Thursday, March 11, 2010

Miracleman v.2 notes pt.III

The final part of my short series of thoughts on Alan Moore's Miracleman: The Red King Syndrome. Enjoy.

- Chapter 11: Scenes from the Nativity
o I believe this was my introduction to Rick Veitch, and at the time, I wasn’t that impressed. His work isn’t as refined as other artists, but I’ve grown to appreciate his work, and am a fan of the fluidity and naturalness that is part of his art. So glad to have him after Beckum/Austen. And that said, despite my misgivings on my initial reading twenty years ago, I did love that title page with Miracleman as Christ. That was just a beautiful image.
o PAGE 1: I really like the bottom tier where Liz is waking up, calling for Mike, we get the flashback to the “Miracledog” confronting Mike bathed in red, and then the other side of Liz’s face, terror etched there. Nice transition and great use of the comic page.
o Love the use of the jeep to transport Liz. It continues to keep the story grounded while also giving readers something they’ve never seen before, and it offers Liz a moment of pure joy after her experience in Paraguay with Gargunza.
o INTERLUDE: Who the heck are these guys. And, love the use of the Jedi mind trick.
o PAGE 10: Kid Miracleman’s ability to hide from these aliens as they peer into Bates’s mind foreshadows what is coming. He’s too powerful to remain stuck inside Johnny’s mind for much longer.
o Moore’s prose and Veitch’s artwork really capture what it’s like to be at the birth of one’s child. And to have this published in 1986 was groundbreaking (as foolish as it sounds).
o I really like how the voice over puts into perspective the smallness of Gargunza and his aims compared to the miracle that is life. (May sound corny, but it was true all three times I experienced the births of my sons)
o The small touches, as with most of Moore’s work, really elevate this story – in particular, the part where Miracleman says he uses his thumb nail to snip the umbilical cord.
o And – “Ma-ma.” What a great way to end the issue. Moore has lain the groundwork for this revelation (particularly with the opening of this issue) and soon we’ll get to see what it means to be the child of a superhero in this “reality.”

- Chapter 12: Bodies
o PAGE 1: The aliens are back, and they mention – for the first time – a female “Miracle” companion, whose hand is evident in the bottom left panel, and whose foot is seen at the top of the next page.
• I like how Moore includes the cat hunting the pigeons in the background as a symbol for these aliens as they prepare to hunt Miracleman and the other “Miracle” family members.
o PAGE 2: Whoa! This is bigger than we readers first thought. How many “change-bodies” are there?
• We can see Mike Moran in the middle, Dicky Dauntless obviously in the lower left, Johnny Bates in the lower right, the “Miracledog” just off panel upper left, and Miraclewoman just off panel upper right, though it may not be completely obvious yet.
o “Let us eat.” set next to the pigeon carcass is typical Moore, except that it doesn’t really add to the narrative like the meticulous work in Watchmen.
o PAGES 6-7: Kid Miracleman is unnerving. Not only does he have no problem throwing epithets at his younger self, but he’s happy that Johnny has shown the hospital that he is conscious. Why? It can’t be good.
o PAGES 8-9: I like how this and the previous two-page spread are laid out symmetrically. Reading through this spread, we can see that Winter is doing math with the rings hanging over her crib. And it appears she understands what her mother is saying when she is telling Mike that she feels depressed now that she has given birth and no longer has her baby insider her, at which point, Winter apparently makes her mother feel better. How? We don’t know. Could she be more powerful than her father?
• Foreshadowing: note that when Mike tells Liz that “Nothing will ever come between us,” he is holding hands with Liz, but in the middle of the picture below their hands is Winter’s hand. She – or at least the “Miracle” aspects of Mike and she – will come between Mike and Liz.
o PAGE 11: “Kim who?” That would be “Kimota,” and Miraclewoman is now in the picture, though we do not see her in this book, only the destruction in her wake as she flees these aliens. Which means, they must be pretty powerful, if we consider Miraclewoman to be on par with MM.
o And if we had any thought that Winter might be a tad “normal” the fact that at a week old she is eating solid food and has teeth should be the final clues readers need.


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