05 August 2019

Review: Mister Miracle by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, et al.

Comic trade paperback, 300 pages
Published 2019 (contents: 2017-19)
Acquired February 2019
Read March 2019
Mister Miracle

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads with Mike Norton
Colorist: Mitch Gerads with Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

This feels to me like it finishes a thematic trilogy Tom King began in The Omega Men: The End Is Here and The Vision. Like those stories, it's about reconciling superpowered violence with living an everyday life. DC has often struggled to use the Fourth World in compelling ways post-Kirby, but King does great by them through doing something very un-Kirby. They're mythic gods on another plane, beings of immense power, but they're also kind of human; who else would write a scene where Mister Miracle and Kanto piss into a bottomless pit on Apokolips during a break in peace negotiations?

On another page, the panels actually follow the descent of a piss droplet into the pit as they talk.
from Mister Miracle vol. 4 #9 (art by Mitch Gerads)

King delves into some aspects of the Fourth World mythos that I feel like many have ignored. What was it like for Scott and Orion to both be sons of Highfather, in different ways that left them both feeling out of place? (Orion was adopted, and Scott given up to Darkseid.) What were the scars but also weird pleasures of being raised on Apokolips for Scott and Big Barda? If both Highfather and Orion were out of commission, wouldn't Scott become the new ruler of New Genesis?

Maybe this was my bias as a new father, but I loved all the parenting stuff in this series. Even this.
from Mister Miracle vol. 4 #2 (art by Mitch Gerads)

This is a story about war, about family, about escape. It's disturbing and hilarious in equal measure. Escape is the new component added here; I think both Omega Men and Vision suggested there was no such thing, but Mister Miracle always escapes. But what is escape when real life is the trap? At some point I need to go back and read all three comics straight through; I suspect it will be very rewarding.

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