So it’s the early 1980’s and it’s gray to say the least, both literally and metaphorically. The dust has begun to settle on the turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s, though the Cold War is still heavy on everyone’s minds. The Reagan Boom brought with it the birth of yuppie culture and the “w” in “we” has flipped hard on its x-axis. Postwar melancholia, disco is dead, modern cars all look like electric shavers (Marv). Comics of this era are reflective of the time and are bitter and tired of a world that has become so shamelessly commercialized.
It’s a time before Watchmen when an up-and-coming writer named Alan Moore is about to light everything we know about the classic superhero on fire. Through a small independent publication called Warrior Magazine, Moore ignites two matches, V for Vendetta and Miracleman. These two masterpieces will no doubt become catalysts for some of the greatest superhero deconstruction stories in decades to come.
V for Vendetta and Miracleman, while much praise is often given to the former, it’s near criminal how overlooked the latter is. Miracleman is Moore’s seminal Superman antithesis, a story of reflection, innocence, malice, and humility. A story of the human condition.
An absolute rabbit hole of a comic, Miracleman is rich in its depth of characters, worlds and raw study of hero mythology. It defies the tried and tested outside-in perspective of heroes, where they are invulnerable, unblemished, perfect unattainable specimens. Miracleman shows us what we really are, what we can be despite our greed, depravity, innocence, and intentions. It shows us we are neither good nor bad, but something in between.
Issue #1 begins with a wholesome homage to the golden age of heroes. Moore uses excerpts from a pre-existing Mick Anglo Marvelman comic series (a 1950’s UK derivative of Captain Marvel/Superman) to set the stage for what will eventually become a vertical drop into issue #2. It’s an honorable sendoff of past heroes in a way, thanking them for carrying the torch as far as they did. #1’s ending, however, reveals something far more terrifying and sinister. Staring into the abyss, think Twilight Zone meets Felix the Cat. That’s just issue #1.
Key Issues of Miracleman Comic
Warrior #1 (March 1982) – 1st MarvelMan who after a name change becomes Miracleman
Miracleman #1 (August 1985) – 1st Miracleman by Alan Moore
Miracleman #15 (November 1988) – Death of Kid Miracleman
Miracleman #17 (June 1990) – Neil Gaiman Begins
by Cory Saran