Comic Review: Miracleman A Dream of Flying

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Miracleman (originally Marvelman) was a British Hero from the 1950’s that never really made much of an impact on any classic level, then in the 1980’s the then legend in the making Alan Moore (of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Batman the Killing Joke fame) reinvented the character for the modern age, twisting his origins and back story to suit his own narrative Alan more took this character from obscurity and made them into a comic book legend.

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I think this is in part owing to the complicated legal history of the property which has, until recently, made reprinting, and thus obtaining a copy of the original very difficult and very costly, until the rights finally wound up with Marvel Comics and as they spied a good money spinner they reprinted the series as set of hardback comics, and a vague promise that the series would finally be continued as the it was halted mid story with issue 24.

Any way marvel have given us in this volume the first four issues of their reprinted version scripted by Alan Moore (credited as “The Original Writer”) and what may possibly be the best comic art I have ever seen provided by Garry Leach and Alan Davis.

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The story begins with the Last adventure of the Miracleman Family before they disappear from the world before moving on 20 years and dealing with Miracleman’s reawakening and the consequences that brings, the effects it has on Mike Moran’s (Miracleman’s alter ego)’s family life, and how the Miracleman Family came to be.

You can tell this is some of Alan Moore’s early work and is written in what I’ve come to dub the Pre Crisis Style ( alluding to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and what I personally see as the end of the old school way of writing comics), that is to say, very heavy on the interlinking exposition text, and while it is beautifully written it doesn’t let the art do its job, which is telling the story, it feels like the text is competing with the art, and this is a pity because it is some of the best comic art I have ever come across.

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The story itself is ok, it isn’t great, it engages, but it doesn’t really grab you the way that it should, and this could possibly be because there is no way that the story could live up to the hype of the comic that no one could read for several decades. I will probably pick up the other 3 volumes of the series, just on the hopes that it does start to pick up, but I do think it will probably be a case of not living up to the way in which its been built up in peoples minds over the past 30 or so years.

About Me: Five Favourite Comics and Graphic Novels

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite comics and graphic novels:

Watchmen

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Alan Moore’s best known work and what is heralded as the birth of modern comic book industry. Its dark, its gritty and its probably the first american comic that was written for grown ups.

The Boys

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Garth Ennis series that posits the theory that if super powers really did exist, people with them would probably be insufferable cunts. Its rude, its crude and its really powerful, it makes light of the superhero genre and will be a classic for years to come.

Superman and Batman Generations 

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A tale that takes superman and batman back to their origins in the 1930’s and ages them in real time. It looks at their relationships and the strains that their choices put on their lives, and the lives of their families.

Judge Dredd: America

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Judge Dredd is a wholly unrelatable and unsympathetic character, what makes the world of Judge Dredd such an amazing and lasting institution is the characters that surround Dredd, and America is a story about freedom and how people are willing to let go of liberty in exchange for security, and like all good stories is makes you think, think about the important issues, the issues that should be important to us at any rate.

Annihilation

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It kick started Marvel’s space renaissance and gave birth to the modern Guardians of the Galaxy that have now been immortalised on screen. Its a space opera that unites many obscure areas of the Marvel Universe, shakes some up, kills some off and it generally an amazing story.

 

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

Guy Fawkes and Guy Fakes

Remember remember the Fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot.Guy Fawkes

I take a lot of pride in the history of Britain, but one of the main things that baffles me is that year on year every 5th of November we celebrate the life of a terrorist…although burning his effigy isn’t exactly a glorious tribute.
In recent years Guy Fawkes has become a folk hero and his image is a used as a symbol for anti government feelings and a voice of civil discontent. Works such as Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta have romanticised Guy Fawkes as a freedom fighter trying to throw of the yoke of a totalitarian autocracy. In the Graphic Novel the eponymous V takes up the mantle of Guy Fawkes in order to overthrow a fascist dictatorship that has swamped Britain in an almost Orwellian dystopia. It is worth mentioning that one of the most prevalent images associated with Guy Fawkes now is the mask of V from V for Vendetta and is now even the symbol of online hacktivists and vigilante group Anonymous.
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But here’s the rub Guy Fawkes wasn’t actually anti government, he wasn’t even anti monarchy, he was just anti King James the 1st. The reason that Guy Fawkes chose Westminster Palace was fairly simple, firstly it was accessible from the river, secondly the labyrinth of cellars provided a decent hiding place and thirdly it was a place he knew the king would be. The initial bombing was planned for the state opening of parliament an event in public during which the king would have to be in attendance and stay for the duration. Guy Fawkes actually had a great admiration for the work of government and the only reason he was caught was that he was stupid enough to warn a member of the House of Lords about what was going to happen. And the rest is history.

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So how has Guy Fawkes gone on to become the symbol of anti government feeling? Well blowing up parliament will do that. But in this day and age Guy Fawkes is seen as the last honest man to enter parliament (a claim which I find highly insulting). I think that sometimes though it’s nice to have a reminder of what people are capable of when they are unhappy with the status quo and whilst I don’t agree with his cause and certainly don’t agree with his methods I think that Guy Fawkes does symbolise that sometimes the actions of those in charge need to be questioned and that positions of power are only as stable as the people that put them there.

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