Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

Miracleman, Book One: A Dream of Flying
This topic is about Miracleman, Book One
Group Monthly Discussions > 40th Book Club Discussion: Miracleman, Vol. 1: A Dream of Flying by Alan Moore - May 2015

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Robert Wright (rhwright) | 294 comments I am so glad this is back in print, even if I did have most of the US originals. I consider it my #2 favorite Moore work, behind V for Vendetta. Ponied up for all three hardcover reprints, too, even if Marvel could have done a much nicer job in that respect.

While I don't like some of Marvel's editorial excisions, I do think most of the redone colors look better than the originals without seeming jarringly modern.

message 2: by Ray (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ray (rayhecht) Excellent that it's back in print and new readers can (legally) finally read.

One of the first major superhero deconstructions.

A comparison to Watchmen seems valid. Watchmen was trying very hard to be realistic, considering the real world.

Miracleman was about a superhero in the real world, but more of a Captain Marvel archetype put in a setting that makes sense. Unlike Watchment, the whole world never dealt with costumed vigilantes yet.

No spoilers, but the revelations that come about about the background of Miracleman are very well done.

Definitive early Alan Moore which everyone must read.

message 3: by David (new) - added it

David Leslie | 16 comments This is one of the only highly thought Alan Moore books I haven't yet read(I was obviously hindered for years)but I am going to get the 3(I think)volumes.I just have a question for those that have already read this/these books.Can I go into this expecting 'Saga of the Swamp Thing vol1-6)tier 'Moore writing.When answering keep in mind his Swamp Thing is one of my top comic runs ever right up there with the amazing From Hell/Watchmen/Top 10/V for vendetta/L.O.E.G & so on.Is it on that level would u say??

Robert Wright (rhwright) | 294 comments David - This is classic Alan Moore. Written in the same timeframe as V for Vendetta. I think it ranks with Swamp Thing and all his great 80s work and, personally, I would put it above anything post-Watchmen.

Swamp Thing, I think, benefits from being a longer, more developed work, as Moore's run on it was 40+ issues. Also, he could build off of existing characters and associations there. You're not going to get that level of epic development in 16 issues.

L.O.E.G. (again, for me) quickly became a matter of diminishing returns.

Your mileage may vary.

message 5: by David (new) - added it

David Leslie | 16 comments Thanks for the reply Robert,Since it's a very early Alan Moore story which is some of his bestt/freest of his writing I'm defiantly picking it up.Like you I've found the later League books especially the final two Century series titles to be a let down & a poor pay off to vol1 of the century series,maybe it's because I loved '1910 so much after the black dossier which I thought was pretty average compared to the amazing original L.O.E.G books.I especialy missed the young eventual badass Captain Janni who I'd love to see her exploits as Captain Janni hopefully 1 day fingers crossed!"Above anything post Watchmen" is high praise indeed considering The Killing Joke/From Hell & and the superlative TOP 10 which is joint top spot with Watchmen(eventhough or more like because they couldn't be more diffrent,while Watchmen drips with pessomism for super/human kind, TOP 10 is 'Moore just loving having fun with superheros like I've never seen him do before with that much passion & love for the genre & its characters in a cop tv series type way)as my favourite superhero comics if all time.I consider 'Moores Swampthing to be more horror comics than superhero & that is my all time favourite Moore work.While I was already sold with Marvel/Miracleman you have just reinforced that so thank you!

Davidg | 34 comments Book one, chapter seven: Liz ".....some of its better than you'd expect but most of its crap"
She just nailed my feeling about the big two. I can't believe I didn't read this before now. The writing is incredible. I haven't read the above comments yet but I will join this conversation as soon as I finish the book.

Trike | 110 comments I didn't like this book much at all. The few cool moments that happen can't overcome the story's overall mess and the lack of character development.

Since I had no connection to this character, I never felt the tug of nostalgia when small bits of fan service popped up.

Robert Wright (rhwright) | 294 comments @Trike - to each their own, but I am not seeing the "mess" or character problems. Can you elucidate?

Admittedly, a lot of what is here is laying pipe for later issues, especially in the concluding Moore issues in volume 3. So it can feel like not much is going on. The portions that are collected from the shorter Warrior issues have a different pacing and can be a bit jarringly episodic in comparison.

Even more than Watchmen, I think, this story does a good job at placing fantastic characters in a real world. Moran's job and domestic situation felt very natural and had a great degree of verisimilitude. Then, the fantastic is injected into it. And the ramifications are much more real than the typical superhero paradigm. When they use their powers, it's like a natural disaster. Moran's relationships change. It's not just the typical Marvel-style "I'm Spider-man, but my life as Peter Parker still sucks" realism, but a step further than that.

One question that did come to my mind in this read through: Johnny Bates (Kid Miracleman) retained his powers and founded Sunburst Cybernertics. What was his plan before Miracleman reappeared? He hadn't publicly used his powers, that we know of. Was he just content to be a tech billionaire? Or was there some other plan in mind that got derailed? I don't remember this being brought up in later issues or explained.

Also, anyone notice how the idea around Bates growing up in his super-powered form while his younger form is in stasis has an obvious influence on Waid's use of Captain Marvel in Kingdom Come?

I guess that's why this story might seem run-of-the-mill from a modern perspective. So much of the thought Moore puts into the concept and its execution was groundbreaking at the time and has become common storytelling today. Personally, I still think it stands among the best and is better than most of what has followed in its wake.

Davidg | 34 comments I enjoyed this so much I rushed into reading the next two volumes. They were better than a lot of comics I read but I felt that they didn't live up to the promise of this initial series. I was absolutely gripped by the poetry of Moore's writing which I'd have to concede was quite overdone by volume 3.
The limitations of the artwork that had put me off reading this for so long did not take away from the exciting action scenes during his first encounter with Bates. In fact I don't think the art in this first volume could be improved upon.
Overall this volume was up there with the best superhero books I have ever read and its influence can be traced through many of my other favourites.

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