Kid Marvelman
Miracleman2.jpg
Cover to Miracleman #2 featuring Kid Miracleman
Art by Garry Leach
Publication information
PublisherEclipse Comics (US)
Quality Communications (UK)
First appearanceMarvelman #102 (July 1955)
Created byMick Anglo
In-story information
Alter egoJohnny Bates
SpeciesHuman mutate
Team affiliationsMiracleman, Young Miracleman
Notable aliasesKid Marvelman
Abilities
  • Superhuman strength, speed, and stamina
  • Self-sustenance
  • Invulnerability
  • Thunderclaps
  • Energy blasts
  • Laser-vision
  • Telepathy
  • Flight
  • Genius-level-plus intellect

Kid Marvelman, later known as Kid Miracleman, is a fictional comic book character appearing in Marvelman. In 2009, Kid Miracleman was ranked as IGN's 26th-greatest comic book villain of all time.[1]

Publication history

The character was created by Mick Anglo and first appeared in Marvelman #102, published in July 1955, as one of the sidekicks of the title character. He is the alter-ego of Johnny Bates and transforms into superhuman form by saying the word "Marvelman" (later, for legal reasons, "Miracleman"). When publisher L. Miller & Son closed its doors in 1963, Kid Marvelman was abandoned along with the rest of the cast.

The character was later revamped as a villain by Alan Moore and Garry Leach for Warrior #3, published by Quality Communications in 1982. The original Kid Marvelman wears a yellow version of Marvelman's uniform with a KM emblem. The later, evil version of the character wears a black version.

In Quality Communications' new series, the previously published adventures of the Marvelman Family are treated as a virtual reality created to program three experimental superhumans created by the British government using captured alien technology. Following the attempted assassination of Kid Marvelman, Young Marvelman, and Marvelman by their creator, Dr. Gargunza, via an atomic explosion, the program is cancelled and all knowledge of it buried. Kid Marvelman survives, and believing the others dead, is left alone in the real world (versus Gargunza's virtual reality, in which he had lived the last few years of his life). Rather than return to human form, he decides to remain in his invulnerable superhuman form, which continues to mature, leaving the Johnny Bates persona in limbo.

By the early 1980s, Kid Marvelman has become a violent, deranged sociopath and the head of a corporation known as Sunburst Cybernetics. Keeping his true nature a secret, he nurses a deep, unreasoning hatred toward Marvelman, who suddenly re-appears. He locates Marvelman's human identity, and invites him to his corporate headquarters. Kid Marvelman reveals the depths to which he has sunk, murdering his own secretary in front of his former mentor and threatening to do the same to Marvelman's wife. The two battle, the former sidekick easily dominating the hero with vastly increased abilities and new powers (developed through decades of remaining exclusively in superhuman form). Saying "Marvelman" by mistake while gloating over Marvelman's beaten form, Kid Marvelman reverts to the traumatized, innocent form of young Johnny Bates. He's found at the scene of the battle by the authorities, who place him in a government mental facility. Kid Marvelman lurks within Johnny's mind, trying to tempt him into once more saying the word and allowing the mad superhuman to re-emerge. Johnny gives in at last when he was about to be raped by a gang of older boys at a group home. Free again, Kid Marvelman butchers Johnny's rapists before leaving to seek vengeance against Marvelman.

Marvelman returns to Earth after spending hours enjoying himself in space, finding that in his absence, Kid Marvelman has destroyed the city of London as an act of desperation. A battle ensues between Kid Marvelman and Marvelman, Marvelwoman, Firedrake, and the Warpsmiths. Throughout the battle, Kid Marvelman shrugs off the others' attacks while inflicting terrible damage on his foes. Marvelman's critically injured ally, the Warpsmith Aza Chorn, teleports a chunk of debris halfway into Kid Marvelman's head and a girder through his chest, crippling him completely. Soon, Kid Marvelman resumes into his human form to escape the unbelievable pain. A wounded Marvelman cradles Johnny in his arms, assures the boy that everything will be fine, then swiftly kills him, both to end the long suffering he has endured from Kid Marvelman's mind games, and to prevent Kid Marvelman from ever escaping again. Marvelman and his allies use the destruction of London as a pretext for taking over Earth's governments.

Following Marvelman's establishment of a global utopia, the dark allure of Kid Marvelman as an anti-hero figure makes him the object of admiration and veneration for the rebellious subculture known as "Bateses". Kid Miracleman's injured body is still held in stasis in infra-space, right next to Young Miracleman's body. Later, in the unpublished #25, Kid Miracleman appears as a vision to Young Miracleman, tempting Dicky Dauntless.

For legal reasons, Kid Marvelman became Kid Miracleman when the 1980s series was republished in the United States.

Reception

Volumes

All-New Miracleman Annual - 2014

According to Diamond Comic Distributors, All-New Miracleman Annual #1 was the 118th best selling comic book in December 2014.[2][3]

Michael Brown of Comicbook.com called All-New Miracleman Annual #1 a "more-than-worthy addition to the Miracleman tale," writing, "Taken as a whole, this is a comic that is well worth your time and attention. The back matter is even an improvement over that of the main Miracleman series in that there is actual context provided for the work through some written commentary. This is exactly the sort of thing I've been asking for in my reviews of the main Miracleman series to add value to the pages upon pages of reproduced original art. As any comic book you might pick up off the stands, this is an interesting, enjoyable, and fun read. As an entry into the Miracleman mythos, this is indispensable.  I suggest you pick up a copy and read it for yourself at your earliest convenience. Admittedly, the $4.99 price tag is a bit steep but in this particular instance I still recommend picking up this book."[4] Greg McElhatton of CBR.com asserted, "On the bright side, just like the main story, it looks great. Allred is the sort of artist who can take the direction of drawing dolphins sitting around a campfire sharpening their spears and somehow present it as both funny and dangerous. The characters overall look fantastic, with Allred drawing in the clean, uncluttered style creator Mick Anglo used so many years ago. It's a handsome looking story, which is unsurprising considering who illustrated it. I wish "All-New Miracleman Annual" #1 was better, but if anything, it's just a sharp reminder that Gaiman's success writing "Miracleman" post-Alan Moore is that much more of an impressive feat. It looks gorgeous but, considering the "All-New" part of the title, these stories have scripts that feel old and somewhat stale."[5]

Accolades

References

  1. ^ "Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time: 26. Kid Miracleman". IGN (2009). Retrieved 2011-01-23.
  2. ^ "Comichron: December 2014 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops". www.comichron.com. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  3. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2014". icv2.com. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  4. ^ "Marvel's All-New Miracleman Annual #1 Review: Fairly Miraculous". Marvel. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  5. ^ McElhatton, Greg (2015-01-02). "All-New Miracleman Annual #1". CBR. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  6. ^ The Top 100 Comic Book Villains - IGN.com, retrieved 2022-10-17