Thursday, October 15, 2015

Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Despite the fact that the title of this series officially changed to "Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham," I'm keeping the "Miracleman" tag.  If I changed tags every time Marvel re-launched a series at issue #1, the Internet probably wouldn't have enough space to save my blog.

This issue is odd, though not necessarily in a bad way.  Gaiman picks up pretty much exactly where Moore ended, with a group of four pilgrims ascending Olympus to seek favors from Miracleman himself.  Gaiman brilliantly uses their days-long ascent to show us just how beyond humanity -- literally and figuratively -- Miracleman now is.  Moore's last few issues dealt mostly with Miracleman's relationship with his own godhood and to other gods; here, Gaiman takes the time to show us humans' relationship to his godhood.  We see the grandeur that Miracleman is capable of producing and, hence, why humanity understandably has come to accept him as "god."

My guess is that the next few issues are going to focus on some humans, somewhere opposing him.  But, for now, our supplicants believe in his divinity, because they really don't have any reason not to believe in it.  The end result of this belief is crushing, with Miracleman granting one woman's wish to become an artist but not the man's wish for him to heal his daughter with brain damage that the Battle of London caused.  (The fact that the remaining supplicant attempted to kill Miracleman before committing suicide goes to this point that not all humans are likely comfortable with his new status.)  Gaiman doesn't give any motivations for Miracleman's decision, leaving us to wonder if he's become a capricious and cruel god.

In fact, Gaiman gives us few hints about the direction of his story, so we're just going to have to walk the walk with everyone else to see who Miracleman really is.  I was initially frustrated with this approach; at the end of the issue, I definitely found myself thinking, "That's it?"  But, Gaiman himself refers to the burden of taking over someone else's story in the epilogue, and, sleeping on it, I realized that it was a necessary transition from the story that Moore was telling.  We needed a different perspective to understand the realities of this world.  With that done, the path is clear to focus on this new Miracleman.  In other words, away we go.

*** (three of five stars)

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