Title: Mister Miracle.
Writer(s): Tom King.
Illustrator(s): Mitch Gerads.
Colourist(s): Mitch Gerads.
Letterer(s): Clayton Cowles.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: February 19th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
If there are two buddies who make an excellent creative team out there, it’s Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Their first project together, The Sheriff of Babylon, blew my mind away and it was only a matter of time before the two got back together on a brand-new adventure. While Tom King’s writing style delves deep into the psyche of characters and favours story-telling through images rather than words, Mitch Gerads comes to complete the picture with his talent to add realism into anything that breaths and life into anything that can be imagined. Their combined talent is an exquisite alliance that offers us a modern and humanistic look at characters that would otherwise be considered divine and untouchable. It is no surprise that their latest endeavor continues one of DC’s saga that hasn’t garnered as much attention as its star superheroes, and it was only right that it would be on Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle. But who is this green, red and yellow superhero?
Collecting issues #1-12, Mister Miracle is a limited series by Eisner Award winners Tom King and Mitch Gerads as they reboot Jack Kirby’s 1971 creation Scott Free, also known as Mister Miracle. Scott Free was a scapegoat that served as a peacemaking tool in a war between New Genesis and Apokolips where respective rulers Highfather and Darkseid exchanged their heirs to cease their assaults on each other. As the son of Highfather, Scott Free, was raised in Hell, the son of Darkseid, Orion, is raised among the New Gods. It is while growing up that Scott Free escapes his painful life to grow up among humans where he one day takes on the mantle of an escape artist known as Mister Miracle. As he falls in love with Big Barda, who once knew the same life in Apokolips as he did, he soon learns that Darkseid had resumed his war and has gotten his hands on the infamous anti-life equation. With the end of the world imminent, the master escape artist finds himself between a rock and a hard place. This is when Scott Free is pulled back into the life of Gods and is forced to juggle impossible decisions with every action he takes. This is where Scott Free needs to perform the biggest miracle yet.
Scott Free is no ordinary superhero. Within this story arc, Tom King and Mitch Gerads successfully look into a God’s desire to live the normal human life while destiny continuously pulls its strings to drive Scott Free and Big Barda into the clutches of their heritage. What Tom King achieves in this story is another introspective and highly intimate exploration of a complex character who tries to understand where and how he can get his own hands on happiness. Throughout this story, he tackles countless issues that line-up with parenthood, existence and war, without ever presenting a clear transition between one subplot and another. The reader is constantly thrown from one panel to another with only a dynamic couple to hang onto with their incredible tranquility. It is between the lines that the true story is told and only in the details that answers can be found. Ironically, the story doesn’t leave the reader with the biggest answer that Scott Free himself is looking for. With touches of refreshing absurdity that comically looks at both mundane and cosmic activities, Tom King doesn’t shy away from magically putting together adulting and superheroism together in Mister Miracle.
It would, however, be a mistake if the exploits of Mitch Gerads were not presented here. Through a complete nine-panel grid artwork style, this story arc finds creative and incredible ways to pay meticulous attention to details that would otherwise be overlooked by any other penciler, inker and colourist. Mitch Gerads elevates his game in Mister Miracle with his ability to draw comprehensive characters through subtle movements seen in their body language. In fact, with Tom King’s succinct writing style, Mitch Gerads makes brilliant use of the silent words expressed through facial expressions and discrete gestures that he ingeniously develops dynamically in each panel. Mister Miracle is also notable for its use of distortions that come corrupt the artwork and cleverly plays with the whole anti-life equation sub-plot that reigns in the story. The colours also bring to life the different universes in which the story takes place, whether its in Los Angeles or in the Fourth World. It is truly mesmerizing what Mitch Gerads accomplishes in this graphic novel.
Mister Miracle is an ambitious and intimate look at a God thrust into responsibilities that are beyond his understanding as he struggles to grasp onto the slippery ropes of peace and happiness.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!