story was not revealed until #12. Considering the erratic publishing schedule of Miracleman, consider how long readers had to wait. Issue #8 (a reprint necessitated by the flood) included a framing sequence in which artist Chuck Austin drew himself at his drawing board thinking, "I work with the gut for cryin' out loud! He can tell me who Rebbeck and Lear are!" I was concerned that I might have spoiled the surprise for you when I submitted "Miraclewoman (Avril Lear)" to your list of super-heroines last month.

"Was there a 'Marvelwoman' in the old comics?"

I don't think so. Similarly...

"Was Huey Moon an original character for this, or did he have a 'predecessor' somewhere?"

Not that I know of.

"[Miraclewoman] comes across as not entirely sane."

To me she comes across as not entirely human. She has had nearly two decades to come to terms with her status, while Mike is just a rookie.

"To me, Miracleman's "Utopia" seems creepy, artificial and antiseptic..."

I perceive it differently each time I read it (last time 13 years ago, above). This time what struck me was the reaction to the "Farewell to Arms": "The conservative media seems to think that the world has fallen into the hands of super-liberals. Meanwhile, the liberal press says we're interfering with human destiny and taking away their free will." I also found the "Earth-Firsters'" reaction to the regreening of Africa with scacewarped topsoil to be true-to-life, as I did the reactions of the  survivalists and the "pan-fundamentalists." 

"One overriding impression I get from this is of what a 'British' story..."

In a way it is a very "Jack Kirby" story in that Moore puts forth 101 "throwaway ideas" in his last issue (the abolishment of money, the lack of need for prisons, drug rehabilitation, "spacemen," the "Underworld," etc.). AFAIAC, #16 was the end of the story and I would have been perfectly happy if that was the end of it. But Neil Gaiman based his entire run on those "throw-away ideas". 

"Young Miracleman seems to have been pretty much just a throwaway character here..."

Gaiman will develop him more in his run.

"Baby Winter flying around naked is disturbing to me."

That didn't bother me (or Mike) as much as the revelation that she put her mind into a Qys pleasure-body ("a sort of lobster-thing") for sex. ("Oh, father, you are funny sometimes.")

"I like how Liz understood what was wrong with the 'Utopia' even  if Miracleman didn't"

That's the tragic part of the story for me. 

I'm still working my way through the rest of the omnibus. which also includes a couple of "Warpsmith" stories previously unpublished in the United States, as well as a new Young Miracleman solo story by Moore (not included in the tpbs)the framing sequence from #8 I mentioned earlier, plus a couple of stories from the All-New Miracleman Annual (2014). Just to show how far ahead Alan Moore had this series plotted, "The Yesterday Gambit" (originally published in Warrior #4), tells the story alluded to by the "Trans-Time Integrationists" on page ten of #15. I don't think that's every been reprinted in the U.S., either, although I happen to have a (b&w) copy of Warrior #4.

At this point there is still half a book of extra features in the omnibus. 

If I had known the character then as I know her now, I might not have added her at all.  I'm not sure that she quallifies as a "hero".  Nor Miracleman, either.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I was concerned that I might have spoiled the surprise for you when I submitted "Miraclewoman (Avril Lear)" to your list of super-heroines last month.

You won't hurt my feelings if you want to remove her. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Groups

Latest Activity

Richard Willis replied to Emerkeith Davyjack's discussion All-purpose newspaper strips discussion
"Te Beetle Bailey strip on January 27 had its third strip that includes a female soldier. Her shirt…"
3 minutes ago
Richard Willis replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
33 minutes ago
Luke Blanchard replied to Peter Wrexham's discussion Celebrity Mastermind - "The History of DC Comics"
"Wikipedia's page on Wheeler-Nicholson has a quote from 50 Who Made DC Great about how he…"
36 minutes ago
Richard Willis replied to Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man's discussion What Comic Books Have You Read Today?
"Lee Houston, Junior said: In case you're unaware of this, the Funky Winkerbean strip…"
44 minutes ago
Richard Willis replied to Peter Wrexham's discussion Celebrity Mastermind - "The History of DC Comics"
"Luke Blanchard said: Famous Funnies started in 1934. Eastern Color was a printer which had…"
2 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to The Baron's discussion Movies I Have Seen Lately
"GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE (2021): This is the one Tracy refers to as "the one with the…"
5 hours ago
Richard Willis posted a video

Marvel Studios' LOKI Season 2 | Teaser Trailer | Disney+

#LokiSeason2 #DisneyPlus #MarvelStudiosHere's our 'Teaser Trailer' concept for Marvel Studios' LOKI Season 2 (More Info About This Video Down Below!)Let us k...
8 hours ago
Randy Jackson replied to Captain Comics's discussion Bond #5: 'From Russia, with Love'
"Apparently, the Roma are still out there alive and kicking"
9 hours ago
JD DeLuzio replied to The Baron's discussion Movies I Have Seen Lately
9 hours ago
Captain Comics replied to Captain Comics's discussion Bond #5: 'From Russia, with Love'
"As these things go, this was one of the better Connery films in my opinion. For those of you who…"
9 hours ago
The Baron replied to Captain Comics's discussion Bond #5: 'From Russia, with Love'
"And also explains why he looks completely different every few years.  Either that, or…"
10 hours ago
Irma Kruhl replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"Sue and Sally Smith, Flying Nurses #54 (the last issue of the series)"
10 hours ago

© 2023   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service