In 1984, Marvelman was behind on its schedule for Warrior magazines. Fearing newstand distributor disatisfaction, Dez Skinn got writer Alan Moore to write a new fill-in story to go between chapters. Possibly in the spirit of Days Of Future Past, possibly of Terminator, it meant that after only three short chapters of the comic, we took a trip to the future of Marvelman, to see the character he would become, revisiting his own past and laying the seeds for much of the story that would play out over several years.
It has never been reprinted until today. With Miracleman #2.
Eclipse Comics missed it out, and it was never included in the collections either. With art by Paul Neary, Alan Davis (his first work on the character) and Steve Dillon, we see a glimpse of what was planned.
It's not presented in the order it was originally published, the interlude comes at the end of all the regular Marvelman chapters here rather than in the middle – which gives us more context for the Kid Miracleman and the end of it.
Also, Moore's plans for certain aspects of the series did seem to change – he wrote its final chapters years later, and after his successes with the likes of Watchmen and Swamp Thing. The nature of "The Silence" we see in Yesterday's Gambit changed. The reasons for the battles shown between Miracleman seem rather ludicrous and in later issues are dismissed as one of a number of make-believe stories.
But it remains one of the earliest examples of a story from a future continuity that was intended to be part of the continuity when the regular series eventually got there. These days we flash forward all the time, create non linear storylines, and play on readers expectations like its a natural thing. But it's another example of the way that Marvelman impacted on the superhero comic as a whole.
And, unless you bought Warrior #4, you might never have known where it all came from. Until today,
Miracleman #2 is published by Marvel Comics today. Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London, currently exhibiting an art battle between Savage Pencil, Chris Long and Andy Dog…