Kid Marvelman

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Kid Marvelman
Cover to Miracleman #2 featuring Kid Miracleman.
Art by Garry Leach.
Publication information
Publisher Eclipse Comics (US)
Quality Communications (UK)
First appearance Marvelman #102, July 1955
Created by Mick Anglo
In-story information
Alter ego Johnny Bates
Team affiliations Miracleman, Young Miracleman
Notable aliases Kid Marvelman
Abilities Superhuman strength, Speed and stamina, Invulnerability, Capable of surviving in the vacuum of space, Genius level plus intellect, Able to create thunderclaps with his hands, Energy Blasts, Flight, Telepathy, Laser-vision.

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]


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's new series, the previously published adventures of the Marvelman Family are treated as the 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, sadistic 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 his beaten form, Kid Marvelman reverts to the traumatized, innocent form of young Johnny Bates. He is 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 group of older boys at a group home. Free again, Kid Marvelman butchers Johnny's rapists, then moves on to everyone else in the facility.

Miracleman #15, art by John Totleben.

A battle between Kid Marvelman and Marvelman, Marvelwoman, Firedrake, and the Warpsmiths results in Kid Marvelman ravaging London and horrifically murdering much of the city's population. 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 and forcing him to resume human form to escape the unbelievable pain. A wounded Marvelman cradles Johnny in his arms, assures him 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 statis 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. Since then, having been purchased by Marvel Comics in their acquisition of the Marvelman franchise, the character's original name has been restored.


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