The book, originally penned by a young Alan Moore and called Marvelman(changed in later reprints because of the contention with Marvel and other characters of similar names), was the first of what was called the “deconstructionist superhero” books. This meant that it took an established character and, through plot devices, undermined its original origin story for one that is more contemporary and philosophically grounded. The post-modern take on the superhero was one of the first that really looked hard at what Godlike powers in a human world would actually result. What we see then is things like sexual complexity, the role of cultish religion, and the eventual theocracy and authoritarian socialism that could be imposed. This is one of the first books to really get academic interest, taking up ideas that Moore would revisit some years later with Watchmen.
The comics were originally published in the British comics anthology Warrior, then reprinted in the states, but these issues were largely lost to most people. Grant Morrison came on, against Moore’s wishes, to write an early Annual story, and when Moore was done, Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham came to write a three volume story about Miracleman once he has reshaped the world entirely. These are all some of the most incredible looks at the world of religion and politics, and shows that still the superhero genre can be deep volumes of symbolic commentary.
Today, Marvel has been reprinting the comics for some time in an interesting volume. Each issue has sixteen pages of story, then addresses the pencils for each of those pages to fill out the rest of the issue. This would have been two issues of the Warrior presentation, which was serializing with eight pages in each issue. The Marvel reprints would then often have a classic Miracleman story from the 50s by Mick Anglo.
We have put together the reading order for the Miracleman reprints since there really was never a complete Miracleman run that was uninterrupted in the past. For example, the Grant Morrison story in the annual was only recently published for the first time. So what Marvel is republishing now is the most complete version of things. Not all of these issues have been released yet, either, with the Gaiman issues being published as we are writing this. So we will be sure to return to this and update it as issues are released.
Book One: A Dream of Flying
Warrior Comics Issues #1-11
Eclipse Reprints #1-3
Marvel Reprints: Miracleman #1-4
Book Two: The Red King Syndrome
Marvel: Miracleman #5-10
Book Three: Olympus
Marvel: Miracleman #11-16, Miracleman Annual #1
Book Four: Golden Age
Eclipse #17-22, Total Eclipse #4
Marvel: Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #1-6
Book Five: Silver Age (Not Yet Released)
Eclipse #23-25 (Third issue never released, Issue #25 with Todd McFarlane)
Marvel: Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #7-9, Retrieval pages
Book Six: The Dark Age
It is unknown how long this will end up being as it has not been finished yet.