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.
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.
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.
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.