Comic Book Storytelling: Miracleman #4

I have never read Miracleman before the current Marvel Comics reprints.  I will be here to give you my impression of them as a first time reader as they continue to be released.

miracleman-4

So it seems I was right and Mike Moran is not dead and the series will continue, how shocking.  Anyway it seems that Mr. Cream just shot Mike with tranquilizer and is keeping him alive because Miracleman is far more valuable than whatever the shadowy military conspiracy is paying.  They then proceed to discover the secrets of Project Zarathustra.

It turns out that Miracleman and his sidekicks were created by a secret royal air force intelligence program codenamed Zarathustra.  We see him walk into the bunker where all of its records are stored and he learns the truth about how he came to be.  The theory that Mike Moran and Miracleman have two separate bodies is confirmed.  The Miracleman body was created using the technology and biology of something referred to as ‘the visitor’.  Everything that made Zarathustra possible came from this visitor, whatever it was.  I could be wrong by I am guessing the visitor had something to do with the Warpsmiths and the Gulf Worlds from the back up stories that have been at the end of each issue.  Anyway it seems that while Mike Moran and Miracleman have different bodies they do share a consciousness however it is clear that the extra-normal biology of the Miracleman body has an affect on Mike Moran’s mind when he inhabits it.  The ‘magic word’ Kimota that makes them change is in fact a trigger word for an implant in their brains that connects them.  When the super body is not being used it is stored in something called Infra-Space.  Furthermore it turn out that all of Miracleman’s superhero adventures were just a fantasy generated by some kind of mind control dream machine.  In the end the military decided that Miracleman and his cohorts were too dangerous so they tried to kill them with an atomic bomb.  All of this is very disturbing to Miracleman but the thing that really gets him mad more than anything else for some reason is learning who was behind it all.  Project Zarathustra was run by a Dr. Emil Gargunza.  In the mind control dream world Doctor Gargunza was the name of Miracleman’s arch nemesis.  Miracleman then proceeds to tear everything up before departing.  At the end of the issue we see a clean up crew arrive to dispose of all the evidence from Project Zarathustra.  It consists of two unassuming guys who… I am not really sure what we are supposed to think of them.

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Also in this issue we are introduced to another superhuman called Big Ben, the man who has no time for crime.  Big Ben at first seems kind of silly and maybe even a little offensive but by the end of things you kind of start to pity him.  When Project Zarathustra ended some people tried to replicate the results.  Big Ben is a side effect of those attempts.  He has superhuman strength but he is nowhere near as powerful as Miracleman and is easily defeated.  Big Ben refuses to give up and happens to walk in on things right when they are watching a video explaining how he was created.  Big Ben sees the truth, that he is not a hero but a failed experiment, and it breaks his mind.  At the end he is led away in a straight jacket as he makes up a fantasy in his mind that his fellow heroes have come to rescue him.

One of the things I am most curious about is where this story is going with the character of Evelyn Cream.  Many comic book stories are the product of the times they were written in.  Miracleman is obviously influenced by the political climate of its era.  I am interested to see how Mr. Cream fits into this.  He is being set up as more than just an assassin with a weird cosmetic fixture (what is the deal with the sapphire teeth anyway?).

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