Friday, November 20, 2015

Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #3 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

It's hard to know where to start here.  The reason for that uncertainty should become clear as I try to summarize this issue.

A Qys named Mors is serving as a modern-day Hades, running an underworld beneath Miracleman's temple full of people that he's "resurrected."  To be clear, they're not fully resurrected:  they appear to consist of the person's memories implanted into a robot version of their old body.  However, it's not clear how Mors managed to save these memories or how he decides on the person to resurrect.  For a reason that becomes clear later in the issue, he resurrects Emil Gargunza here.  Mors assigns the sixth version (of the 18 versions that exist) of Andy Warhol (yup) to be friends with Gargunza, and the two of them spend most of the issue discussing their plight.

Warhol is particularly concerned over whether he has a soul and the fact that Miracleman's outlawing of money means that he can't assess his worth.  For his part, Gargunza is perturbed that their robot bodies are not allowed to leave the Underworld; in fact, Gargunza himself is restricted simply to the courtyard.  Randomly, Winter appears for a visit, because she wants to meet her grandfather.  In the end, Gargunza creates a portable sustaining field to try to escape, but Mors deactivates him instead.  We learn that this version of Gargunza was one of several that Mors created and that each time he engages in some reprogramming of Gargunza's mind.  His goal is to see if he can get Gargunza's "unique" mind to aid the "survival of others" and not just himself.

I can't say that I didn't like this issue, but I'm also not necessarily a fan.  If you stop caring about the series' larger plot, you can just enjoy as it really flirts with genius as an experimental piece of work.  Buckingham is particularly amazing here, clearly inspired by Warhol to tell this story in a way befitting his presence.  At some point, Gaiman will likely return to a traditional narrative, so I'm trying to enjoy these quirky detours on the way there.  The danger, though, is that I haven't found myself emotionally connecting with any of the characters that we've seen featured in these issues.  (I come the closest to Warhol here, particularly as he despairs when he realizes Gargunza didn't love him.)  If we go too long without caring about the character-of-the-month, I could see losing interest quickly.

*** (three of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment