Short Box: Miracle Man: The Silver Age #7


Miracleman: The Silver Age


Release: Jan 17, 2024

Cover: Mar 2024


WriterMark Buckingham, Neil Gaiman
ArtistMark Buckingham
Cover ArtistMark Buckingham
ColoristJordie Bellaire

Back in 2017, I went to an appearance by Neil Gaiman at Wolf Trap, and I was annoyed that his announcement that he and Mark Buckingham would soon be continuing the “Silver Age” storyline in Miracleman was greeted with very little response. It seemed like I was the only one there excited at the prospect.

And now that it’s happened, I feel like not even I am excited about it.

Don’t get me wrong; I have enjoyed it a great deal. But it just seems as though there’s an enthusiasm gap for the whole thing. Since it launched, I haven’t really seen anyone talking about it. It just hasn’t generated any kind of buzz, which is odd, given Gaiman’s involvement, how eagerly anticipated it had been for decades, and how unlikely it seemed that it would ever actually happen.

The history of Miracleman is rather infamously litigious, with said litigation including the use of the original name – Marvelman – in the US, and involving Todd McFarlane and his comic Spawn, and several others, such as Gaiman, who had some claim on the rights to the character. The amount of litigation brings to mind the various court cases over Captain Marvel – the Shazam! version – which is only fitting, given how Marvel/Miracleman came into existence.

The end result of it all was that Marvel obtained the complete rights to the character, and shortly thereafter began reprinting Alan Moore’s1980s’ relaunch of the character, along with some of the classic stories, and then Gaiman and Buckingham’s follow-up.

But that ended in 2016, Gaiman’s announcement was in 2017, and The Silver Age didn’t hit the stands until 2022, so the lack of buzz may be a matter of Marvel not striking while the iron was hot, but I think it also has to do with the level of anticipation that had preceded its release not being sustainable. We waited so long, didn’t think we’d ever see it, and then when we did, it was a letdown. Not because it was bad, but because we were just worn out.

In any case, this is in danger of becoming a Long Box, so the basics: In the 1980s, a man named Michael Moran suddenly remembers that there’s a magic word that transforms him into the super-powered Miracleman, and the lost memories of his youth as a hero return with his powers. Soon, however, he discovers that those bright, colorful memories are all lies, and after one of his youthful compatriots goes on a rampage that horrifies the world, he and some newfound friends decide to remake the world into a paradise.

In The Golden Age, Gaiman and Buckingham took a look at life in that newly-made paradise, and hinted at the darkness growing within.

The Silver Age brings us the return of Dickie Dauntless, AKA Young Miracleman, whose last memories are 40 years out of date and largely false, and he finds himself unable to adapt to this brave new world that his friend and idol has built. This issue marks the end of that story, and we see that the darkness is continuing to grow, and so, up next is The Dark Age. (No Bronze Age for us; just skipping straight to the dark.)

As I said, despite the lack of enthusiasm, this is a solid run of comics, and it continues to build on the foundation laid out in some of my all-time favorite comics. The relaunch of the character is some of Moore’s best work in my opinion, and ranks up there with Watchmen for me.

There are likely many factors that have led to not much of anyone talking about it, but i think they should. The lack of buzz doesn’t mean it’s not buzz-worthy. This is me buzzing.

Born and raised in the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jon Maki developed an enduring love for comics at an early age.

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