Marvelman / Miracleman
Real Name: Michael Moran
Identity/Class: (superhuman form) Mutant human; (normal human form) cyborg
Occupation: Ruler, former reporter
Affiliations: Miraclewoman; Warpsmiths, Firedrake, Young Marvelman
Enemies: Gargunza; Kid Marvelman
Known Relatives: Liz (wife); Winter (daughter)
Base of Operations: Olympus, built on the site of the ruined London, U.K.
First Appearance: Warrior #1 (Quality Communications Inc, March 1982)
Powers/Abilities: Incredible strength (able to lift hundreds of tons), superhuman speed and able to fly at around Mach 3. Invulnerable and able to survive in space without ill effect. Exceptionally intelligent beyond the human norm. Able to cause thunderclaps by clapping his hands.
History: Micky Moran, like his fellows Richard Dauntless and Johnny Bates, was chosen by the government to be used as a guinea pig in experiments employing alien technology salvaged from a crashed spaceship. The criterion for picking him was that he was an orphan, who would thus not be missed - as with his fellow victims his parents had been R.A.F. personnel killed during the War. The scientist Gargunza used the alien equipment to grow a mindless superhuman clone of Micky, and then dropped that clone into hyperspace. Then he implanted a device in the child's brain that could be triggered by a code-phrase (in his case "Kimota"), allowing the human child to swap places with the superhuman adult. Qualms about the controllability of these new beings stopped them being used in the field however; instead they were placed first in a sophisticated form of virtual reality, allowing them to live out bizarre adventures that checked their response to different situations (see the original version of this character - these were his adventures). Finally the government deemed their new creations too dangerous, and ordered their destruction.
The trio were awakened for the first time, and sent on a mission to stop an alien invader over the Atlantic. This invader was in fact a fake, being a flying facade concealing a nuclear device. When the trio were close enough, it was detonated. Marvelman survived, but was forced back into his adolescent human form, and rendered amnesiac. He was washed ashore remembering only his name, and after a spell in hospital he was adopted and lived a normal childhood, growing up to become a reporter, oblivious to his former existance, except for dreams of flying.
While reporting on a nuclear power plant, Mike Moran became a hostage in a terrorist seige. Under stress, he noticed the word "Atomic" spelt backwards in a glass door. Sensing the familiarity of it, he whispered it and transformed for the first time in decades. His superhuman form, stored in hyperspace, had not aged, and his memories (albeit the false ones of the V.R. world) came flooding back to him. After dealing with the terrorists, he set out to discover the truth to his past, eventually learns that those 'adventures' he recalled had only been dreams induced by government scientist Dr Gargunza. He also discovered that his old friend Johnny (Kid Marvelman) had survived the atomic blast unscathed, and grown up with no one to stop him using his powers for personal gain, leaving him a dangerous psychotic sociopath.
Comments: Created by Alan Moore, based on the original version created by Mick Anglo.
Ironically, considering that it was copyright problems that led to the creation of the original Marvelman, copyright infringement arguments were what caused Marvelman to be retitled Miracleman when Eclipse comics started reprinting in the States the revival strips from the British Warrior magazine in the 1980's, and what are now keeping him from being reprinted or reappearing.
Gary Leach was the original artist for the new version of Marvelman, who was substantially revamped and brought firmly into the real world. Alan Moore was the writer who revived the character of Marvelman for the Warrior Magazine, but eventually pressure from Marvel Comics regarding the name of the character caused the strip to be dropped. At the time the plan was to sort out the legal argument and then continue the story, but without the most popular strip, Warrior swiftly died. A deal with the US company Eclipse eventually allowed the story to be concluded, now retitled Miracleman. One strip, from Warrior #4, has never been reprinted anywhere else. Neil Gaiman took over from Alan Moore when the former had finished telling the stories he wanted to tell. Unfortunately Eclipse went into bankruptcy before he could conclude his story arc. Sometime later Todd McFarlane bought the rights to the Eclipse stable, and since he and Gaiman are in bitter dispute over creator's rights regarding characters Gaiman created for McFarlane's Spawn comic, it seems unlikely at present that we'll be seeing what Gaiman intended for us anytime soon. Pity.
CLARIFICATIONS: Should be confused with
Marvelman, the 1950's version of this character
Miracleman, what they called him in his American reprints
Not to be confused with
Miracle Jnr, the redrawn version of Young Marvelman
Captain Miracle, another Mike Anglo creation who was created using redrawn versions of this character's adventures
Miracle Man, Marko, a 1920's character
Miracle Man, a.k.a. Superhombre, yet another Mike Anglo creation
The Miracle Man, from Archie Comics
Kid Marvelman, the 1950's version of his friend and partner Johnny Bates
Kid Marvelman, the evil 1980's revival of Johnny Bates
Kid Miracleman, what they called the 1980's revival of Kid Miracleman in the U.S. to avoid lawsuits
Young Marvelman, the 1950's version of his friend and partner Dicky Dauntless
Young Miracleman, the 1980's revival of his friend and partner Richard Dauntless
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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