Neil Gaiman’s The Golden Age of Miracleman stories continues with a little story of paranoia which isn’t one of the finest stories in this run, but it does feature some truly exceptional art from Mark Buckingham.
It’s an interesting Cold War fantasy that possibly read better (as said in previous reviews, I have little memory of the Gaiman stories) in 1991 when the Berlin Wall had only just fallen, the Soviet Union had just collapsed and the Cold War had fizzled out. In 2015 it reads as a product of its time.
It’s odd to look at this sort of spy thriller as dated but in the very different geopolitical world of today it is, and it’s oddly quaint too. It seems civilised which of course it wasn’t but compared to today there’s an element that secret phrases and people dashing around in raincoats is terribly romantic.
The next story is Gaiman and Buckingham’s first Miracleman story that first appeared in Total Eclipse, a sort of Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that Eclipse Comics published in 1988/89. It was overwhelmingly terrible but their little story of Jason (the boy Marvelman met in the forest during the Alan Moore run in Warrior) losing his virginity and recounting how he managed to avoid being murdered by Johnny Bates because his mum sent him away to stay with an aunt.
These pages are lovely in their Pythonesque fun, but it darkens instantly when Jason discuss what Bates did in London.
It’s a lovely little story of hope, humour and horror that promised big things from Gaiman and Buckingham, not to mention it dropped hints in regards the tone and direction they’d take once they replaced Alan Moore who had only just had his final issue published by Eclipse.
As usual, Marvel ensure a good reproduction of the original art, and the extras include Mark Buckingham’s piece from the GLASCAC 91 programme which was a nice wee surprise. All in all though this all feels like a lull before the storm, which of course it actually is…..