I’ve mentioned previously I have little or no memory of reading these issues the first time round, but this is one I vaguely remember as it’s a splendid piece of work by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham that stands up proudly even today.
The main story tells of Mors, the alien ally of Miracleman who is able to bring back the dead, hence why when we first meet him in this issue he’s speaking to Andy Warhol (or in fact one of several duplicates of him) who he wishes to help Emil Gargunza to this new world.
Obviously bringing back someone as exceptionally clever and dangerous as Gargunza is risky, but for now this is an evil scientific genius being paired up by an artistic genius, though Gargunza’s movements are severely restricted compared to the rest of the resurrected.
Gargunza and Warhol discussions are fascinating as the scientist finds out how much his creation has evolved, while Warhol sees Gargunza as someone he’s got more in common with than the rest of the duplicates Mors has created. Over the course of the story the pair discuss the state of capitalism, or indeed, the lack of it now that Miracleman has gotten rid of money. There’s also a meeting with Winter, Miracleman’s child, and a discussion of death.Their own deaths in fact.
At this point it’s probably time to discuss Marvel’s editing of the word ‘faggot’ from this panel that’s caused a wee bit of a controversy.
This is a ridiculous bit of censorship as Gaiman clearly is using the word within the context of a particular character, and it’s aimed at Andy Warhol in the story so it can hurt him. Replacing ‘faggot’ with ‘fairy’ reduces the power of what Warhol sees as a friend insulting him.I appreciate the weight of the word, but this sort of censorious attitude in art isn’t helpful.
As for this story it’s Gaiman’s first real classic in his run. It’s no more than a series of conversations and observations but it’s so brilliantly put together that each page is electric as we get sucked into the strange afterlife Mors has created. It’s also setting up how dangerous Gargunza is after death which is something that may, or may not, pay off later in Gaiman’s run.
Marvel’s packaging of these reprints of the Eclipse Comics originals are generally excellent, but I wonder why the original covers aren’t included in the bonus material? Anyhow, at the pace these reprints are going we’ll be at the new material by the turn of the year….