Sunday, 20 July 2014

Miracleman #5 Review (Alan Moore, Alan Davis)


Alan Moore’s enthralling reimagining of Golden-Age superhero Miracleman continues to impress in issue #5. It’s quite a revelatory comic because it’s over 30 years old, being reprinted and re-coloured for the first time, and it still reads really freshly today.

In this issue, Mick is troubled by his wife Liz being pregnant. For years they tried to conceive and couldn’t, then he re-discovered he was Miracleman and, as the superhero, he impregnated her - she’s having his baby… sort of! A new character, Dr Emil Gargunza, appears with a vested interest in the baby and a revelation in his involvement with Miracleman’s creation.

Meanwhile, Johnny Bates, aka Kid Miracleman, is having trouble keeping the monster inside him chained up as his real identity is being taunted by this powerful other voice, the evil Kid Miracleman. The issue closes with a wonderful silent short starring Young Miracleman as he tries to impress a lady.

The re-mastered art looks terrific and Alan Davis’ work on Mick really shows up the contrast between him and his alter ego – Mick is flabby, with a gut, wrinkles, and loosening skin around his face, while Miracleman is an Adonis! I also really liked the silent issue where John Ridgway’s art tells the story - it was a simple tale, told really perfectly and was a really enjoyably light way to close the issue. 

Story-wise, it was a bit contrived that Miracleman was in the park doing nothing when his wife was being kidnapped because if he had been at home, he would’ve easily stopped it. As it was, Moore placed him in the park so that the storyline could advance, not because he really needed to be there to impress some random kid. Otherwise, great writing from Moore. 

This issue came sealed and usually that’s because it contains adult material that the casual kid browser in a comics store legally shouldn’t see, but there’s really nothing bad in this issue. There’s a sex scene between Miracleman and Liz but you don’t see anything - maybe Marvel just want to stop any cheapskates from reading the comic for free in store rather than buy it? I suppose some swears do appear, but come on, aren’t we past a few fucks these days? 

Also, I’m not sure about you but I don’t need to see any more extras. I don’t need artist sketches or pages from how the comic looked prior to the remastering, and I don’t need to read the reprinted ‘50s comics. I’d prefer if they dropped these, lowered the price point, and focused on the Moore stuff because that’s what we’re reading it for isn’t it? 

Miracleman #5 is another excellent comic in this series with great writing and wonderful artwork throughout. It’s a fine start to the second Miracleman story arc, The Red King Syndrome, and I’m looking forward to “Moore” (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

Miracleman #5

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