Miracleman, Book Two: The Red King Syndrome by Alan Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When his pregnant wife is kidnapped by Dr. Gargunza, Miracleman and Evelyn Cream go looking for her. But what is the sinister connection between Gargunza and Miracleman and what plans does Gargunza have for his wife?
The Red King Syndrome collections issues 5-10 of Miracleman, some of which I have vague recollections of reading at some point.
Book Two further deconstructs Miracleman's origins as Captain Marvel's bastard son of sorts. In this case, Doctor Sivana is a short Mexican scientist with thatch of black hair and much more practical plans. Miracleman's origin is further explored. Meanwhile, it seems that Johnny Bates might not be the vegetable we all thought he was.
Back in the day, I bought comics from Mile High Comics whenever I could scrape together enough money for an order. My twelve year old self was puzzled why I would need to be over eighteen to buy Miracleman #9. After reading it, I'm not so puzzled. That was one graphic childbirth scene!
The brutality in Miracleman surprises me. In the last decade or so, we've seen Black Adam and Superboy Prime punch the heads off of more Teen Titans members than I can count and Hyperion inflict mass destruction in the pages of Supreme Power. Pfft! Miracleman was doing that shit in the early days of the Reagan administration. Miracleman does a fantastic job of showing what would happen if Superman-level beings existed in the real world.
People like to point to Watchmen and The Dark Knight as the comics that made everyone go darker. After reading the first two volumes, I contend that Miracleman was that comic instead. Four out of five stars.
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