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Miracleman & Kid Miracleman

This entry will focus on a single aspect of Miracleman rather than the character’s entire background. Please reference Wikipedia’s Miracleman entry and Young Miracleman for further information. Freed from Gargunza’s sadistic experiments, Miracle Woman (Avril Lear) reveals herself to Miracle Mann (Mike Moran) after saving his wife and child from an impending  violent assault with a dream beast. At this point Moran is struggling to figure out his real identity and nature versus the information fed to him while he was also an unconscious captive of the scientist. She relates a previous encounter, part of an elaborate scheme, between she, Miracle Man, and Kid Miracleman, in which she goes to warn the two (and Johnny Bates, Kid Miracleman) that Young Nastyman has broken free. Bates acts like childishly, Moran happily flies behind here, and Dickie scowls at her. She relates how Dickie’s love for Mike was obvious to her while the older Mike was quite oblivious. Dickie smiles broadly to himself later when it appears Miracle Woman has died in battle. [Thanks to Gayblade for bringing the scenes in issue #12 to my attention!]

At some point after the destruction of London by Kid Miracleman (Johnny Bates) in Miracleman #15), Miracleman (Michael Moran) requested Mors of the Qys to clone Young Miracleman’s body. The resurrection was successful and young Dicky Dauntless awoke with his original memories in a utopian world. Eager to learn, Dickie persuades Miracleman to show him around. Despite it going against his original plan, Miracleman does exactly that by introducing him to Miraclewoman, a human-looking firedrake, two Warpsmiths and a Qys. Dickie politely excuses himself, asking to speak privately with Miracleman. Dickie implores to be told everything that has happened between his death and resurrection. Miracleman first insists on Dickie relating what he remembers, then informs him these were all false memories implanted by Dr. Gargunza. Following up, Miracleman relates a condensed history of London’s destruction, the subsequent reconstruction of the world by himself (and compatriots), and his contemporary role of god-like being. This new reality of the world and the truth of his memories overwhelm Dickie who can barely contain his sobbing till after Miracleman leaves the room (issue #23).

A week passes in the story internally between issues #23 and 24. Dickie seems to have adjusted remarkably well and quickly, and has begun something of a world tour that started with a rebuilt London and picks up with a stop in New York that afternoon. Miracleman and Miraclewoman have two conversations about the newly revived Dickie while he’s away marveling New York and addressing the huge crowd gathered in his honor. She believes there’s a matter between the two men that they need to discuss. Miracleman is somewhat unconvinced and reluctant to take her previously offered advice, implying the matter has come up before now. In the second talk, Miraclewoman insists Miracleman’s avoiding the issue. He disagrees, saying he’s “merely considering all the options.” The topic of their conversations becomes evident when he proceeds to use a device to show her cherry-picked highlights of Dickie (and Young Miracleman) admiring and ogling women. She embraces him and says, “Darling, I’m right. Trust me,” and kisses him.

Later that night after Dickie’s return from New York, Miracleman asks to talk with him. Dickie talks enthusiastically about the “brave, New World” and is happy. “Isn’t this great, MM? A midnight snack and a jolly old natter? We’re chums together again. Special chums, aren’t we?” [Emphasis in the original.] Dickie then confides his concern about being so powerful, wondering if this is what drove Johnny to his destructive acts. He also confesses to dreaming of Johnny the night before. Miracleman then mentions that he and Miraclewoman have been talking about Dickie, saying she thinks something should be settled between them. Dickie’s confused, citing that “everything’s just super.” Miracleman draws in, placing a hand on Dickie’s shoulder, and asks how Dickie feels about him. Miracleman simply kisses Dickie to convey his point. Dickie is shocked and enraged, and without thinking, knocks Miracleman into space, where he confronts his friend and mentor. He accusingly wonders if a similar act turned Johnny evil. Miracleman says he thinks he made a mistake and implores Dickie to return to Olympus to talk about this, but Dickie stands defiant with tears streaming down his face. His last words are “Don’t follow me” before flies away and disappears from sight. (Issue #24)

The first half of this scene is visually constructed with a variety of techniques to emphasize the sexual tension. The pair often appears in the same panel, sometimes in shadow or close proximity. Miracleman’s pose is at an early point distant, as if to mirror his hesitation, and then becomes intimate and sexual when he lays on Dickie’s bed.  Contrast this with the following scene in space where the two are shown some distance apart the two times they appear in the same panel. Miracleman’s body language appears to be contrition and Dickie’s a combination of defiance, hurt, and anger.

This is the last issue that was printed before the publisher, Eclipse, went bankrupt. These two issues were the first installments of writer Neil Gaiman’s “The Silver Age” arc that was planned for six issues. Sources indicate issue #25 was written, penciled, and submitted to Eclipse before it went out of business. It may never be known how Gaiman would have dealt with this topic unless the tangled copyright matters are resolved Marvelman first appeared in Marvelman #25 and Dickie Dauntless in Marvelman #101. This particular revelation takes place in Miracleman #24.

Joe Quesada revealed at Comic Con in 2009 that Marvel had recently obtained the rights to Marvelman. What this means with regard to Miracleman remains to be seen.

Miracleman and Young Miracleman (or Marvelman and Young Marvelman as they were originally named) created by Mick Anglo.

Art by Barry Windsor Smith and Mark Buckingham and D’Israeli.

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