Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age review

Marvel’s making a big push for Miracleman, launching a # 0 issue and reprinting some of his classic stories by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham. That includes Miracleman Book One: The Golden Agecollecting Miracleman # 1-6. This latest collection does not feature Miracleman as a central character; instead, it captures the identity of the world remade by Miracleman in a strange future where there is peace and prosperity. It’s a compelling graphic novel and ahead of its time due to its approach and boldness in exploring the human psyche.

Given what we know about human nature, the world detailed in Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age won’t last. However, before it falls apart, Gaiman and Buckingham explore it through multiple personalities and observations in this anthology series. The stories in this collection were originally published in 1985, with the events taking place in 1987 and into the early ’90s. It’s helpful to know when these stories were made since many of the characters are observing a perfect world at a time of great unrest. The Cold War was still going on, and the fear of nuclear war was present in people’s minds. The idea of ​​an idealized perfect future was very far from anyone’s mind.


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Sadly, a perfect future continues to be far out of reach, making it relatively easy to relate to these characters. Much of the stories in this collection feature very human people trying to observe or be closer to Miracleman or other super beings. The opening story features four people who ascend steps that go on seemingly forever to meet the deity of Miracleman. One at a time, they are asked why they have come, and some are lefted while others are given what they disappoint ask. The world may be made perfect, but it is not perfect for every living experience.

Miracleman is a kind of god with his own church.
Credit: Marvel

These tales are about as indie as they get in comics, with captions ranging from bits of dialogue as Miraclewoman speaks to a man she’s made her lover to the internal monologues of Andy Warhol. The stories are inventive, creatively designed, and go at their own pace. The last detail is important because a few of these stories move at a glacial pace. I sometimes found it hard to care about these characters, as if I were listening in on strangers’ conversations rather than following a story or journey expecting a satisfying result or climax.

Willingham’s art is exceptional and ahead of its time in many respects. The opening story uses sliced-up panels that are longer than they are wide to capture the singular journey of a man who sees no end in sight as he seeks to speak to Miracleman. In another, there’s an unmistakable comic strip style, and the artist plays with the cartoonish version of the characters that eventually turn into high-detailed versions.

The name of the game for the Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age collection is immersion, as Gaiman and Buckingham are exploring what it would be like living in this utopian world, or at least in a world where a godlike man rules. If you’re interested in Miracleman, it’s worth dabbling with this collection as it helps convey a certain mindset that’s incredibly unique and, at times, vivid. I recommend reading the previous Miracleman stories before diving into this or doing some research. In many ways, this collection is like an add-on or an additional way to experience the character and its world.

'Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age' is a creative look at a unique world

‘Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age’ is a creative look at a unique world

Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age

The name of the game for the Miracleman Book One: The Golden Age collection is immersion, as Gaiman and Buckingham are exploring what it would be like living in this utopian world, or at least in a world where a godlike man rules. If you’re interested in Miracleman, it’s worth dabbling with this collection as it helps convey a certain mindset that’s incredibly unique and, at times, vivid.

There’s no mistaking the creativity with visuals and perspectives is at a high bar here

Compelling approach to show us a world through the humans that inhibit it while a superhero-god rules everything

The art is exceptional and stands up against the test of time

Some stories are glacially slow and hard to get into

More of a side-project to understand the world rather than a good starting place for Miracleman stories

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