Sunday, 5 August 2012

More On Moore's MM

Superman: the original superhero.
Captain Marvel: a first rate copy of the original.
Captain Thunder: Captain Marvel's original name, later re-used by Roy Thomas.
Mick Anglo's Marvelman: a second rate copy.
The Marvel Comics Captain Marvel: a later superhero cashing in on an earlier name.
Mick Anglo's Captain Miracle and Miracleman: third and fourth rate copies.
The Miracleman in Alan Moore's Captain Britain: an alternative version of Marvelman.
Alan Moore's Marvelman/Miracleman: a definitive statement on superheroes.

Neil Gaiman's Miracleman: a continuation of Alan Moore's Miracleman.

Mick Anglo's Marvelman despatched a Nazi with an uppercut in a single panel. Alan Moore's Marvelman/Miracleman killed several horribly after one of them had accepted him as the Superman:

"He was a vision... That blonde hair. Those blue eyes... When I was a youth, our leaders spoke of a new kind of man. An ubermensch, ja? I saw him then in my mind. I saw him again, tonight. We waited for him to come for forty years..." (1)

Nazi: "Forty years. Forty years we have waited for you, for the first of the blonde gods that would replace us. Overman. You have come at last."
Marvelman: (face already covered with dead men's blood, putting his finger, then his arm, through the Nazi's body): "Yes. You can go now." (2)

Moore correctly deduced that a Nazi would respond like this to a superhero. It helped that MM, unlike his predecessors, was seven feet tall with blonde hair. Moore also reasoned that a superhero team would be able to change the world and ended with MM wondering whether they have been right to do so. Moore's successor, Neil Gaiman, was beginning to show conflict in utopia when his story line was interrupted by the publisher's bankruptcy. We hope that the story continues...

(1) Moore, Alan. The Red King Syndrome, Forestville, July 1990, p. 77.
(2) op. cit., p. 83.


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