Miracleman: The Golden Age

March 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

goldenMiracleman: The Golden Age by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham


By the time Alan Moore finished his run on Miracleman, he had pretty much said all he could about the superhero as god. Once the character had instituted his Utopia, once he had served as humanity’s savior, there wasn’t much left to say about the character. He opted to end writing the series, handing it over to Neil Gaiman to continue. Gaiman had established himself as a writer already with Sandman, and his writing style often focused on humans living among god-like beings. He was the perfect choice to pick up the series after Moore had established his post-modern take on the character.

As such, where Moore focused on the superheroes, Gaiman focused on the humans who lived among them. The Golden Age is a series of short stories, each looking from a different perspective at life in this new Utopia. We see a man whose search for perfection in beauty keep him isolated, a woman whose superhuman daughter creates more barriers than connections, and the capriciousness of the superheroes’ whims and how they affect real people. Each story is tied together by the end of the arc, and Gaiman includes throwbacks to events in the original series to anchor them as part of the series, but each story is different from the series that begat them.

The stories have less impact than Moore’s did, but that’s not to say they’re not effective. Moore and Gaiman have two distinctly different writing styles, and two different approaches to mythology. Where Moore wants to examine and deconstruct, Gaiman wants to examine and reflect. Despite their differences, the two styles complement each other well, because the human stories are the logical progression from the superhero stories.

With the Miracleman stories back in print, Gaiman has plans to continue writing the arcs that he had initially pitched when he took over the series from Moore. The Silver Age and The Dark Age will finally see print, after years of limbo and litigation, and we might even see new stories beyond Gaiman’s original vision. It will be interesting to see how the stories will compare to what’s already been published, since the Neil Gaiman of today is different from the Neil Gaiman of twenty-plus years ago. Still, for over two decades, the story has remained incomplete, and I’m excited to see how he will conclude the series.


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