Miracleman #0 featured Reviews 

“Miracleman” #0

By | October 7th, 2022
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

Miracleman is back.

For those of you who know what that means, yes he really is back and it’s been a long time coming.

For those of you who don’t know what that means, here’s the Cliff Notes. He was created in the 1940’s as a British copy of DC’s Shazam and became a formative influence on Alan Moore, who wound up writing a story in 1982 where he honed his skills as the master of deconstructionist superheroes.. The story was later taken over by Neil Gaiman, but that was put on hold when the book’s publisher Eclipse Comics went bankrupt and allegedly sold the rights to the character to Todd McFarlane. The rights got mixed up in a massive legal battle (long story), but in 2013 Marvel announced that they now owned the rights to the character and that Mr. Gaiman would finish the story he started years ago.

But before that, we have a special extra long zero issue from Marvel, let’s see if it was worth the wait.

Cover by: Alan Davis and Alejandro Sanchez
Written by Neil Gaiman, Ryan Stegman, Mike Carey, Peach Momoko, Zack Davidsson, and Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Ryan Stegman, Ty Templeton, Paul Davidson, Peach Momoko, and Leinil Francis Yu.
Inked by Ryan Stegman and JP Mayer
Colored by Jordie Bellaire, Sonia Oback, Antonio Fabela, and Sunny Gho
Lettered by Tod Klein, VC’s Joe Caramanga, and VC’s Ariana Maher

Forty years ago, Miracleman’s modern era began and changed the world of comics as we know it. Now, on the cusp of a new era of Miracleman, we celebrate all things Kimota with a who’s who of the best talent in the industry! Plus, Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham set up this issue and their return to MIRACLEMAN: THE SILVER AGE!

In the vast and beautiful Library of Olympus, Miracleman is bored. His mind drifts from the toils and efforts of the mundane and he craves fiction and works of imagination. Fortunately, dear reader, he has decided to include us on his journey so sit back, relax, and enjoy the lessons of fiction, which for some bizarre reason seems to involve stories steeped in Miracle Man’s own mythology.

“Miracleman #0” isn’t the start of some grand adventure or introduces the villain of an upcoming story, it’s presented very simply as a collection of comic books that are being read by a literal god. As a result, the book is a sort of anthology series of different Miracleman stories told in different styles by different creative teams, they even have ads and short little comic strips that you might find in a published anthology such as 2000AD. As a result, going through each story would take too much time and space, but on a whole there is a fantastic line up of talent in this comic with Neil Gaiman creating the framing device for the book and writers Ryan Stegman, Mike Carey, Peach Momoko, and Jason Aaron providing the stories in the middle of the book. The stories are nicely varied to include things like an intergalactic private eye thriller, a body horror story, and a psychological drama about a writer who is actually Miracleman himself. While the different stories mean that each reader is going to have their own personal preference, they’re all very well written and carry on the grand modern Miracleman tradition of being extremely dark and bloody. This is the hero that helped kick off the Dark Age of Comics and it shows.

While the stories of “Miracleman” #0 are all very well written, they do suffer from the same problem, namely that you really have to know a lot about Miracleman and his history to really understand what’s going on. Now, for longtime fans of the character this isn’t going to be a problem, and it’s actually quite refreshing to see a comic book that doesn’t worry about pandering to an audience that doesn’t know what’s going on, but potential new readers are going to be very confused if they don’t know what “kimota” means (it’s “atomic” spelled backwards and is supposed to be the word that Miracleman says when he wants to turn into a hero, Like I said at the beginning, he’s a copy of Shazam) and it presents a whole backlog of characters that they don’t bother to explain. It’s not too much of a problem, a simple Wikipedia search should tell you most of what you might need to know, but it is there and might be an issue if you don’t know the characters or the history.

Continued below

Just like the writing in “Miracleman” #0, the art work is incredibly varied and everyone seems to understand just how special this whole thing is, because the art is gorgeous across the board. Once again, Marvel breaks out a lot of heavy hitters, including Mark Buckingham, Leinil Francis Yu, and Paul Davidson. Two fantastic highlights are Peach Momoko, who uses her signature Japanese style to deliver on the gruesome body horror story and Ty Templeton, who is a highlight of the book and delivers some fun little Miracleman cartoon strips that are inspired from old strips such as Winsor McKay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s strip Life in Hell. It’s a widespread and wonderfully varied collection of artwork from some fantastic creators and is a definite highlight of the book.

When you take all the history and legal trouble behind the creation of a book like “Miracleman” #0, it’s kind of funny that the very existence of this book is a miracle in and of itself. This is a creative work that has been a passion for some of the greatest comic book creators of the 20th century and now it is finally coming to shelves for readers to enjoy. It makes sense that Marvel would have pulled out all the stops to make this happen, and that an issue like this would look amazing and read even better.

Final Verdict: 9.2- While you might have difficulty understanding what’s going on if you’re a new reader, its simple existence as a book is a miracle and worth checking out.

Matthew Blair

Matthew Blair hails from Portland, Oregon by way of Attleboro, Massachusetts. He loves everything comic related, and will talk about it for hours if asked. He also writes a web comic about a family of super villains which can be found here: https://tapas.io/series/The-Secret-Lives-of-Villains