Saturday, 18 January 2014


Copied from Comics Appreciation:

In Eclipse Comics and again in Marvel Comics, a 1956 Mick Anglo Marvelman Family story is adapted as a Prologue to Miracleman. As I understand it, the writer of Miracleman changed some of the words but none of the art. For example, the opening words:

"PROLOGUE 1956 An age of lingering innocence, an age of golden dreams for the.. MIRACLEMAN FAMILY" (Miracleman, no 1 (New York, 2014), p. 1..."

- read like a rewrite.

The Marvelman Family story is a hopelessly inconsistent time travel story which, nevertheless, makes perfect sense in this context. (It will emerge that inconsistencies were deliberately built into the Family's early adventures to test their credulity and controllability.)

In the Prologue, the Science Gestapo attacks from 1981 whereas I am sure that, in the original, they came from many millennia in the future. However, this change makes sense because, in the 1980's, Miracleman will recall his adventures of the 1960's.

The story:

in 1981, the United Earth Government prevents Kommandant Garrer's Science Gestapo from enslaving the world;
the Gestapo travels in Chrono Cruisers to conquer instead the world of 1956;
a local compares the Chrono Cruisers to " rockets, just like in Dan Dare!" (p. 3), which strikes me as another rewrite;
Johnny Bates, happening along, transforms to Kid Miracleman and fights the invaders but more arrive so he goes at "...atomic speed..." (p. 4) for help;
Kid and Young batter the invaders who, however, recover unexpectedly quickly;
one trooper explains that the atomic storm troopers are arriving in other countries and we see them in Paris and Saigon;
Micky Moran reads stop-press news of the invasion and transforms to Miracleman;
the Miracleman Family and the Army subdue the first landing in Cornwall;
the Family split up to liberate Rome, Washington and Moscow, respectively;
the invaders in Cornwall recover and bombard the Army with "...rare magnetic gases from our secret video rings!" (p. 6) (words are sometimes used with no apparent knowledge of their meanings);
the Family returns to find fighting again in Cornwall;
Garrer orders his men to destroy the Chrono Cruisers, of which more are still arriving, so that he and his men cannot be returned to 1981;
leaving KM to fight in 1956, MM and YM travel " atomic speed..." (p. 8) to 1981 when they destroy the Chrono Cruisers before their departure, capture Garrer and hand him over to "...the Commander, Twelfth Area, World Police" (p. 10), who expresses no surprise and says that 1981 can now become a utopia;
ironically, MM hopes that he lives to see it;
in 1956, the atomic troopers fighting KM suddenly vanish!;
then, hearing MM's account, KM accepts instead that they were never there! - while MM jokes that "...that's the way it was...or was it?" (p. 10)


if the Chrono Cruisers had already arrived in 1956, then destroying them before their departure in 1981 could not possibly prevent them from having already arrived in 1956;
if the Cruisers had not arrived in 1956, then MM and YM would not have traveled to 1981;
and, if the Cruisers had arrived in 1956, then there is no reason why the troopers fighting KM should suddenly disappear at some later time;
please do not tell me that they disappeared in 1956 at the exact same time as MM and YM destroyed the Chrono Cruisers in 1981! (Please don't!)

However, thanks to the ingenuity of the writer of Miracleman, we now know exactly what is really happening here. Gargunza is thinking, "They can even swallow that!"

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