Sunday, December 6, 2015

Review: MIRACLEMAN by Gaiman & Buckingham #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Neil Gaiman
ART: Mark Buckingham
COLOR: D'israeli
LETTERS: Todd Klein
MISC. ART: Mark Buckingham
COVER: Mark Buckingham
44pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (November 2015)

Miracleman created by Mick Angelo

Rated Mature

Miracleman Book Four: The Golden Age:  “Prologue,” “A Prayer and Hope,” and “Retrieval” – Part 1

Marvelman was a British superhero character created in 1954 by writer-artist Mick Anglo for British publisher, L. Miller & Son.  The character was originally created as a substitute for the American character, Captain Marvel (Fawcett Comics), in the U.K.  Marvelman comic books were published until 1963, but the character was revived in 1982 by writer Alan Moore.  In the pages of Warrior, a British monthly, black-and-white, anthology comics magazine, Moore offered a darker, post-modern take on the character.

In August 1985, Eclipse Comics began reprinting the Marvelman stories from Warrior (in color) in a comic book entitled, “Miracleman” (to avoid legal problems with Marvel Comics).  Miracleman issues #1-6 reprinted all the Warrior content.  Starting with Miracleman #7, the series presented new Miracleman stories written by Alan Moore.  Moore wrote the series until issue #16.  Then, Neil Gaiman, who was then becoming famous for his work on The Sandman comic book series (DC Comics), took over with issue #17.  Gaiman continued to write the series, but Miracleman ceased publication with issue #24 when Eclipse closed due to financial difficulties.

After obtaining the rights to Marvelman, Marvel Comics brought Eclipse Comics’ Miracleman series back into print.  The recently launched Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham begins the reprinting of Miracleman stories by Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham.  Gaiman will also apparently be able to complete his Miracleman arc left unfinished over two decades ago.

Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1 opens in 1987.  It is “The Golden Age.”  It is a new world, one that is free of war, of famine, and of poverty.  Olympus, the pyramid of Miracleman, towers above London, and it can be seen from orbit above the Earth, piercing the clouds.  The narrator, a man, joins three pilgrims on a climb to the summit where they will pray and each seek a miracle from Miracleman.  Not all of them will survive this arduous, impossible journey.

Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1 reprints the contents of Miracleman #17 (cover dated: June 1990), which was originally published by Eclipse Comics.  I think that I may have read this issue, or at least, I bought it.  At some some point, I gave up on Neil Gaiman's take on Miracleman, which was so different from Alan Moore's Miracleman, which I so dearly loved... at the time.

Reading the early issues of Marvel Comics' reprinting of Moore's run on this series, I found that it did not mean as much to me now, as it did when I first read it.  However, I am quite impressed with these first three chapters of Gaiman's Miracleman.  Gaiman's story is introspective and imaginative.  Mark Buckingham's art and graphical storytelling is constantly shifting in tone, breathing even more life into Gaiman's lively story.

Now, I definitely want to read more and to rediscover and to discover Gaiman and Buckingham's Miracleman.

[This comic book includes script excerpts by Neil Gaiman and original art reproductions by Mark Buckingham.]


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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