Saturday, January 28, 2023

Miracleman Book Four: The Golden Age!

I confess that when I first began my journey to revisit the Miracleman stories, it was not my intent to read the Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham stories which comprised Book Four. Given the title The  Golden Age, these stories are wildly different from the stories concocted by Moore and his artists. These are short stories, one-off tales about normal humans among others who are trying find a life in this "Golden Age" brought on by the advent of superpowered beings who have eliminated war and poverty among other things. This is a utopian world but as you might suspect not everyone is filled with joy. 

We meet a man who lost his family to Johnny Bates known as Kid Miracleman wreaked havoc in the center of London. He is on a quest to ask for a miracle. We listen to another young man who escaped that same destruction through sheer luck and is trying to make sense of that. We meet another fellow who has a romantic affair with the ideal woman -- Miraclewoman. He learns that perfection is not all it's cracked up to be. We sneak a peek at some youngsters who have weirdly made a hero of Bates, a perverse attitude all too common in our world. We visit the underworld run by the Qys where an undead Andy Warhol makes friends with the resurrected Emil Gargunza. We spy on a woman who is losing her family but trying to still makes some sense of this perfect world. We read a fable of Miracleman's daughter Winter and how she went into deep space to have adventures. We follow a young woman who thinks she's a spy in a dark grim world where the sun never shines, and rain is perpetual. She too must see a new truth. And finally, these characters, those that can, assemble in a celebration which ends in them being given the gift of flight. 

Deep stuff. Not to be approached lightly, but while I won't pretend I understood it all, I found I was indeed fascinated by much of it. Glad I took the plunge. Below are the original coves for the Eclipse Comics run from the early 90's and after that the covers for the more recent reprints from Marvel.

Gaiman and Buckingham weren't done with Miracleman though. They started a saga dubbed "The Silver Age" which was to tell the story of Miracleman seeking his lost ally Young Miracleman. Two installments were done in the early 90's and then it stopped when Eclipse itself ceased to exist. 

(I actually bought the original two issues on the strength of the Barry Windsor-Smith covers. Those lurk in my long boxes somewhere or other.) The characters then fell into the clutches of Todd McFarlane and thus began the lawsuits which froze the character for years until Marvel was able to gather them up. Gaiman and Buckingham have been finishing this tale in recent times and when it's collected. I hope to grab hold and read it also. 

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  1. Another series that passed me by. I 'm in the process of having a massive comic book clear out ,otherwise i may have been tempted . I do like the BWS covers though.

    1. These later MiracleMan issues are new to me as well. Just so many comics, and so little time and often limited funds. One has to pick and choose and perhaps later regret.