This was the best issue of Miracleman so far, and that’s down to the fact that it was made up entirely of Alan Moore material (plus the sketches and process stuff). There was no Mick Anglo stuff here, and whilst I’ve been very harsh towards those comics, they really aren’t very good, and it’s much better to have the Warpsmiths in here instead. This issue is 35 pages of pure Moore, and it is great.
The main Miracleman narrative continues, and it’s still just brilliant. I loved the fight between Miracleman and Kid Miracleman, it’s so ahead of it’s time, and man, the aftermath is even better. Kid Miracleman transforming back into Johnny Bates is so dark and twisted, I love it. One thing I was surprised by is the reveal that the child that was thrown about last issue didn’t die, but just had his ribs broken. I’m not sure I like that softening of the blow, but I suppose you could only go so far in 1982. I really enjoyed the scenes with Miracleman and Liz trying to figure out the nature of his powers, especially as Moore begins to explore the differences between Mick Moran and Miracleman, how they are the same… yet different. Moore is looking at superheroes here in a way that nobody ever had until him, and treating them seriously, it’s amazing to see these early steps in the maturation of the genre at last.
The introduction of the new villains ‘Project Zarathustra’ and Evelyn Cream was good too, I like the weird touch of Cream having teeth made of sapphires, but there was some weird, dissonant race-stuff there, like the terrorist calling Cream ‘chocolate’, and Moore’s narration noting that he’s black. I’m not really one to denigrate media from the past for not living up to modern-day standards, but it did surprise me. But then I suppose this story was originally in black and white right? That means that Moore has to denote his race in the text then.
The art was fantastic too, the colouring really does make this look modern. Alan Davis takes over here, and it’s great to see how his style is different compared to now. The fact that Garry Leach is inking him also helps to make the change in artist not be jarring.
As I said, the back-up story here focuses on the Warpsmiths, one of whom we saw last issue. This was a weird story, as Moore drops us right into a weird alien world with little to no explanation and all sorts of strange jargon and stuff goes on. The art, from Leach was of course fantastic, but it was a bit disorientating. But it’s Moore I haven’t read before (hey, that rhymes!) so I loved it.
I’m just so grateful to finally be reading these stories, and even more so that they are living up to their reputations, just pure genius all around.