Collection of Classic Comics: MIRACLEMAN, BOOK 1: A DREAM OF FLIGHT
“Sit down. I’m going to make some coffee.
For quite a while you might have considered miracle man a lost masterpiece.
Tethered to missing publishers and rights issues, you had to scour problem bins and online auction sites for issues. the original Warrior chapters can fetch a pretty penny, but the Eclipse series (apart from #15 in my experience) could be had at a price that most collectors of Alan Moorethe work of would not mind. Although that would leave out the average person who just wanted to read the story. Luckily, deals were reached, a lawsuit was filed, rights were awarded, and an out-of-court settlement was reached with Marvel republishing the old comics and giving space for Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham to complete their work on the series.
You may have heard of the birth chart problem. You’ve probably been told about the “Olympus” arc and what happens when deranged beings with superpowers truly devastate society. Before all of that, though, it started with a reimagining of Captain Marvel with the serial numbers filed in Miracleman – Volume 1: A dream of flying by Alan Moore, Garry Leach, Alan Davis, Steve Oliff, Chris Eliopoulos, and Joe Caramagna (with a prologue of the original marvel man stories of Mick Anglo and don laurent).
The story follows a similar lead to what Moore uses in Swamp Thing and watchmen. At one turn, revealing a radically different core of character truth and interpreting four-color superheroic fantasy through a “realistic” lens. The latter through a nightmarish filter even more than the ridiculousness of watchmen. Mike Moran realizes in the early 80s that he was the hero of the 50s Miracleman, discovers that everything he knew was wrong and that one of his sidekicks has become a murderous and completely unhinged businessman .
The artwork is stunning, as you’d expect from Garry Leach and Alan Davis. Leach sadly passed away earlier this year. I think it’s a shame he didn’t receive more accolades from a larger group of people. His style is in the same vein as Dave Gibbons and Alan Davis, with perhaps a greater sense of realism and a nice touch of hatching and hatching that adds great depth to his work. He is perhaps best known for his inking, particularly of John McCrea on Hitman and Chris Weston on The Twelve, which makes some of the middle chapters of it, where he writes about Alan Davis, particularly interesting to see. It’s a good mix of the two artists’ styles and a great transition when Davis takes over all of the linework duties. Davis’ art being the gorgeous, rounded exaggerations full of verve and energy you’d expect, tempered with a bit of darkness befitting the darker tone of this series.
The recoloring and re-lettering for Marvel Editions is done very well for these early issues. Steve Oliff updates colors very well for modern paper and printing processes. There was a lot of yellow and purple in the original Ron Courtney colors which have been changed here for more modern hues and tones. I think in terms of preserving the original look, it ignores that, but I would say it makes the overall artwork more palatable to modern audiences reading it for the first time. Oliff’s colors are also a bit more consistent across chapters, but I think originally it could also be printing and aging issues (my copy of Eclipse issue 3 is rather muddy and washed out, but I think that’s just the age).
Likewise, Chris Eliopoulos and Joe Caramagna update, but mostly retain, the feel and design of G. George’s letters from the original. There was color added to some of the dialogs in the early chapters, but it’s still consistent with what happened in the later ones. Overall, it retains the layout and design of the original.
Miracleman – Volume 1: A dream of flying by Moore, Leach, Davis, Oliff, Eliopoulos and Caramagna (with Anglo & Lawrence) is an interesting contemporary companion to Moore’s 80s work. It plays with the same themes of superheroes gone wrong, overruling government, and seeking truth in a faded nostalgia as much of his work from this era. I find it great that new editions exist so that new audiences can find this work.
CLASSIC COMIC COMPENDIUM: Miracleman, Volume 1
Miracleman – Volume 1: A dream of flying
Writers: The original author (Alan Moore) and Mick Anglo
Artists: Garry Leach, Alan Davis and Don Lawrence
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterers: Chris Eliopoulos and Joe Caramagna
Editor: Marvel Comics
KIMOTA! With one magic word, a long-forgotten legend comes alive! Freelance journalist Michael Moran always knew he was destined for something more – now a series of unexpected events has him reclaiming his destiny as the Miracleman! The groundbreaking graphic novel that heralded a literary revolution begins here in A DREAM OF FLIGHT. After nearly two decades away, Miracleman discovers his origins and their connection to the British Army’s ‘Project Zarathustra’ – while his alter ego, Michael Moran, must reconcile his life as the lower half of a god. .
Release date: October 25, 2022 (omnibus edition)
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