Jack Kirby’s 100th Anniversary is here and there is no better way to celebrate it than to pick up a new standalone mini-series starring a hero of the New Gods mythos. Nothing more to ask for, yet when you find out it’s written by the writer of Vision (2015), Sheriff of Babylon, Omega Men (2014) and Batman (2016) it’s that much more worthy to have on your radar. Does it disappoint or does it please?
Issue(s): Mister Miracle #1
🖊Writer(s): Tom King
Artist(s): Mitch Gerads
🗨Best Quote: “Darkseid is.”
My history with Tom King as a writer is clear. I discovered him first reading Vision #1 the day it came out, expecting garbage. Thankfully I found a hidden gem. I was stunned at how such a background character can be so composite. Don’t get me wrong, I always understood the complexity of the character, but no one ever pushed Vision to his fullest potential until Tom King came into scene. He juggled around with multiple themes and topics with ease such as: normality, alienation, fear, lies, deception. The comic went on to become the Best Comic of the Year, two times in a row for me (2015 & 2016). Sad news followed.
Knowing King was about to enter the mainstream title of Batman made anyone in the right mind excited, including me. Then the series came out and it slapped me hard in the face with a wet cold noodle of dissapointment. Issue #1 was indeed great, but since then it went downhill. King wasn’t sure if to write a mainstream superhero comic or an indie one. By the end of the day we ended up with an abomination. Overuse of mainstream superhero stereotypes, playing on your nostalgia, trying to provide the wow effect and “high stakes” mixed with poetic writing ended up giving us the worst of both worlds. Basically Fast Furious & Shakespeare’s literature had a baby. Okay, maybe no where near as what that would’ve looked like, but definetly gets my message across. So Mister Miracle came out and the question remains, does it deliver or succeed?
My eyes bleed on sight of this dialogue
I am confident to state this issue was Vision levels of quality! I won’t be going into spoilers other than the opening and even with that I will keep it vague. Right away, we launch with a very important character moment. For those who don’t know Mister Miracle picked up a skill of being able to escape any trap, prison or door thanks to being raised on Apokolips, home world of Darkseid, where he was placed in their prisons since a very young age. In this issue Scott Free is sick of constantly being able to escape anything and everything so he decided to escape the one thing no one in the universe can. It blows up in his face big time! So much that he ends up in a hospital.
Funny enough this made me think. When Batman is hurt he has the Batcave, when Superman is hurt he has the Fortress of Solitude, but what does Mister Miracle have? It’s a funny way of seeing the way his life keeps on giving him barely any lemons to make lemonade. Hospital ends up being the least of his worries as what follows is something much more scarier. Tom King does an amazing job of creating a story where he gives you just the right amount of answers at the perfect time. Surprisingly enough one of the greatest deliveries in this comic was by his partner in crime.
The interior art is just one of the best art you will see this year. I need to applaud Mitch Gerads at the sole capability of managing the penciling, inking and coloring all by himself. This is my first exposure to the artist so, I also wanna thank DC Comics for bringing such talent to the eyes of money. Makes you wonder how in hell does art in something like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl manages to get Eisner Award recognition. Many of you are wondering why I’m focusing so much attention on one guy, but he’s got range. I won’t say much on that front since it would be spoiling the comic. He is able to convey the right facial expressions that look great on character’s faces. And yes some great pencilers aren’t good with facial expressions (Esad Ribic’s giant eye balls epidemic) at all so I consider this a huge win.
In conclusion Mister Miracle #1 focuses on the upcoming battle the protagonist will have to face as he is trying to figure out how to still be a hero and escape the inescapable. On top of that we delve deep in Scott Free’s life while still showcasing a rich amount of supporting characters. T. King and M. Gerad are taking DC Comics into a new direction one where I truly believe the writer will finally be able to provide the best of both worlds which is something King has been trying to do for over a year with the Dark Knight. A superhero epic with heavy character moments that belong in the greatest catalogue of comics. If only the mini-series can keep up the pace of this premiere issue we have another best of the year contender. Nine out of ten. Amazing.
Throughout the comic there is a quote repeated from page to page. I wasn’t able to figure out what it means just yet. I am referring to the citation, “Darkseid is.” Please tell me what you think the meaning of the phrase is and the role will it play in the series as a whole. Right before you do that write in a spoiler warning. That is it my friends.