In a comic book world filled of uncertainty and inconsistency, DC Comics has found a new dream team through certainty and consistency.
Because, that's exactly writer Tom King and artist, illustrator Mitch Gerads bring whenever they pair up on something. Call them the Jordan and Pippen of the comic book world because this is the second-year in a row that they have claimed to have created a creative masterpiece.
The thing I love most about Mister Miracle #1 (which Sledge reviewed in a spoiler-free fashion here) is that it uses hints and samples from the Sheriff of Babylon and Batman, but still manages to create its own creativity path and storytelling style.
The "Darkseid Is" panels, and the pair's playing with format and layout screams to the creative freedom they surely enjoyed with Sheriff, while King's recent ventures with Batman and Vision put him above the pack. These two clearly feed off of each other, and I want to keep seeing their names stacked on the cover of comic books for a very long time to come.
Let's get to Mister Miracle, which is absolutely a kick in the emotions and re-invigorating read in a medium that needed exactly that. It's absolutely a 10/10, as this book should be in every reader's household.
DC was smart to get ahead of the news cycle on this one and create a little pre-hype train, and while we weren't blessed with an early copy (that's a strike closer to me joining the Marvel Civil War 9 fan club), it was well worth the wait.
Spoilers are going to start popping up in this Free discussion
It honors Jack Kirby, and gives us such a spine-tingling kickass look into Scott Free and where the hell his head is at in the modern age. As Sledge said, I, too, was in love with this book by the early pages.
It might not hit you right away, but that goddamned panel will stick with you through this book. The reference is used again while Scott is having *apparent* visions of dead people being active in his life.
This is where Ben is just going to start rambling about the things he loves about this book in (hopefully) chronological order.
You open this damn thing up, and you get this television-esque grainy image of Scott Free sans mask staring forward with an expression-less expression. I'm already wondering what the hell is going on from page one, Gerads has created this image of pain, suffering and discontent all while giving us a stale expression on this closeup of Free.
We then get sucked back to reality with a shocking full-page spread of Scott on the bathroom floor, bleeding from his wrists with his gloves on the ground in front of him with a used razor blade.
Holy shit, Mister Miracle attempted suicide, the God, son of Darkseid raised in suburban Connecticut with a beautiful, strong supportive wife who understands what she needs to understand. It reminds me of the early "Game of Thrones" quote, that "anyone can die."
From these pages, we dive right into Sheriff of Babylon homages in format, structure, pace and storytelling. We're getting quick boxes that manage to give us backstory, fill us in on other characters, our first mysterious black background-white writing "Darkseid is" and shots of Scott on the way and in the hospital. Flip to the other side, and he's being wheeled out by his wife, asked questions by the press, a quick 1971 Kirby reference, and then Scott and his wife watching TV at home.
King and Gerads accomplish this all in a single page while other teams don't fill a story like this up with 28 pages. I am so connected to this characters and hungry for more, and I'm not even 1/4th of the way done.
I already see this trapped character, who is known for the ability to escape anything, just being bombarded with the constant reminder of who he is and where he is. The pages that take this book to another level is Mister Miracle's appearance on a late-night talk show.
He hilariously fakes his death while demonstrating his trick, and then he authentically is interviewed at the desk by the Conan O'Brien-esque host. King and Gerads take me from laughing my ass off at "JESUS! OH GODOHGODOHGOD!" to Miracle slowly dying on the inside as he hides his pain and copes with Scott Free's suicide attempt on national TV.
The bottom line with this book, is that whether in costume or out of it, Scott and Mister Miracle are both in a lot of pain and confusion but they still have jobs to do and people to care for. King and Gerads beautifully bring this to life through masterful format storytelling and gorgeous, realistic and painful art.
These two play off of each other so well, and it seems the formula they contrived with Sheriff is a crossover hit as it works just as well here with subtle tweaks and changes along the way. Every King/Gerads page and panel has a purpose, nothing feels like filler in a book from these two as every soul-breaking page is crammed with meaningful art, context or quotes.
Absolutely buy this book and the 11 other issues that are scheduled to follow. Good stuff, DC Comics, real good stuff.