Miracleman 16 (December 1988)

Moore bites off a lot for this final issue to the arc. It isn’t enough Miracleman and company will turn the world into a utopia, Moore has to sell it. He uses great detail–like the Warpsmiths liking the Inuit language the most–to make things process. He also throws in a lot of personality. Heavy metal gangs turning Kid Miracleman into a sensation; it’s unnecessary but perfect. And Liz. How Moore deals with Liz is crazy good. Winter comes back, but she’s kind of comic relief. Liz figures in differently. One has to wonder if Moore always had this plan for her. There’s…

Miracleman 15 (November 1988)

What’s incredible–and possibly singular–about how Moore approaches Miracleman is his distance. There are moments this issue where another writer might wink at superhero comics. Moore doesn’t. Even in those moments, he’s only writing this one. More so, he’s only writing this moment, even though it’s technically a flashback. London is destroyed, decimated. There is no happiness. Moore pulls Miracleman away from humanity even more; tellingly, Totleben doesn’t do any of his “beauty of Miracleman” panels. The visual poetry is violence and blood. Even in the small panels. Moore caps it off with Miracleman’s final shedding of his human self, possibly through the…

Miracleman 14 (April 1988)

As far as the art goes, it’s near perfect. Moore’s script (presumably with panel arrangement), Totleben’s art, it’s outstanding. And most of the issue is excellent too. The stuff with the Moran family, the stuff with Miracleman and the other super-powered beings setting up their club… well, actually that decision is Moore’s second most questionable this issue. Miracleman, Miraclewoman, the other aliens, they set up a superhero club, something apparently all worlds with superheroes do. It feels too obvious. The real problem is with how much abuse Moore throws at Billy Bates. He’s been being tortured by other kids for a number…

Miracleman 13 (November 1987)

It’s an awesome issue. Not just in the flashback plotting and reveals, but with how Moore structures Miracleman’s narration from the present. Even though the present day stuff is all static and all summary, Moore manages to get in an amazing finish for this issue. Moore doesn’t try to frustrate the reader with foreshadowing, he instead overwhelms. Miracleman and Miraclewoman go to the galactic council or whatever it’s called and there’s a bunch of political stuff set to Totleben’s trippy alien designs. Miracleman often has smaller panels, so it’s impressive how much Totleben’s designs resonate even if they don’t get close-ups. But…

Miracleman 12 (September 1987)

More hints at what’s to come–both in the bookends and in the present action. Moore’s pretty slick with one of the reveals–so quiet maybe it’s a typo–but the other, revealed on the last page but suggested much earlier… Well, things might just get really dramatic here in a bit. This issue reveals Miraclewoman’s back story. It involves the evil scientist, of course, which sadly reminds one of Chuck Austen’s terrible conclusion to that story arc. This issue continues with Totleben, who does quite well. He’s really getting the idea of Miracleman as an Adonis, not just a regular superhero. There are the…

Miracleman 11 (May 1987)

Wow. Even with Moore’s overcooked prose–it’s from Miracleman’s memoirs–wow. It opens five years later, with Miracleman somewhere above the Earth in a floating castle. I think (about the location, not the time). Moore opens with these grandiose images and then brings things down again. New–and lovely–artist John Tolteben can do both fantastical and mundane with ease. The story Miracleman is telling is the continuation from the previous issue. This issue he has a run-in with the space aliens and Moore has a big reveal of a new character. Except these are relatively small. The battle with the aliens is just a fight…

Miracleman 10 (December 1986)

John Ridgway returns to ink Veitch and it works out nicely. Veitch has fine composition, with the Ridgway inks the panels all have a lot of personality. I love how Mike looks so ancient and tired. Most of the issue is spent with two aliens who have come to Earth to check on the miracle-people. Turns out there are more of them than Moore previously revealed (at least one more) and the aliens use the alternate universe in a similar way. The stuff with the baby, while beautifully rendered, gets a little tiresome. Moore amps up the pressure on the characters only…

Miracleman 9 (July 1986)

That is one ugly baby. Sorry, getting ahead of myself. This issue features Moore’s returns after a reprints issue and fresh artists. Rick Veitch pencils, Rick Bryant inks. It’s a major improvement over Austen–the panel compositions are once again ambitious–but it’s not particularly great art. Veitch and Bryant do a little Mick Anglo homage and things of that nature, but it’s too broad. Miracleman thrives on visual realism. The story, which has Liz giving birth to her miracle baby, is pretty good. She goes into labor the first page, then Moore resolves the last of the story arc (more like clean-up) while…

Miracleman 7 (April 1986)

I wonder how Alan Moore felt about seeing these finished pages. He turned in a great script, sent it off, got back these Chuck Austen pages. It’s a shock he didn’t quit comics then. Oddly enough, Austen is better this issue than last. He’s still terrible though. He can’t do a subplot about some former Nazi youth being excited at the arrival of the Aryan Miracleman. Austen hasn’t got an ounce of subtlety. It’s shocking. He must have been cheap. The issue finishes up Miracleman’s encounter with his creator. Moore comes up with what should be a beautiful sequence for that particular…

Miracleman 6 (February 1986)

And here we have the first appearance of Chuck Austen on the art. And wow. Wow. I complained about Alan Davis–who does the first chapter–I complained about his work on faces. But he got the mythic quality of the story. He got how people, even if they aren’t beautifully drawn, do look different. Austen doesn’t get anything. It’s bad. It’s worse than I… it’s bad. The story’s good though. Moore neatly ties all the jungle scenery to the finale (or the cliffhanger). Austen butchers it. It should be great stuff but nope. It looks like a crappy eighties cartoon. Anyway, there are…

Miracleman 5 (January 1986)

Really, the art’s Alan Davis? Mostly, I mean–John Ridgeway’s back to finish the flashback story–but Davis does the art on most of the issue. And it’s not good. It’s really rushed, really loose with detail. There’s definitely some decent composition, but I just thought whoever came on the art had good composition and not good detail ability. The story mostly concerns Gargunza revealing Miracleman’s past to Liz. It’s during these parts Davis fails the script the most–Moore clearly wants Liz to have gravitas (even when she doesn’t have any real lines), but Davis doesn’t sell it. It’s too bad. The writing gets…

Miracleman 4 (December 1985)

And here’s the first mention of Miracleman as a superhero. He’s hanging out in a park, runs across a kid who’s terrified of a nuclear attack, they bond. Great scene from Moore. Alan Davis does most of the art this issue. It’s very well composed at times, but his figures feel a little two dimensional. John Ridgeway does one of the chapters (these are still Warrior reprints) and it’s a little more effective. It might just be the content–giant magical kingdoms and vampire legions and so on. The story moves forward a little, but Moore seems a lot more concentrated on the…