We begin in 1987. Miracleman is walking through his palace, and he decides to write his experiences up:
Miracleman: "I have legends to write. Tales of how it feels to live in a mythology".
We then get glimpses of what was going on for some of the characters in November 1982. Johnny Bates, the host of the evil Kid Miracleman still be mistreated in a children's home, but is resisting the urge to change.
Then we see Liz, Miracleman's human wife who is still feeling weird after the birth of their daughter Winter. She feels like her "feelings aren't my own. As if they get switched on and off". She thinks it's probably post natal depression.
In his human guise of Mike Moran, Miracleman goes for a walk in the park. He is followed by two stranges who say they want to talk to him, to discuss his "other self". Mike runs from them then says "Kimota" and changes into Miracleman. The two strangers join hands and speak in an alien tongue and change themselves.
Miracleman: "And then the light of an older heaven than this was in my eyes. And when I saw again. I saw Titans".
The two aliens attack Miracleman, smashing him into a wall and beating him down. They keep shifting and changing bodies as they press their attack, "I began to understand the extent of my predicament" thinks Miracleman.
|The Qys make themselves known.|
The alien bursts into the Moran house, but before it can harm Liz or Winter a mysterious woman appears and crushes the alien's throat. Back in 1987 Miracleman looks down on humanity from his palace and poetically muses that:
Miracleman: "When politicians and moviestars prove inadequate only gods remain."
Then he remembers first meeting the woman who will be revealed as Miraclewoman for the first time, "this stark Madonna of the quantum age... my muse... my Venus"
They leave the aliens and go and talk in another room, "I sat stunned as all reality seeped from our lives and listened to the angel tell her tale." Her human name is Avril Lear, an orphan who was abducted for a secret project Gargunza was running that he had kept secret from the government.
He diverted cash from Project Zarathustra to fund it He cloned a perfect body for her and set her free in "infra-space". She was alone, there was a male - Young Nastyman - and a hideously mutated dog. While the pair of them were dreaming in virtual reality, Gargunza raped their bodies over and over for fourteen years. She didn't care however, even when she found out from the tapes he made of him doing it.
Miraclewoman: "I was elsewhere. A cosmos full of colours and emotions that were simple, bright and wonderfully garish. Free from hindering logic, I explored a realm of incandescent comic book ideas".
His depravity started affecting the fantasy world and she found herself suffering from psychosexual tortures. He pushed Terry, Young Nastyman's real name far into the role of the villain until he snapped and escaped the lab. Panicking about his secret work being found out, he woke his official Miraclemen and Miraclewoman and sent them out to look for him.
When Miraclewoman met the Miraclemen she noted Young Miracleman was jealous of her immediately. He says Young Miracleman loved Miracleman, "and you didn't know". Miraclewoman found the Project Zarathustra bunker and discovered the same truths Miracleman did in Book One.
|Miraclewoman defeats Young Nastyman.|
She then disappeared herself, living a normal human life as a doctor as the Zarathustra project shut down. When Miracleman and Kid Miracleman reappeared she kept an eye on them and when the aliens appeared she realised it was time to become Miraclewoman again.
The aliens in the other room have summoned help from their enemies the Warpsmiths who can travel comsic distances in the blink of an eye. It's time for Miracleman to learn the deeper truth behind his origins, and although Liz exhorts him not to go, he teleports away along with the two aliens and Miraclewoman.
|Meet the Warpsmiths.|
Miracleman: "Computers and telecommunications webs make earth a place where distance is irrelevant. And yet it took Warpsmith philosophies to demonstrate the virtues of an instantaneous world.... when screens can take the office into every home. No borders in the electronic state. Where jokes in Aberdeen raise laughs in Japan."
Alan Moore predicted Lolcats! Seriously though, it's interesting he believes it would take alien intervention to give us something like the internet, but for the time he was writing this in 1987 this is actually a solid piece of predictive science fiction. Especially for a luddite like Moore.
Back to the story and Miracleman finds himself transported to an alien planet called "Qys", the home of the monsterlike aliens also called Qys. Apparently the birth of Miracleman's daughter has changed everything. Earth is no longer of "animal" status and a place for their new intelligent race needs to be negociated. The Qys are also the originators of the multiple body technology that Gargunza engineered from the crashed Qys spaceship as part of Project Zarathustra.
They are bought before the "glorious KingQueen" of the Qys. Underneath "hir" are Qys and Warpsmiths dancing even though they are bitter enemies, "in perpetual cold war deadlock.. for eleven thousand years." Miracleman finds it hard to believe the Qys haven't won, but the Warpsmiths are fast, "their mastery of space matches our own manipulation of identity" says their Qys escort.
|On an alien world.|
They were going to destroy the altered earthbeasts but then stopped because Miracleman had produced a child. This means that Earth is "intelligent class" and needs to be dealt with differently. The KingQueen asks what the Warpsmiths think. The "white warrior class" one suggests conflict over the earth. They think Qys has unfairly influenced it with their technology. The KingQueen practically sighs saying that are both cultures doomed to unproductive wars?
Miraclewoman: "Excuse me.. But couldn't you have sex instead?"
Look, Alan. I like sex myself. In fact I'd say sex with someone you are in lust with and who lusts after you in return is a very enjoyable way to spend time together. Almost as enjoyable as Gears Of War split screen co-op. But I just can't see sex as this universal panacea as you do. Also, despite on the surface seeming like a cool and groovy free love sixties concept, Moore's use of sex has always had a strangely puritanical underpinning we see summed up perfectly in this volume. Good people only ever have Good, healthy, erotic, creative Sex. Bad people only have empty, meaningless, destructive and rapey sex. There is no happy medium. The only time he's come close to implying a bad person might be able to have a decent relationship is between The first Silk Spectre and The Comedian and even then it's still supremely fucked up that the woman falls in love with the man who raped her originally even if they later reconciled and had a good thing (Laurie) come of it. I think in a way this explains his overuse of rape and sexual assault as a plot device, he sees sex as the supreme transformative act and to twist and despoil is the most villianous thing he can imagine. But he still overuses it and when you've read enough Moore you find yourself rolling your eyes and thinking "again with the rape?" Which isn't great when you think about it. And we're not actually done with it here either as well. Something to look forward to as you read on.
Anyway, while the two races mull this over, Miraclewoman continues to explain what she means in more detail:
Miraclewoman: "It's obvious. If two organisms or two cultures are forced into contact it can be Thanatic and destructive or Erotic and creative."
The KingQueen decides this idea has potential and sends them away while it consults with it's advisors about how they are going to deal with earth.
Miracleman falls deep into thought as Miraclewoman asks their Qys escort many questions about their abilities, "did I first love her then?" Finally a decision is reached. Earth will be left uninterfered with. Miracleman and Miraclewoman will observe for the Qys, two Warpsmiths will also observe to maintain parity. Their base will be behind the moon and Miracleman and woman will liase with them.
|Liz Moran takes her leave.|
When Miracleman says Winter can speak, Winter says she could from the day she was born but didn't because it would "upset mother". She admits she's been manipulating Liz's moods, when Miracleman queries how, Winter says he should follow Miraclewoman's example and try to be more adventurous with his powers. She says she chose her own name and she flies out of the window. Miracleman says someone might see her.
|Winter goes for a fly.|
She tells Miracleman she is already more advanced than him so she'll be going away soon. Miracleman says he loves her. "I know" she says.
They find two more extraordinary beings. One is Big Ben from Book One, but he is mad and no use to them. The other is a Firedrake a black American called Huey Moon. He is immune to fire, but can cause anything within range to ignite explosively. "Thus did Apollo. Fire of Heaven. Come into our midst". The five of them touch hands "and first convened our glorious pantheon".
Back with Mike and Liz, she leaves permanently saying she doesn't belong with them anymore. "I'm sorry Mike. I'm sorry for us all." With Liz gone, Winter also departs. She intends to go to Qys to learn from them and hopes she can surpass lightspeed within the year. She promises to come back and teach Miracleman everything she has learned, ".. do not look so sad. It's such a lovely universe".
Meanwhile things are going very badly for Johnny Bates. A gang of kids corner him and hold him down while one of them starts to rape him. Tearfully he whispers "Miracleman" and transforms into Kid Miracleman who immediately kills all the kids and the nurse who was kind to Johnny before going out and beginning a rampage through London.
|Horrible stuff, but in this case it works.|
Kid Miracleman then runs riot for a couple of hours, causing acts of unimaginable cruelty. Stripping people of their skins and hanging them on a washing line. Impaling people on the hands of Big Ben. Crushing, tearing and dismembering everything in his path. Farting about above the earth, Miracleman and woman finally notice something is up when they see a plume of black smoke rising from London. When they confront Kid Miracleman along with Huey Moon and Aza Chorn the warrior Warpsmith, it is on baby!
|A one being holocaust on the loose in London.|
Huey Moon goes next, and we get another censored usuage of the word "nigger" even though keeping it in would make Kid Miracleman come over even worse. Moon calmly sets Kid Miracleman ablaze in a huge explosion and burns his business suit off to reveal his black costume underneath.
We then get a break in the action as we are told that the events of this epic battle are subjects to many different interpretations in the years after. Theologians, conspiracy theorists, rationalists and gnostic faiths all have their own versions of the story.
|Battle is joined.|
Miracleman: "My apologists have claimed that the car I first hurled at Bates was empty.. I'm sorry but that isn't true."
Johnny chucks an occupied car back at him. Miracleman tries to reason with him, saying what will happen when he runs out of things to destroy? "You've taken something marvellous and turned it into sewage" he shouts. Kid Miracleman throws a lorry at him saying "burn in hell" and flames surround Miracleman.
|Kid Miracleman is finally wounded.|
Miracleman: "And the Warpsmith, eyes gone somewhere cold. Somewhere beyond pain, faced death like some albino samuarai and insolently stared it down for just one vital moment longer".
|Poor Johnny Bates...|
|Bad Johnny won't ever get out again.|
|No one draws Hell like John Totleben.|
Miracleman: "These charnel pastures serve as a reminder. A memento mori. Never letting is forget that though Olympus pierce the very skies, in all the history of earth, there's never been a heaven; never been a house of gods.. that was not built on human bones."
Back in the present of 1987, Miracleman reminisces that the "Bates Affair" cost forty thousand lives. Now it was time to introduce the world to them officially. Apparently many countries thought of attacking Britain with nukes, but realised against him, Miraclewoman, Huey and the Warpsmiths it would be pointless.
Miracleman meets with Margaret Thatcher and tells her of his economic plans. She says nothing must be allowed to interfere with the market. "Allow?" says Miracleman. And Thatcher ends up humiliated and in tears when she realises she has lost her power (ho ho ho). "She looked so old, so suddenly. I could not hate her" he thinks as she is led away.
|All your weapons are belong to us.|
Miraclewoman: "Did humans ask such agonised questions about the free will of cows or the destiny of fish? We'll give them more free will than they ever dreamed or wanted. We're going to love them Michael. We're going to make them perfect."
Despite protests, they begin to "repair" the world. The ozone layer is renewed, the nuclear power plants got rid of, the smog threatening the ice caps disappated. They remove money and though people can have a more luxurious life if they want to work, if they don't:
Miracleman: "Each soul shall have free clothing, food and shelter. Entertainment, education, all the requirements for a worthwhile life. Come summer money won't exist. But then it never did."
Communist. They legalise all drugs resulting in drug crime disappearing overnight. They find a herb that treats criminality and rehabilitate psychopaths so thoroughly that Charles Manson runs a group caring for abused children. "By 1986 we had demolished earth's last penitentary".
|Shagging in the sky.|
The Qys also arrive, their representative creates artificial bodies that the recently deceased can be reborn in. Big Ben is partially cured, now going by the name "British Bulldog" he is a Herculean hero. Even Gargunza's monsterous dog is bought back, with a nicer dog's personality implanted in it, and is Miracleman's pet "Fenris".
His daughter Winter comes back to earth after having spent time amongst the Qys. She takes charge of the eugenics programme and the super babies born of it. The next step is offering superbodies to anyone who wanted them:
Miracleman: "Now everyone would be a god, and no one need let feelings of inferiority put barriers between themselves and those who were deities."
|Brilliant use of layouts to emphasize the distance between them now.|
Miracleman: "Liz? Come on. You don't understand what you're turning down."
Liz: ".. and you've forgotten what you're asking me to give up".
She tells him to get out and he leaves. He hasn't seen her again. He admits to himself that not everyone wants a part of this new utopia. There are holdouts, in shelters in the wilderness. Also religious fundamentalists of all faiths resist, although it is futile.
As Miracleman walks through his palace to a party being held, he thinks "is this perfection? I think so." But even as he mentally exhorts humanity to "look up and see your gods at celebration" he ends up alone after the party in the Aza Chorn memorial garden.
Miracleman: "It's been five years since my rebirth. I come here quite a lot these days. Sometimes I think of Liz. Sometimes I wonder why she turned my offer down; why anyone should not wish to be perfect in a perfect world. Sometimes I wonder why that bothers me, and sometimes...sometimes I just wonder."
|The house that Miracleman built.|