Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miracleman 13

Read Miracleman 11-13. Glad I read 15 and 16 first. Knowing the payoff gives these issues a bit more weight. These early chapters lack the urgency, chaos, and power of the conclusion. However, they are very pretty and some of Moore's ideas are astounding.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and narration by Mike "Miracleman" Moran after he has essentially taken over the world and established a Utopian society. He rebuilds society using advanced technology provided by alien science and superhuman intelligence. Particularly interesting is how quickly Moore supposes these changes to occur, suggesting exponential development rather than linear.

We can easily recognize a lot of the concepts and ideas today from genetic engineering to cure medical ailments and provide physical and mental augmentation to communication advancements like the internet.

It reminds me a little of the way Jack Kirby's 70s work seemed to be set thirty years into the future -- from social problems like extreme wealth disparity (OMAC) and global police forces (OMAC) to advanced technologies like Motherbox (basically smart phones as seen in the Fourth World), life-like robotic companions (OMAC), and customizable virtual reality fantasy/gaming simulations (2001 - Comicsville).

At the end of Miracleman 13, Moore suggests one of the ramifications of this high-tech Utopia -- an inability to physically experience/express human emotion (an idea he hammers home in issue 16 when Miracleman's human wife rejects the chance to become superhuman, effectively ending their relationship). Moore's solution to this dilemma? A new vocabulary to digitally communicate sorrow and other emotional states ;-) OMG LOL (o_O)

This book was published in 1987. Twenty three years ago, Moore wrote a superhero comic that used ideas and concepts that have come to define many of our lives today, as captions and minor background filler. 

Who was reading this stuff at the time? And how did readers connect to/interpret these bizarre concepts and ideas at the time?  

(Motherbox iPhone screen design by Jasen Lex)

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