When we see DC bringing the amazing Jack Kirby’s New Gods back into a series, the stories usually don’t hold a spark; they struggle to keep you completely invested at times. Let’s face it, when it comes to sales, that’s where the main problem arises for the line. But… Mister Miracle burned the house down with AWESOME and made its a must read for every comic fan out there!
On February 19th, 2019, Tom King and Mitch Gerad unveiled the incredible first issue of MISTER MIRACLE. Due to its success, they quickly became Eisner Award Winners for Best Writers, Best Artists, and Best Limited Series of 2018. This is no surprise for the 12 issue run. This creative team took the Fourth World of the New Gods and crafted a story of action, humor, relationships, family, and escapism to a whole new level. With Scott Free (Mister Miracle) as the focal point of the tale, it’s hard to imagine that they would be able to make a compelling plot. I am not belittling the talents of these two men or the character himself, they are indeed incredible, but how many ways can we see Mister Miracle escape a trap? I digress, as DC history has shown us, it isn’t an easy task to add to the legacy of Jack Kirby. Trying to replicate him is a formula to failure… and that is why Tom and Mitch did the complete opposite! (Those rebels 😉 )
So first Non Spoiler Review…..
The story is by far one of the best comic book titles out to date. It stays true to the characters and does an amazing job at setting itself apart from any other book on the shelf. The art by Mitch Gerads is gorgeous and that will more than likely have you gravitate towards the book. Each panel creates the pace and probably some of the best panels are the ones that make you see Scott Free as just another everyday guy trying to figure out life.
Also, his marriage with Big Barda is #relationshipgoals. The visuals will create such a mood for you, it’s incredible. Now sprinkle in the writing of the current Batman Rebirth writer Tom King and BOOM your hooked! Different, but relatable are easy words to help describe this tale. Don’t we all wish we can escape some trauma in our lives?….
- The Story is its own canon. You don’t need to read anything prior to enjoy this story.
- It’s not your typical superhero comic.
- Art and visuals are exquisite.
- Only 12 issues 🙁
- If you don’t know Jack Kirby’s New Gods you might not know too many of the secondary characters.
OK! Now let’s hit the SPOILER REVIEW.
We open the first pages of credits to a sight of Scott Free attempting suicide (No that wasn’t a typo, this is legit the first scene we see). Attempting to escape maybe the greatest trap of all called….LIFE!! (insert taser face) ITS METAPHORICAL!
Tom already throws us for a loop there and he continues to do it for the whole story.
That’s part of the charm. One moment you feel everything is okay and right with the world, hosting the New Gods in your California apartment having a veggie tray yelling “Shut the *%¥£+* up LightRay”,
then BOOM you’re battling Parademons on Apocalypse. It’s an intense struggle between what is reality and what you choose your reality to be.
A main setting to point out as well is that the presence of the more known DC characters are nothing more than clothing and apparel. Besides a fun night out at the bar with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, you don’t see the DC Trinity or other heroes; they are more than likely paying homage to their JLA comics run.
Now with that, we can talk about why we start to question reality. Gerads inking also presented subtle moments in between panels of extraordinary “glitches”. That man can paint a scene! And DARKSEID IS panels are true pace stoppers.
Not only does this look awesome, but it begins to create this dialogue that makes you fear for Scott Free’s next move.
This isn’t the same character we read before. He’s less enthusiastic and overall depressed; losing his greatest friend to cancer led to his downward spiral. Knowing Darkseid gains the Anti-Life equation he begins to see the dots connecting. Though Barda keeps him grounded, he’s struggling. “DARKSEID IS” not just a statement, it is downright frightful.
It begins to affect him in other ways too. We see a grittier side to Mister Miracle with the great fight sequences to the small scuffles with Orion…
to the war battles. It became more gruesome at every turn, and yet, Scott showed more than capable of handling.
A powerful arc to the story was the interaction with Granny Goodness. It was so insightful on how two people under duress can perceive things differently. On one hand we have Barda who sees Granny as a sociopath who tortured her from childhood to adulthood; made her a weapon against her will. Granny is pure evil to Barda and Scott, and readers can begin to see how he has been mentally scarred by her. He knows he’s the adopted child of Darkseid, but he was raised by Granny. The trials and tribulations Granny exposed Scott to day in and out was to him her way of showing she cared and loved him. Why would anyone subject a child to such horrors unless it were to make them better and safer for it?! She says as much while serving them jello (haha). Granny was always a constant for Scott, so to him it was only tough love, but this is the one subject he and Barda did not fully agree on. Hence why Barda became the instrument to kill Granny Goodness. Granny’s death affected Scott even more throughout the remainder of the story.
Now family is everything in this book. Scott eventually becomes High Father of New Genesis after the killing of his step brother Orion, which is symbolic and daunting because he becomes an actual father to his newborn son, Jacob. A new facet to his world opens up at this time. In my opinion some of the best moments are on earth with his son and Barda. From complaining whose turn is it to get up at the wee hours of the night to feed Jacob,, to whose going to “work” (war) and childcare, it captured a sense of reality in a fictional world. So when Tom throws readers that twist to potentially end the war, it makes us believe that things are working out until the main demand of the treaty was giving up his own child to DARKSEID! History repeats itself such as when his
father did the same to spare decades of bloodshed so long ago. A decision is to be made on whether to give up Jacob or risk the world’s destruction. And what a decision in fact!! He and Barda decide to kill DARKSEID in what was a glorious spectacle (haha). It is exactly what any father would do in this given situation. Who knew the power of a good veggie tray would solidify such a victory?! Haha!
This is when it all comes together; Metron arriving right after the death of DARKSEID proves that Scott Free escapes; Scott found a way out of the ANTI-LIFE EQUATION! Metron shows him the way out to the real world… And the best thing happened…. he chose to stay! First an awesome flashback page with guests appearances from Dan Didio, Jim Lee, Tom King, and Mitch Gerads themselves! To Scott resuming his normal routine like none of that ever happened. (lol) He knows the world he is trapped in and with constant visits from other dead characters in the story explaining to him his failures, he proved to himself that he chose his own destiny and happiness. Despite this, he knows he can always escape.
WOAH! Man this story was BANANAS! I loved every moment of it and honestly, if I could have read each panel to you, I would have ! (Haha!)
Mister Miracle is a great achievement. A story we had no idea we needed. All I can say is I want more. Tom and Mitch, you need a sequel soon. When you announce it, the first round of beers are on us guys in the Nerdy (comics) Basement. *Cheers*
Images: DC Comics