Saturday, October 15, 2005

Groin Injury Saturday: Mrs. Miracleman

When you think about injuries to the groin, I guess none come with more of a mixed blessing than childbirth. Outside of a health class in school, Miracle Man #9 was one of the more graphic depictions of having a baby I'd ever seen. Not what I expected from a comic book.

I don't see childbirth as beautiful. Too gross, too much pain, fear, way too much blood. Plus I didn't enjoy all the recriminations that spewed forth from my wife and the angry slaps I got during every contraction. Sure, having kids is great...and they are even better when they just get handed to you all clean and pink and happy and wrapped up in a blue comforter.

The publishers of this issue were not kidding when they put a warning on the cover. This issue was one of the only comics that ever made me wretch, the other being a Corben collection (the one with the shark attacks). Written by Alan Moore and pencilled with hirsute zeal by Rick Vietch, issue #9 wrapped up the original storyline while setting up the latter, weird ones. The birth scenes are realistic and look like they are out of a medical textbook. The birth of the Scarlet Witch's twins was positively imaculate and for the most part happened off-panel.

Super-baby Winter

I can't imagine going through childbirth. I don't even want to imagine what women go through. I think the closest way I can relate to it was the one time I ate about 5 pounds of cheese and sausage snacks in one DVD-marathon evening and the next day was an experience in futile muscle contractions and agonized stretching. And I cried many tears, I am not at all ashamed to admit.

Anyway, Moore does a good job of scripting. Miracle Man is at a point in his story where he is still pretty much human, but you can see that persona being subsumed by the god, especially in issue #8. For a short while, the birth of his daughter kept the Mike Moran persona grounded, but he quickly slipped away in later issues to be the detached demi-god.

As for Vietch, I don't think I've ever seen him render a human being as an attractive person. It is like he draws people as an especially pessimistic sensitive would see them, with the sins of the spirits on the exterior and made flesh.

If you get a chance to read the entire run of Miracle Man then do so. It's from the 1980's but it was vintage Moore, when he was one of the first to write heroes in the way that has become common-place now.

I understand Marvel will soon be reprinting the original run in a new package and starting new stories. I am all for that, as long as it stays apart from the regular Marvel lines and exist in it's own universe.

As for the entire oogy birth scene, if you want to see it then go buy the book yourself. I'm not posting it here because I would have to see it everyday and I'm not running some weird pregnant fetish site.

To hold you over, here is Marvel's less disgusting birth scene of one the Scarlet Witch's twins.

It's a boy!


  1. I understand Marvel will soon be reprinting the original run in a new package and starting new stories.

    please, tell me you're kidding. that fills me with more fear than the "V For Vendetta" movie.

    - housepig

  2. I'm fascinated by Wanda's ability to hold hands with someone who is standing at the foot of the bed she's lying in. One of them must have super-stretchy arm power.

    As for whether I'd rather see this rubbish than the graphic in-yer-face Miracleman version, I think that if you aren't going to show the birth then what's the point of having the scene at all? Better to have the Vision pacing outside the room and then handing out cigars like Jimmy Stewart than this absurd rubbish. If you removed the text from this page would there be any clue at all what was occuring in it?

  3. If you remove the text, it really looks like Wanda is having a bad dream. Which is probably the point. I don't know if the creative team was that subtle, but it was probably known for a long time that Wanda's children were only magical constructs.

    Also had a few messages requesting a scene by scene comparison. I might do it tomorrow.

  4. They are indeed from a book. In the introduction to the 2nd trade paperback publisher Cat Yronwode identifies it as A Child is Born, by photographer Lennart Nilsson. Spot on critique of Veitch's art, by the way (and I'm a fan!).

  5. I guess if you're a high-level magic user and your android husband can walk through walls, childbirth will pretty much be a cakewalk. If anything, they probably overemphasized the degree of attention Wanda would have to invest in labor. Shoulda had her doing a sudoku on the sofa and whooooooops, there the tykes are, phasing up through her looking for a drink.


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