Marvel Comics teases adding Alan Moore’s Miracleman to the Marvel universe

Classic #1 assured “the future of the Marvel universe — revealed!” However the last pages of the comic might have offered readers a lot more than they anticipated, with an unexpected and considerable brand-new addition to the Marvel pantheon — from outside the Marvel Universe itself.

[Ed. Note: This post contains spoilers for Timeless #1.]

“I am Kang the Conqueror!” bellows the same, “The lives lost on Oracle Base are the barest fraction of the death-tally upon my name! I have seen millions die in my name and millions more cursing it!” in Timeless #1 (2021).

Image: Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy/Marvel Comics

The Classic one-shot — from author Jed MacKay and artists Kev Walker, Mark Bagley, and Greg Land — is framed around Anatoly Petrov, an aging historian hired by Kang the Conqueror as a type of sidekick/mortal mind to go agog at the Conqueror’s terrific works. Kang is Marvel’s resident time-traveling baddie, understood to appear under a variety of alternate code word at different points in his life time (Egyptian Pharaoh Rama-Tut in his prime, founding Young Avenger Iron Lad as a teenager, and common windbag Immortus in his retirement, among others). He just recently entered a lot more of a spotlight due to his intro in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Anyhow, in Classic, Kang takes Petrov on a journey through time and area to challenge the Physician Doom of a “pirate” timeline, and en route he offers the historian appealing glances of occasions (i.e., Marvel stories) quickly to come. However they all fade in contrast to the book’s last unforeseen bombshell.

On the comic’s last page, Petrov checks out over his journal of his journeys as he informs us, “But what stays with me most are the visions of the potential futures we saw on Oracle Base […] why is this particular vision imprinted on my mind?” And on the journal in front of him we see, clearly, the logo design of the hero Miracleman.

Who is Miracleman?

The blue, red, and gold-suited Miracleman on the cover of Miracleman: A Dream of Flying.

Image: Joe Quesada/Marvel Comics

Produced by British author and artist Mick Anglo in 1954, Miracleman (initially called Marvelguy, a name that was later on altered, paradoxically, to prevent friction with Marvel Comics) was an innovative effort by the British publishers of Fawcett’s Captain Marvel (a name that was later on altered to Shazam, to prevent friction with Marvel Comics) to continue putting out Captain Marvel-esque stories after Fawcett stopped publication. Hence, the brand-new character initially resembled his American equivalent in almost whatever other than for his name, his hair color, and the lack of a cape. [Ed. note: As for why there are two Captain Marvels, it’s a whole thing.]

Young press reporter Micky Moran came across an astrophysicist who approved him remarkable powers whenever he stated the word “Kimota!” (that is, “atomic” spelled backwards, with a K), turning him into the superhero referred to as Miracleman. Like his Shazam-speaking motivation, Micky quickly assembled his own household of travelers with the very same capability, consisting of Young Marvelman Dicky Dauntless, and Johnny Bates, the prepubescent Kid Marvelman.

Marvelman/Miracleman owes his long-lasting popularity not to those Atomic Age experiences, however to his landmark 1980’s revival under the pen of an up-and-coming author by the name of Alan Moore. In brief order, Moore exposed that whatever we, and bad Micky, understood about Miracleman had actually been completely incorrect.

Instead of an adventurous press reporter approved incredible powers, Moran remained in truth the victim of a private federal government program that had actually blended him and his young partners to ultra-powerful alien bodies — his pleasant Golden era experiences disappeared than a computer system simulation playing out in his head. Innocent little Johnny Bates, on the other hand, had actually been completely subsumed by his power-hungry alien change ego. In the run’s ruthless and notorious climax, Miracleman faces and eliminates Bates, in a fight that damages London, and the world is reconstructed in Miracleman’s image.

Working along with a series of artists (consisting of regular future partners Alan Davis, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben), Moore’s run was an early and critical workout in superhero deconstruction. The author left the series after that London fight, leaving his handpicked follower, an up-and-coming Neil Gaiman, to expand Miracleman’s brave brand-new world in a series of much shorter stories with artist Mark Buckingham.

Already, nevertheless, the book had actually currently bounced in between a series of little publishers, and in 1994 it eventually stopped publication entirely in a baffled mess of ownership conflicts. The stalemate wasn’t ended up until, following a claim, Gaimain got the rights to Miracleman and turned them over to Marvel Comics, which likewise got complete ownership of the character from its initial developer, British comics author Mick Anglo. All of which brings us to today’s most current twist in the Miracleman tale.

What’s the huge offer?

A man holds a book open to a page with the Miracleman logo. “Why is this particular vision imprinted on my mind?” muses a narration box, in Timeless #1 (2021).

Image: Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy/Marvel Comics

This isn’t the very first time Miracleman has actually turned up in a Marvel-published comic given that the business got control of the character. In 2014, Marvel started a series of reprints of timeless Miracleman product, consisting of Moore’s (with his name gotten rid of by demand, as is the author’s policy on work he’s composed however does not own the rights to). In 2019, Gaiman and Buckingham revealed that they had actually resumed work on their aborted run. However this marks the very first time that Miracleman has actually been clearly incorporated into a story along with characters from Marvel’s core universe.

That’s important, because Miracleman, like Watchmen, has become one of the touchstones of modern-age superhero comics. For better or worse, Miracleman was the very first of an era of dark subversions of superhero tropes that reverberated through the 1980’s and beyond. Its success established Moore’s talent for deconstructing superhero traditions when he pitched the comic that eventually became Watchmen to DC Comics. It’s managed to infuse itself into the creative DNA of writers from Frank Miller, to Mark Millar, to Donny Cates. That influence may not always have been beloved, but it’s impossible to overstate the role Miracleman has actually played in shaping the contemporary superhero landscape.

Marvel’s move is somewhat unavoidably reminiscent of DC’s much-ballyhooed maxiseries Doomsday Clock, which ran from 2017 to 2019 and likewise attempted to fit Moore’s Watchmen along with more conventional superhero characters. Plagued by delays, and met by a fan and critical reaction that was lukewarm to say the least, Doomsday Clock ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

How Marvel plans to integrate Miracleman, and what impact he will have actually on the future of their line, remains to be seen. Will he, like Conan and Angela before him, join up with the Avengers? Will fans approve? Will he finally, at long last, get to call himself Marvelman again? As Kang the Conqueror might state: Only time will inform.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.