Miracle Man

Marvelman Family's Finest #1

So, I just finished reading Miracleman.

What an interesting piece of work that is. I have to say, from the perspective of today, it looks kind of dated and done to death. Obviously, back then, this extreme deconstruction of a character, especially one as quintessentially kooky as Miracle/Marvel Man was obviously a massive expansion of the Mythos and ideas. I was just a bit bored of it - These days we've seen it before, power corrupts or rather it doesn't in the case of those truly heroic.

I think what's so different about the Moore run compared to the faded Gaiman run was that Gaiman had to set cast, as such and was exploring the interactions and effects of the Miracleman 'Gods' on Humanity, and how their myriad ways of fixing things benefited and destroyed humanity simultaneously, whereas Moore's run was based firmly and solidly in the conceptual realms of understanding how a superhuman would work in a world like ours. Moores was less character (dare I say it) giving us a way to examine Miracle Man without actually understanding of him. It's true third person, even if the internal narration was often from Miracle Man's perspective - we never really understood or cared for him. Or at least I didn't. Great swathes of text detailing how he felt in flowery prose as he soared through the skies was very nice to read, but I felt it didn't add much to the atmosphere or the content of the book.

The creation and relationships with the other Miracleman family characters, i.e. the Corruption of Kid Miracle Man, the death and subsequent rebirth of Young Miracleman, Miracle Woman etc. was mostly interesting, but all in all, I don't think that if this comic existed in today's market it would survive at all. Deconstructions of Golden Age characters don't tend to go over all that well these days - Project Super Powers is a good example of something which in execution I thought was pretty decent, but the characters were lacking, the plot was occasionally ponderous and it didn't really add anything new.

Miracleman did all of this at the time, in the early 80's, when it blazed a trail of the grim and gritty realisation of the times. The same way Predator and Robocop and all the other 80's films managed to balance the slightly insane elements of science fiction and make them real, and hard and gorey. Miracleman was a perfect predecessor to the modern and mature comics of today, and if you view it in the time of 20 years ago, I am sure it's probably one of the best comics around. Viewing it with a slightly jaded 15 years work of reading comics, in all forms and variations, it's actually just a bit stilited.

I'd like to have seen the continuation of Gaiman's Miracle man stories. The idea of Young Miracle man coming to terms with his sexuality and his love of Miracle Man on his resurrection would have been interesting to explore. Especially in a world which was a liberal and open as the one the Miracle Family created.

'Orrible Sod
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