Sunday, 19 January 2014

Playing A Game

Caption (Moran narrating): "Time and again we thwarted [Gargunza's] insane plans and jailed him. But somehow he always came back..."

Caption (same): "And yet he never did anything really evil..."

Caption (same): "It was almost as if we were playing a game. A game which neither side took entirely seriously."

- Miracleman, no 1 (New York, 2014), p. 23.

Moran is a character in an adult comic strip written as a sequel to an earlier juvenile comic strip. As yet, he lives in a world indistinguishable from that inhabited by the readers, except for his sudden transformation into Miracleman and his equally sudden remembering of superheroic adventures, including battles with Gargunza.

Two features of juvenile comic strips are:

villains who are always defeated yet always return;
villains who are ultimately evil but who are never shown committing, e.g., rape or acts of graphically depicted violence.

All that is about to change. As a first step, Moran is at least able to reflect on the oddities of the situation. He does not come anywhere close to suspecting that he is a character in a comic strip. After all, such characters are not conscious which we are imagining that he is. However, the writer of Miracleman has devised an ingenious scenario in which the Marvelman Family can both be conscious and inhabit an environment modeled on comic books - until they are deposited into the real world.

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