Comic Book Storytelling: Miracleman #16

I have never read Miracleman before the current Marvel Comics reprints.  I will be sharing my impressions as a first time reader here as they continue to be released.

MM16

So this is the last issue of the time Alan Moore spent writing the series.  I didn’t realize we were already at the end of his run.  I know that Neil Gaiman picked up writing it after but I don’t know as much about that part of the series beyond it being unfinished.

It begins with Miracleman talking about some of the oddities in the world now and of the things he yet dreams of making real.  In the aftermath of Kid Miracleman’s rampage working in secret to improve the world is no longer an option.  Miracleman and the others begin taking action to make the world a better place whether the world wants it or not.  They teleport the world’s nuclear arsenal into the sun, they bring fertile topsoil to barren parts of the world, they even fix the atmosphere ozone.  However during this Miraclewoman makes a comment equating humans to livestock.  Huey Moon the firedrake uses an analogy equating their work to rescuing a child from drinking bleach.  Miracleman and his pantheon of friends have placed themselves above humanity from the very start so no matter what kind of world they build it has a rotten foundation.

To celebrate Miracleman and Miraclewoman have flying sex above the city with people watching who clap for them.  Anyway the various superpeople take on different roles leading the new world.  The Qys send a guy named Mors to take part and he brings back famous dead people in the basement.  Big Ben, the man with no time for crime, has his mind altered so he can function in the new world and renames himself The British Bulldog with a new costume reminiscent of Hercules.  Even the Miracledog monster gets a new more friendly personality and becomes the group superpet.

Miracleman’s daughter Winter comes back and assists with their eugenics program to populate the world with more superhumans.  Winter is the character I worry about the most after this.  She is by far the one with the most potential to turn into something horrific or have something horrific happen to her down the line.  She is very powerful but still a child and she seems to have no concept of what it means to be human or see any value in learning.

Speaking of humanity, Miracleman goes to see his wife Liz.  He wants her to join them and get her own alternate super body to transform into.  However Liz reminds him that he had sex with another woman in public.  He tries to wave it off like they are beyond that now and it looks like he is losing touch with his humanity but I think there is something else going on.  Liz rejects his offer and he leaves her alone.

Miracleman’s new world is not without its flaws.  It seems some people think the world basically ended in 1985 and they are living in the end times.  And then there is a coalition between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists who oppose the new pantheon, it is interesting that Alan Moore thought of this back in the 80’s considering our current world political climate of religious fundamentalism at its worst.  Also there are people who like to dress up as Kid Miracleman for some reason.

Finally Miracleman talks about perfection and then we finally get a decent look at the Olympus fortress from outside and it looks both impressive and ridiculous.  On the final page Miracleman is alone and mentions how he still thinks about Liz.  He wonders why she turned down his offer to join him in Olympus but I wonder if maybe deep down he does know why.

Here is my final word on Alan Moore’s Miracleman.  There was talk throughout the series of Mike Moran being a coward and I think here at the end they are finally right.  As I said before I don’t think there is any real difference between Mike Moran and Miracleman.  They are the same man.  Mike was not a coward before, he was just an ordinary guy and he did not value himself.  And even has Miracleman Mike still does not value the man he was.  By being Miracleman he is able to run away from that.  Everything he is doing as Miracleman allows him to run away from his self esteem issues.  When he was just Mike Moran he was no more or less brave than anyone else.  Being Miracleman is what really turned him into a coward.

After this is the story that Neil Gaiman started years ago but remains unfinished.  I have heard it involves the eventual downfall of Miracleman’s “perfect” world.  I am not surprised.  The seeds are all there for everything he has done to fall apart in time.

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