Comic Book Storytelling: Neil Gaiman’s Miracleman #1

I have never read Miracleman before the current Marvel Comics reprints.  I knew a little about the premise and I was aware of some of the major events.  I knew that a Miraclewoman showed up at some point.  I knew about the villain Kid Miracleman and the infamous issue where he goes on a murderous rampage.  But most of what happened was new to me.  Now comes another part of the Miracleman saga that I know even less about, the part written by Neil Gaiman.

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The Golden Age begins not long after the previous run ended.  Miracleman and his pals are ruling over the world from the mountain sized Olympus fortress in whats basically amounts to a theocracy.  A group of people arrive to go on a pilgrimage.  One of them is a black woman named Gwen and based on the way the paneling and narration was done on the page where we first see them I thought she was the narrator.  But no it turns out to be some other guy who remains nameless throughout the story.

It seems that Miracleman and friends do not bother to interact with humans anymore.  If someone wants to request something from them then they have to literally climb to the top of Olympus.  I get that they don’t want to be flooded with requests but this seems like kind of dickish process to put people through.  Anyway along the way one guy goes insane so they have to leave him behind.  I wonder how many other people have died or gone insane on the same undertaking.  Also along the way they meet a few of the new super babies the Miracle’s have been eugenically breeding and they are super creepy.  In fact most of the issue has this sort of creepy psychedelic feel thanks to the artwork.

When they finally arrive at the top and meet Miracleman one of the party tries to shoot him.  When the bullets just bounce of the gunman shoots himself.  So that happened.  The woman wants to be an artist and Miracleman says yes to her request.  The narrator is there because his daughter was injured and brain damaged during the battle with Kid Miracleman and he asks for her to be healed.  Miracleman says no and flies away.  It is a total dick move.  The least he could do is tell the man why he rejects the request.  But it is clear that Miracleman has become dangerously disconnected from humanity.  In a further dick move it turns out that the pilgrims also have to climb back down on their own.  This system kind of sucks.

So this run has remained famously unfinished since Eclipse Comics went under.  I hear very little of it saw print before that.  I hope they give us someone to sympathize with soon because I was already starting to dislike Miracleman as a character.  Either that or give us something more compelling than this opening.

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