''Miracleman'' (originally ''Marvelman'') refers to two separate, yet related, creations, the second based on the first.

'''Version One'''

A 1950s homegrown British CaptainErsatz of {{superhero}} [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] (himself an {{Expy}} of {{Superman}}), created by Mick Anglo, published by L. Miller and Son, Ltd.

Michael Moran, Johnny Bates and Dicky Dauntless were three young boys who on saying a particular "magic word" became Marvelman, Kid Marvelman and Young Marvelman respectively. Like Captain Marvel, they had a series of adventures with often fantastic and absurd settings with Dr. Gargunza being their arch-enemy (Gargunza is an {{Expy}} of Dr. Sivana, Captain Marvel's recurring arch-enemy).

The origins of Marvelman is convoluted. In the early fifties, the perceived similarities between Superman and Captain Marvel led to a famous legal battle between Fawcett Comics and DCComics. L. Miller held the rights to reprint the American ComicBook Captain Marvel in the UK but the legal hurdles in America meant the end of material for them to reprint and distribute to the local market. Since the comics were highly popular, they decided to commission a CaptainErsatz of Captain Marvel. Mick Anglo developed Marvelman and his Supporting Cast and villains in the course of his adventures which lasted 350 weekly issues, between 1954 to 1963. Marvelman became popular as young men's reading material and its bright color adventures were considered refreshing in England during TheFifties.

'''Version Two'''

->''"Behold... I teach you the superman: He is this lightning... He is this madness!"''
-->-- '''Creator/FriedrichNietzsche''', ''Thus Spake Zarathustra''

The Creator/AlanMoore version, from the 1980s, later continued by Creator/NeilGaiman.

A young Alan Moore was one of the readers of the original Mick Anglo run and in one of his first interviews, he stated a desire to write the long discontinued title, hoping to do a fresh spin for modern audiences. Word of Moore's intentions reached Dez Skinn, publisher of Warrior magazine. Skinn had gained the rights to Marvelman and had entertained ideas to bring it back into print. It was with ''Marvelman'' that Moore started what became part of his SignatureStyle. Take a previously unknown character, RetCon its origins and submit its premise to a GenreDeconstruction. His work with ''Marvelman'' attracted a great deal of attention and this later led to work with DC on titles like ''Comicbook/SwampThing'' which also radically changed the character from the ground-up.

Moore's run on Marvelman essentially covers three separate long story arcs. The first arc is largely an "origin" story dealing with a grown-up, HappilyMarried Michael Moran who works as a reporter and has dreams of life as a "superhero" but has forgotten his magic word. He rediscovers it ("Kimota") at an atomic power plant and becomes a superhero in the grim 80s of Thatcher's Britain. The DrivingQuestion of the first story is the circumstances of Michael Moran's existence, the tension in his marriage caused by having two different identities in a single body and his reunion with childhood acquaintances, Johnny Bates("Kid Miracleman") as well Dr. Emil Gargunza. The second arc dealt with him meeting Miraclewoman, a DistaffCounterpart and takes the series into a cosmic direction as Miracleman goes to outer space and meets aliens with similar powers and abilities as him.

Sadly, Warrior stopped publication about one-third through his run; the series would have remained lost and unfinished if not for Eclipse Comics, who offered to buy the US rights to the property and let Moore finish the series. Unfortunately, MarvelComics was not thrilled with Moore and the fact that his character was called '''Marvel'''man. So the character was changed to Miracleman. Miracleman debuted in 1984 to rave reviews, though there would be many problems to come in the course of its publication history: Eclipse Comics had its corporate headquarters destroyed in a flood and Alan Davis (the original artist for the series) left over the fact that Moore's antagonistic relationship with MarvelComics threatened to get Alan Davis blacklisted from working stateside.

Several artists were called in to draw the rest of Moore's run (along with an issue that reprinted classic Miracleman stories, something that the book's editor replied was only being done because of the aforementioned flood), among them Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch of Swamp Thing fame and Chuck Austen (yes, THAT Chuck Austen). The third part of the series, drawn by John Totleben, was ''Olympus''. This celebrated story arc led the series to undertake a GenreShift into CosmicHorror and science fiction as Moore started to explore Miracleman's drift from humanity. He ended his run with the memorable final two issues of 15 and 16, memorable for the hitherto unseen levels of violence depicted in superhero comics. Alan Moore's run would be followed by Creator/NeilGaiman, who sought to write a trilogy of [[StoryArc story arcs]] beginning with ''The Golden Age'' continuing on with ''The Silver Age'' and ending with ''The Dark Age''. Though ''The Golden Age'' arc was concluded, the book was cancelled again shortly after the commencement of ''The Silver Age'' with the collapse of Eclipse Comics. Gaiman's story has remained unfinished to this day.

With the collapse of Eclipse Comics, the rights to the series fell into legal limbo hell, made worse with [[{{Spawn}} Todd McFarlane]] buying up ownership of Eclipse Comics assets when the company went down. [=McFarlane=] drew much controversy in his desire to incorporate Miracleman into the Spawn universe and holding usage of the character and the chance to finish his story as blackmail material to force NeilGaiman (who, thanks to Alan Moore, had partial legal ownership claim to the character) in exchange for Neil giving up his long-standing legal fight over ownership of popular Spawn character Angela and claims to royalties that were being withheld from by Todd. However, it would be for naught as it was revealed that the real rights were held by Mick Anglo, who, due to a various number of loopholes with the British copyright system, had never signed away his rights to the characters and that the deal with Alan Moore for usage of the character for Warrior and Eclipse Comics was invalid. This allowed, ironically, for MarvelComics to cut a deal to buy the rights to the entire franchise from Anglo (as well as the scripts to the 80s comic series, as the artwork has to be renegotiated since Gaiman still owned the rights to the Miracleman scripts).

As part of their deal and as a means to help out Anglo (who never saw a dime for his character in the years after Moore revitalized him and was terminally ill), Marvel republished several trade paperbacks of the original 1950s Miracleman series (now Marvelman again) in hardcover and mini-series format. This in turn brought back into the spotlight many characters that Anglo created that were abandoned by Moore in his revival, most notably Nastyman and Young Nastyman, a pair of [[{{Expy}} Black Adam Expies]]. Marvel also is said to have a verbal commitment with Neil Gaiman to let him complete his Miracleman story once the artwork rights issues are resolved. Thanks to the myriad copyright controversies, physical copies of ''Marvelman''/''Miracleman'' are extremely hard to find. An online archive of all the Moore/Gaiman stories, however, can be found [[http://miraclemen.info/ here]]. It was revealed at NYCC in October, 2013 that Marvel had fully acquired the rights to Miracleman and, beginning in January 2014, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman's issues began to be reprinted and reissued. In addition, Gaiman will complete the story left unfinished twenty-five years ago.

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!!Tropes included:
* AllJustADream: In just the first few issues of the Creator/AlanMoore run it's revealed that [[spoiler:the ''entire'' 1950's-60's run of Miracleman was just an elaborate dream induced simulation created by Miracleman's government handlers.]] Invoked in-story, too, by Gargunza in order to [[spoiler:cleverly stop the Miracleman family from waking up in the real world]].
* AntiVillain: Evelyn Cream.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Originally, Marvelman transformed by saying a formula for the "key harmonic of the universe," whatever that might mean, that just happened to be "atomic" spelled backwards [[XtremeKoolLetterz and with a K]].
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: [[spoiler:Subverted horribly by Kid Miracleman. Upon his escape from the hospital, he spares the only nurse who was kind to him during his stay. He then returns and obliterates her head while she is still smiling in relief at being spared.]]
* BenevolentAlienInvasion
* BewareTheSuperman
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Though self-evidently much more "good" than his antagonist, Miracleman neither acts according to merely human ethics or morality nor gives lip services to it.
** BlueAndOrangeMorality: He starts out with BlackAndWhiteMorality when he regains his powers, then moves to BlackAndGrayMorality and finally arrives at this, seeing himself as the {{Ubermensch}} and beyond human morality.
* BusFullOfInnocents: Quite literally, but subverted in that [[spoiler:Miracleman himself throws it]].
* CanonDisContinuity: The earlier Marvelman adventures happened [[spoiler:only in a kind of LotusEaterMachine.]]
* CityOfSpies: Features in a short story later in the series.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: As Miracleman disconnects from humanity more and more, he starts to do this in regards to people's reactions.
* ContinuityReboot: Moore's version of Miracleman shows that Moran's previous adventures were all part of an elaborate attempt by Dr. Gargunza to control him.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Moore's interpretation.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Moore developed a lot of the themes of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' first in his run of ''Miracleman'' and indeed the latter was described by him as the end of his series tackling with superhero myths. In ''Miracleman'' he tackles the conflict between boring civilian identity and the superhero identity, the wider social effect superheroes can have on the world and the AscendedFridgeHorror of a superhero-supervillain dust-up.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Magnificently lampshaded after [[spoiler: Dr. Gargunza's death. "I threw him at a planet."]]
* EnemyMine: The threat of [[spoiler: Miracleman overseeing the planet as a "god"]] is enough that both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists join together in its wake. However, there's not really much they can do about it.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: When Michael recognizes that Johnny Bates has been still super all along, Bates incinerates his secretary's head with his EyeBeams just to show that he can.
* {{Expy}}: Big Ben is a superpowered version of John Steed from ''Series/TheAvengers''. Lampshaded within the story, when a GreekChorus type "little man" character points out the resemblance.
* EyeBeams: Johnny Bates has this ability, while Miracleman and others like him do not. Something which is not explained, though perhaps these are meant to be focused telekinesis.
* FlyingBrick: Miracleman, Young Miracleman, Kid Miracleman, etc., in both versions.
* GenderFlip: If Miracleman is Captain Marvel and Kid Miracleman is Captain Marvel Jr., that means Young Miracleman must be based on Mary Marvel.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: Miracleman's body is the product of genetic engineering, and the U.K. is mentioned as having developed the technology as a counter to the larger powers' nuclear weapons.
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: Responsible for the [[spoiler:creation of the super-humans in the modern version (but not the original).]]
* MadScientist: Dr. Gargunza, in both the '50s comics and the Creator/AlanMoore version.
* MistakenForGranite: The doors to the room housing the kingqueen of the Qys is guarded by two guards whom Miracleman/Marvelman mistakes for statues, due to their immobility and size.
* OtherworldlyAndSexuallyAmbiguous: The alien Warpsmiths are multi-dimensional, and ultimately genderless beings, who have sex in ways that defy anything resembling biology on Earth.
* PsychopathicManchild: Kid Miracleman and Young Nastyman.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Both played straight and later inverted as much as possible. On the one hand, Gargunza, Miracleman's creator, strangely, never capitalizes on his biotechnological brilliance. After [[spoiler:Kid Miracleman ''destroys London'']], however, [[spoiler:Miracleman and his friends "go public," which changes every human society on every level.]]
* RefusingParadise: Liz Moran [[spoiler: in her final meeting with Miracleman does this. She refuses Miracleman's "everyone's-a-super" offer of acquiring powers and chooses to simply be herself.]]
* ReVision: The modern version.
* SerialEscalation: One suspects that Kid Miracleman has the power to make up superpowers as he goes along like the SilverAge Superman, except instead of super-ventriloquism and super-knitting he invents things like super-murder or super-genocide. Example of just how hard he went: [[spoiler:while not fully shown or detailed how he accomplished this somehow Kid Miracleman manages (once his darker alter-ego is fully unleashed) to elaborately mutilate, torture, rape, kill and arrange into morbidly artistic ornaments half the population of London in one or two hours.]]
* TheSingularity: [[spoiler:The Final Issue of Moore's Run, Issue 16, displays a post-Singularity world and its implications on humanity. Neil Gaiman's run explores the new, altered, world and the place of humanity within it.]]
* StableTimeLoop: In one of the original Warrior comics, and hinted at in issue #15, Miracleman and a Warpsmith travel back in time twice to battle his earlier self in order to steal kinetic force from their blows. After each battle, the Warpsmith erases his earlier double's memory.
* SuperFamilyTeam
* SuperheroSpeciation: The super-humans created by Gargunza have the same FlyingBrick power set.
** Apparently, they all have PsychicPowers, that's just how they manifested.
** Also, the Warpsmiths are all teleporters, and Firedrakes are pyrokinetic.
* TakeThat: After [[spoiler:Miracleman effectively takes over the world]], there is no power structure anymore. All the former tyrants of the world meet in group therapy to deal with the reversal. One of the members is a gray-haired white guy who tells the rest he got aroused from a dream where he ordered soldiers to kill rabbits and give him money. The group's therapist then thanks "George" for his trust. It's pretty obvious it's George H.W. Bush, who became President the year the issue came out.
** Similarly, when Miracleman announces [[spoiler:that the old ways are over, and the world will be remade, Margaret Thatcher insists the world's leaders will not allow it. Miracleman looks at her nonchalantly and responds, "'Allow?'"]]
* {{Ubermensch}}: The quote from Friedrich Nietzche that serves as an epigraph for the book[[note]]Which, contrary to popular belief, was placed by the editor and not Moore himself, it comes from a later reprint[[/note]] sets this up as a central theme, the desire for man to be more than human and its disturbing implications. In an introduction, Alan Moore noted that of Marvelman/Miracleman is unique for actually resembling the Nazi ideal of the blonde, blue-eyed Aryan more closely than Superman and Captain Marvel themselves.
* WhatMeasureIsANonSuper: A persistent theme in the books, is what is the worth of Michael Moran in comparison to his superhero alter ego. [[spoiler: Moore gives the unfashionable answer of "not much at all" and Moran's identity is totally erased and Miracleman takes over for good.]]
** The final issue [[spoiler: asks this of humanity as a whole. In a world where everyone's either a super or has the choice and capacity to be one, and all human problems and vices are solved overnight, what value does everyday humanity have or why would some people choose to remain human even when they have the choice of being gods?]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Young Nastyman and the human alter ego of Kid Miracleman.
* YouAreAlreadyDead: The final fate of [[spoiler: Evelyn Cream]].
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:After being estranged from Liz, Miracleman gradually engages in a very public affair with Miraclewoman.]]
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