Friday, January 16, 2015

Olivia's Pick of the Week: All-New Miracleman Annual #1

All-New Miracleman Annual #1
The Priest and the Dragon by Grant Morrison, Joe Quesada, Richard Isanove, and Chris Eliopoulous.
The Miracleman Family by Peter Milligan, Mike Allred, Laura Allred, and Travis Lanham.

It was a surprise to me how much I enjoyed reading this annual. The original writer on the Miracleman series has a writing style which I'm not particularly keen on and is why, more often than not, you'll hear me whine about this book on our podcast. Because the two stories in this annual are not written by the original writer, I found the characters and their stories a lot more interesting and entertaining. The stories still carried deep themes like the originals but I felt like the writings had more clarity to them.

The first story focuses on the character Johnny Bates a.k.a Kid Miracleman.

The entire story takes place on a beach and contains the interaction between a priest and Johnny Bates. The priest had noticed Johnny fall from the skies onto that same beach a few years back and it seems that Johnny wants to leave behind no witnesses to his existence, or at the very least, Johnny's connection to that place.

The artwork is lovely in both stories, but I'll lead with the first story which is titled, "The October Incident: 1966." The coloring shows melancholy with the amount of blues and purples used. Even though the characters clash in the story there isn't much tension except by use of the close-ups. I found it interesting the number of panels in this story that featured the two characters with their heads tilted down. The guys are protecting themselves from the rain but also like a shield from each other. The story didn't add too much to the character of Johnny Bates except it brought a strong religious tone and showcased him as an antichrist. This was a simple story and I liked it.

The second story showcased the Miracleman family and is titled, "Seriously Miraculous." I enjoyed reading this story the most. It was hilarious and absurd. Young Gargunza is in it and he's causing a lot of problems for the Miracleman family. My two favorite parts include Young Gargunza's laugh "huk huk" and the attack of the dolphins which just made me think about that episode of the Simpson's and the dolphins led by Snorky. To see a bunch of angry dolphins huddled around a campfire with spears in their grasps was the best. They looked so angry. Young Gargunza and Young Nastyman are basically wreaking havoc everywhere and the Miracleman family are trying to stop them and put everything back to normal. The story ends on a funny note which I liked because it alludes to the fact that the Miracleman family is in a fantasy world where no one can get seriously injured despite the destruction and violence that occurs in it. This is a fantasy world because all of this is in the pages of an actual comic book which is emphasized by the coloring style at the end.

This annual was so enjoyable. I was still laughing about Young Gargunza's laugh and the dolphins long after I finished reading this comic. It's a nice introduction to the characters, too, if you've never read a Miracleman story. There isn't a lot of back-story you need to know in order to enjoy what happens in this and I think that's great.

-O. Pelaez

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