Sunday, 30 December 2012


Marvelman/Miracleman by Alan Moore, succeeded by Neil Gaiman, is out of print and might never be republished, let alone completed. How many people have read it or understand references to it? I am fortunate to own the entire published series, partly in monthly comic books and partly in collected editions.

There is a well known tradition of super-strong heroes, starting in mythology (Samson and Hercules), continuing through prose fiction (Hugo Danner in Gladiator by Philip Wylie) and culminating in graphic fiction (Superman, Captain Marvel, Marvelman, Miracleman). I remember from the 1950's that Mick Anglo's Marvelman, some of it recently republished by Marvel Comics, entertained the age-group that it addressed. However, it did not address adults and certainly did not reflect on the tradition that it represented.

Moore more than made up for this. Michael Moran has grown up into a world of Health Service cuts and Troubles in Northern Ireland, has married a commercial artist but not had any children, works as a free lance journalist, dreams of flying, suffers migraines and cannot remember the word from his recurrent dream. Then he reads the word "ATOMIC" backwards in a glass door....

Moore's and Gaiman's contributions, although less well known, are far more significant than anything that has been published under the titles of "Superman" or "Captain Marvel."

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