Thursday, January 16, 2014

Miracleman #1

   At long last, Miracleman!

   But shouldn't it be Marvelman?

   What a long, strange path this series has traveled. The character began life as Fawcett's Captain Marvel, but when DC's lawsuit ended that series in the 1950s, publishers in Great Britain decided to come up with their own twist on the character, so Mick Anglo created Marvelman, a science-based (sorta0 version of the same character.

   In the mid-'80s the series was revived by writer Alan Moore (here referred to only as "The Original Writer") and artist Garry Leach with a modern, very adult take on the concept - but to avoid conflicts with Marvel Comics, the series was (eventually) retitled Miracleman.

   (Of course, Marvel bought the rights to the series some years ago - but the title is still Miracleman. Perhaps that's to distinguish the Alan Moore-written series from a more Marvel-friendly version that might eventually appear? Who knows?)

   This issue is a nice package, starting with a classic Miracleman story, then jumping to the "present," where the adult Mike Moran is suffering from terrible dreams and headaches. Now a reporter, he's caught in the middle of a terrorist event when he remembers the secret he had forgotten - one that returns the classic hero.

   But is the silly, comic book origin of Miracleman true - or is it hiding even darker secrets?

   It's wonderful to see this series back in print again - I collected the first "return" in the pages of Warrior magazine, then the continuation in Eclipse Comics. The stories are clever and powerful, but fair warning - they get much darker and downright gruesome - but they're deserving of a wider audience, and hopefully we'll finally see the full storyline by Neil Gaiman, who picked up the series from Moore - but the series was cancelled before he finished his run.

   This is Moore (excuse me, "Original") at his best. This series ranks right up there with Watchmen and Swamp Thing as some of Moore's best work.

   Marvel has assembled a sharp package here, with lots of background material and reprints of early Marvelman comics.

   This series isn't for young kids, but mature readers will love it - highly recommended!

Grade: A


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Chuck. I am fully expecting Marvel to screw this character up after the Moore/Gaiman issues. I'm hoping I'm wrong....