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Miracleman Book 1: A Dream of Flying (Anglais) Relié – 27 mai 2014


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36 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Out of the dark, he is coming... The night cowers and cannot conceal him..." 29 mai 2014
Par H. Bala - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Before inspired stuff like Swamp Thing, Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Tom Strong solidified Alan Moore as arguably the best comic book writer of his generation, two important early works of his - Miracleman (formerly Marvelman) and V For Vendetta - did the dirty work in establishing his rep. Back in the '80s, I had never come across anything like Miracleman, so unlike was it from the other comics I'd been collecting up to that point. Alan Moore hurled with force these stories that were dark and subversive and topsy-turvied the superhero mythos. I wasn't around in the early '60s and so had missed out on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creating their brand. So, for me, Miracleman was THE gamechanger, the big awesome mind f***.

Here's a bit of convolution: Eons ago DC sued Fawcett Comics, believing that Fawcett's flagship superhero, Captain Marvel, was a knockoff of Superman. Fawcett ended up discontinuing the Captain Marvel title. Thing was, this also killed the Captain Marvel reprints in the UK. In 1954 Mick Anglo created a British counterpart to Captain Marvel, named Marvelman, to fill in the gap. The Marvelman comic book had a lengthy nine-year run, ending in 1963, at which point the world forgot him. Until Alan Moore came along with a forceful reminder.

Mick Anglo didn't even try to be covert about his mimicking of Captain Marvel. Like the Big Red Cheese, young journalist Micky Moran invokes a magic word to transform himself into a near invincible superhero. Marvelman would also have sidekicks, Dicky Dauntless (a.k.a. Young Marvelman) and Johnny Bates (a.k.a. Kid Marvelman). His nemesis, Dr. Gargunza, would be very reminiscent of Dr. Sivana. The Marvelman family's exploits would be fairly innocuous and standard to superhero storytelling circa the 1950's.

In 1982, in a UK anthology comic book titled Warrior, Alan Moore presented a worn down, middle-aged Mike Moran, freelance journalist and chronic victim of bizarre dreams and excruciating migraines. Moran had been for years grasping at things beyond his ken, seeking a forgotten word, dreaming of flight. The revelation comes when Moran is endangered during the terrorist take-over of a nuclear facility. It's when he reacquires that one word which is the key harmonic to the universe. And he returns to godhood. It's a basic superhero set-up. But it's only the start. Alan Moore is about to shake up the establishment in earthquake proportions.

So, yeah, son, even before Watchmen, Moore had already redefined the superhero genre, had already had his way with the grim post-modern deconstruction schtick. It's a given that Marvel Comics' mutantdom is universally feared by ordinary humans. And Spidey has a running love/hate relationship with the public. Moore, however, made the public's dread of superheroes a palpable, logical thing. Say you see someone with Marvelman's ridiculous power sets. Say you see him and an equally-endowed adversary facing off, and even playing catch with a baby, and exhibiting all-around recklessness and seeming disdain for bystanders and surroundings. You just may drop a load in your shorts. Alan Moore gives us the real ramifications of super beings walking in our midst. It's scary stuff.

I remember my excitement at Moore's inaugural story arc. It had elements of sublime horror that foreshadowed Moore's stint at Swamp Thing. The story unfolds with an escalating sense of dread and oppressiveness. It's adult storytelling that firmly shies away from kiddish tropes. In light of this, it's hard not to snicker at that astrophysicist with the inside track on the key harmonic to the universe (so crucial to Marvelman's 1950's origin). The big bad of Moore's first arc is straight up terrifying and what he's been up to up until 1982 blew my mind when I first read it. Moore also introduces a disturbing triangle amongst Moran, his wife Liz, and Miracleman. The wedge-driving question surfaces as to whether Moran and his alter ego are the same person after all.

To up the cool factor, we learn of the Spookshow, a branch of British Air Force Intelligence that is perhaps intimately tied in to the Miracleman family. As a nod to the cheesy comic book tropes he'd been subverting, Moore introduces Big Ben, the bowler-hatted Man with No Time for Crime. Big Ben, on the surface, seems a fun if flaky character. But the plot digs deeper in and informs you of how cloaked in tragedy he really is.

The artists are Garry Leach and Alan Davis, and their contributions cannot be spurned. As instrumental as Moore in conveying that sense of realism, Leach and Davis draw characters that look like real people. Miracleman isn't musclebound, isn't ever caught in over-the-top poses. The naturalness of his gestures and movements captures how effortless it is for him to do these amazing things and gives you an inkling, without beating you over the head, of how powerful he truly is. The spectacular action beats are staged seamlessly in convincing low-keyed backdrops, and this allows you to buy into the improbable. It's awesome doodling, yo. I do prefer Leach's work by a smidge. His stuff is more gritty, plants you more solidly in reality. Davis' is more stylish. Word is that Davis took over from Leach because Leach was such a perfectionist he was jeopardizing the comic's scheduling release.

How's this for irony? Marvelman became Miracleman, thanks to Marvel Comics getting antsy and crying name infringement. But at the 2009 San Diego ComicCon, Marvel announced that it had purchased the rights to Marvelman. I'd been in an extended sulk over all the infighting within the industry that cast Miracleman in decades of legal limbo, but that's done now. Even though I own Eclipse's 1990 trade (also titled Miracleman Book One: A Dream of Flying), I'm happy to own this Marvel trade, as well. Mainly, because it's a promise to you and me that this series will continue on and that Neil Gaiman, now unmuzzled, can finally finish off that story he'd been rarin' to tell. This volume from Marvel Comics reprints Miracleman issues #1-4, (which in turn reprinted stories from Warrior #1-11). New contents include 3 or 4 back-up stories. "The Yesterday Gambit" (originally published in Warrior #4) features a temporal leap forward with Miracleman and a Warpsmith. "Cold War, Cold Warrior" (Warrior #9-10) and "Ghost Dance" (A1 #1) feature the Warpsmiths - an aloof, cosmic, peacekeeping, teleporting alien species - who would figure much later in Miracleman's Olympus arc. I can't remember if "Saturday Morning Pictures" - originally used in Quality's Marvelman Special #1 - was included in Eclipse's 1990 trade. It's in this one, though, and acts as a coda to Moore's "A Dream of Flying" arc. In this story, cleaning personnel tidy up the ruins of the Project Zarathustra bunker and end up viewing video tapes about the Miracleman family. It's essentially a framing device that Quality's Marvelman Special #1 used to reprint material from Mick Anglo's original run.

Further bonus contents (heck, half this book is bonus stuff):

- a crapload of Garry Leach's pencil preliminary roughs and sketches, concept designs, color originals, pinups, and one promotional flyer
- reprints various Warrior covers
- reproduces a vellum overlay that provided the printer with instruction on handling the logos and design for the cover of Warrior #2
- reproduces a selection of Leach and Davis's original full-paged artwork for various Warrior issues and Davis' page 1 of "Saturday Morning Pictures" from Marvelman Special #1 (in pencil, India ink and Letratone on illustration board)
- house ads for Marvelman Special #1 reprinted from Warrior #11 and #20
- 2-page layout of Leach's pencil underdrawing to the A1 #1 cover, followed by a 2-page layout of the final A1 #1 cover painting
- reprints covers by Leach, Davis, Mick Austin
- reprints variant cover art to Miracleman #1-4 (2014) by a host of other artists
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wait for the Omnibus 19 juin 2014
Par Max Michaels - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I've been waiting for a new Miracleman/Marvelman collection for years, and while this edition has beautiful coloring, an extensive bonus section, and a wonderful new cover by Alan Davis, I'll be passing on future volumes in this cheap, hardcover format. This volume has some serious production issues. The pages are thin and wavy, the book doesn't lay flat, and the trim size is too small. Marvel already has an oversized hardcover model in place, so I'm not sure why they didn't choose to present this material closer to its original size as it appeared in WARRIOR. I've waiting a long time for this story to come back in print, I can wait longer for a more durable and quality format.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Alan Moore's Best Work 28 mai 2014
Par Ty De Long - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is the best work in the superhero comics medium. I'm not going to go on about the book, there are plenty of places where you can read about Miracleman (or Marvelman).

I owned the complete Warrior series and sold it.
I owned the complete Eclipse series and sold it.
I've longed to reread these stories for 7-8 years.

Now I get to do it--and it is far more beautiful than it has ever been.

I was planning on only ordering the hard cover books as they were published, but I am making my way to my local comics shop for the first time in years to buy the monthlies. The monthlies offer many more extras, but these books don't really need the extras. Don't let anyone spoil these stories.

Honestly--this is as good as comics get.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Kimota! 31 mai 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Even if you don't view these issues within the context of the troubled legal history that preceded them, there's no discussion; you just buy the book. Why? It's nothing short of a masterpiece. Alan Moore was still cutting his teeth in the industry when his reinvention of Miracleman (formerly Marvelman) hit the scene, and it's quite obvious in the first few pages that Moore has always possessed an uncanny insight that bleeds into every word he writes. He's a born storyteller, not to mention a consistent game changer.

I won't spoil details of the story because the whole thing needs to be experienced by the reader firsthand, but the basic setup is a seemingly average man coming to grips with the fact that he used to be a courageous, squeaky-clean Golden Age superhero in the 1950's. Those memories have been suppressed for ages, but once he gets back into the swing of things, his whole world takes an increasingly dark and complex turn for the worse. This particular volume sets the stage and introduces most of the key players like any good first installment; just know that it's a mere appetizer for the epic, mind-blowing and deeply unsettling issues that will crop up in the next two volumes.

It's so great to see Alan Moore's Miracleman returning to the collected trade format. It's like being able to see Citizen Kane again if it was shunted off to a dark vault, smothered in legal red tape for decades. The format of this volume is very impressive, and it's loaded with some neat extras, but it's apparent that some compromises had to be made to put these stories back into readers' hands for a reasonable sum of money. For instance, Alan Moore is not identified as the writer anywhere in this book; he's just credited as 'The Original Writer'. The omission of Moore's name threw me initially, but once you crack that book open and start reading, you know whose work this is. The coloring is a little smoother and more vibrant in these pages, but I actually liked the coloring scheme in the old issues. Still, it's a minor quibble because the writing still makes a powerful impression.

Lastly, there are a couple of filler stories that follow the conclusion of Book One. They were written by Alan Moore, but they're definitely not necessary as far as the main narrative is concerned. Just skip these and dive into the second volume when it's released later this year. If you have read these stories before but couldn't stomach paying a couple hundred bucks for the original trades, you owe it to yourself to collect these reprints. If you haven't experienced Alan Moore's Miracleman yet, you're in for a helluva treat.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Behold I teach you the superman; he is this lightning; he is this madness! 2 février 2015
Par E. David Swan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
If you enjoy comics and have never read Alan Moore’s Miracleman you have missed out on one of the greatest comic series of all time. I read this series when it was reprinted and colorized by Eclipse Comics back in 1985 and it was a revelation. Even at 15 I knew I was reading something special but during the 80’s Alan Moore was producing miraculous stories at a blistering pace. There were moments from the series that burned burned themselves into my brain including the campy image of the 1950’s Miracleman (Marvelman) that grew closer and closer set to a quote from Nietzsche, “Behold I teach you the superman; he is this lightning; he is this madness!” In over 35 years of comic collecting it is one of the most indelible memory I have of any comic moment.

Make no mistake, Miracleman IS Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel. If Captain Marvel was born from the success of Superman, Miracleman is a carbon copy. The only reason the Marvelman publishers were able to get away with it was because the comics were only being published in Britain and Fawcett was unfortunately done with Captain Marvel thanks to DC Comics. The history of Marvelman/Miracleman is long and interesting and involves more than a few lawsuits and questions of ownership that lasted long after Alan Moore revived the character in 1982. Miracleman is THE greatest Captain Marvel story ever told and perhaps the greatest superhero deconstruction of all time. Comic deconstruction is all over the place nowadays but in 1982 Alan Moore was blazing the trail and all these years later Moore’s story hasn’t lost a bit of effect.

The material is near perfection, it’s in the presentation where things are lacking. Volume one is 176 pages but only contains the first three issues. The rest is all filler. There is a short story that wasn’t published by Eclipse and another 17 page story that doesn’t even feature Miracleman at all. The stories are written by Alan Moore (listed as “The Original Writer” since he didn’t allow Marvel to use his name) but they still feel like filler. Readers then get nearly 60 pages of original artwork. Now I’m a big fan of extra material but it should NEVER constitute over half the book. It was probably done this way because they first three comics constituted the first story arc but it still feels like the book is really light on the content I wanted.

The biggest problem for me is in the binding. The binding is very tight and you have to open the book up wide in order to see the text and images near the inside of the spine. If the stories here weren’t so fantastic I wouldn’t bother with this collection because I really think the book binding is inferior and makes it difficult to enjoy the stories to their fullest. It also bothers me that Alan Moore wouldn’t lend his name to this collection although I get the impression that his stated reasons may no longer be valid. I wish Miracleman would get a better presentation but if this is the best we can get than I guess so be it.
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