Mister Miracle #1 (DC Comics)
This may sound blasphemous to some, but I’ve never been able to quite crack the New Gods. While I like Darkseid and Mr. Miracle and have read the major aspects of Jack Kirby’s saga, there’s always been some part of them that just seemed too weird to me, so I’ve largely missed out on a huge chunk of necessary comic book lore. But with Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle, that’s definitely going to change. This opening issue is not only another notch in the awesome body of work from these two creators; it’s also the thing that finally clicked with me when it comes to the New Gods.
Mister Miracle finds Scott Free living in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Big Barda (pretty sure my feeling of weirdness towards the New Gods comes from their names). After attempting suicide, Scott has been seeing visions of people and things that cannot possibly be real. Scott’s also been visited by Orion and his father Highfather with a warning that Darkseid has found the Anti-Life Equation and is planning on launching his massive war against New Genesis. But Scott can’t find it within himself to get up and fight. It’s not until another tragedy befalls his family that he really steps up and decides to enter the fray.
Tom King has been making quite the name for himself on Sheriff of Babylon, Vision, and Batman, but with Mister Miracle he reaches a whole other level. Scott Free seems bored with his life, and King makes the comparison with Scott’s abilities as an escape artist with someone who’s immortal. When there’s no more danger, what else can you do? The reveal of Scott’s attempted suicide at the beginning of the book is pretty shocking, but amazingly King makes you feel for Scott as he struggles with his life and whatever is happening to him after the attempt. Plus King expertly works in a small building sense of dread at the growing threat of Darkseid.
Mitch Gerads has worked with Tom King before on Sheriff of Babylon and some issues of Batman, but he really makes a huge impact here.. Gerads has always had a great sense of scope and body language, and Mister Miracle is arguably the best work he’s done to date as he plays around with panel layouts, delivering everything from 9 panel grids to massive splash pages. Not only that, but Gerads also puts everything he can into his character work. You can sense the pain and confusion on not only Scott, but Barda as well. It’s stunning.
Mister Miracle has a lot of hype surrounding it, and I’m pleased to say that it definitely meets up with that hype. As someone who has been looking for an easy entry point into the New Gods, Tom King and Mitch Gerads deliver on that front, giving us a relatable character that also sums up his life and the New Gods saga perfectly. It also doesn’t hurt that King and Gerads are two of the best creators in the business, and deliver one of the coolest debut issues of the year.