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Monday, June 20, 2011

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Miracle Man #11

In a recent Comic Book Compulsive I wrote about the British comic Super Thriller #12 which featured the character Ace Hart the Atom Man. So naturally I went off on a digression about British superheroes and wrote about how in the 1950′s after Miracleman stopped production Mick Anglo created stories for the Spanish market about a superhero named Super Hombre. He then went on to resell the same altered strips to the British market, the character now called Miracle Man (in Dutch it was Mirakel Man, in Danish Mirakelmanden).

In my last Compulsive I wrote how I recently spent one night going through half a dozen unmarked DVR discs full of assorted downloaded comics; well on one of them I discovered that I actually had a copy of Miracle Man.

Miracleman #23, art by Barry Windsor-Smith.

Image via Wikipedia

Just to be sure we’re all on the same page I’m am not talking about that Miracleman

The Miracle Man in Fantastic Four #139 (Oct, 1...

Image via Wikipedia

…or this one, the villain from the Fantastic Four

…but rather the bare legged guy on the cover with the short sheeted cape and bullseye on his chest wearing the vaguely Buck Rogers looking leather space helmet (that also kind of looks like the one worn by Kyle Baker’s Al Space).

In reality he was young John Chapman who gains incredible powers upon touching the sun disc around his neck and saying the magic word ‘sundisc’.  Not to second guess the author but sun disc is two words plus even if it were one it doesn’t sound all that ‘magic’ to me.

The most interesting thing about Miracle Man is his junior partner.  If you went ahead and assumed he was called “Miracle Man Jr.” nobody would blame you, but here it’s where the comic gets creative.  Instead he’s called “Supercoat” because he gains Miracle Man level powers when he puts on a special formal suit jacket.

I understand that continuity wasn’t that big a deal for comics back then but not even the stories in this particular issue could get their story straight.  In the one called “The Stolen Diamonds” Supercoat also wears a junior version of Miracle Man’s outfit.

But in the next, “The Big Threat”, he doesn’t bother suiting up and goes off to battle evil in the icy void of outer space dressed for the opera.

For the record all we know about Supercoat is he works in some capacity for the Big Top Circus.  If he has a Christian name he certainly doesn’t use it.

The rest of the sixty-eight page come is filled with b&w reprints of American comics, specifically 60′s era Blackhawk comics.  Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just the exotic novelty of it, but I always like looking at black and white reprints of American comic books which were originally published in color.  So for no other than that I present “The Doomed Dogfight”, yet another handsome but really dull Blackhawks story drawn by Dick Dillin (I assume; I’m sure someone will be happy to correct me if I’m wrong) first published in Blackhawk #112.

In 1960 Mick Anglo started his own company, Anglo Comics and published nine issues of Captain Miracle.  He was a kid named Johnny Dee, who became Captain Miracle when he said “El Karim” (say it backwards).  There may not be anything particularly original about Captain Miracle, but you (and by you I mean me) have to admire the simple, elegance of his design, as opposed to the dog’s breakfast that is Miracle Man’s costume.

While searching for an image of that Captain Miracle I came across this Captain Miracle, a web comic that’s the creation of Jason A. Quest and Ozzy Longoria.

It’s an oddly super-Christian take on the Captain Marvel premise that pits “The Most Marvelous Mortal Man” against “villains” such as a peaceful half naked woman eco protester (you really don’t expect to see partial female nudity in a Christian comic).  As far as I can tell the only thing she’s guilty of is challenging the author’s worldview.

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One Response to “COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Miracle Man #11”

  1. Stephen Montgomery Says:

    Super Hombre/Miracle Man was not a Marvelman (note that the strip was called this and not Miracleman) adaption and, like you I’m sure the art is not by Mick Anglo. The symbol on his costume reflects the Sun Disk which he uses to turn into MM.
    Early issues of the British version were all MM and only later were DC fillers used.
    Great to find interest in old British heroes.

I.T.C.H is looking forward to your thoughts. Please, no flame. Thanks!

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