Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mitch Gerads / DC Comics
Let’s talk this payola (payola)”- Pusha T
As an ex of mine would say; Tom King has an ingenious way of “talking about a thing without making it a thing”. We know Barda and Scott Free have an impossible choice to make. Do they give their son Jacob over to Darkseid to stop this war, or nah? As they return them home we’re wondering what their choice will be, yet they get right back to their parenting. They do it as if they are coming home from a vacation (a shitty one at that). King keeps that suspense building ever so casually throughout the issue as you know the choice will have to be discussed at the very least.
Heavy Is The Head That Bears The Anti-Life Equation
A personal favorite of mine are the cameos from Booster Gold (Michael Carter) and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). King and Gerads give a nod to their Justice League international days by having these old friends out drinking. The idea that the Boom Tube takes time to arrive similar to an Uber/Lyft during war is hilarious. There’s also nods to a classic Stan Lee and Jack Kirby story, as told by Funky Flashman to Scott in trying to help with his decision.
You almost wonder how Barda and Scott are moving throughout their time back home without showing the weight of the decision they have to deal with. Then we see it. The way Scott Free goes into the fetal position in the shower as Barda talks to him. Barda’s reaction once Scott brings it up. We’ve only ever seen Barda calm through this series’ iteration. We’ve seen her frustrated, but not angry. Bara gets angry here but is still calm. She’s the type to get angry and keep that same energy while coming up with the receipts. My god, did she tear Scott Free’s ass up all the way back to his suicide / escaping death stint from the first issue. Woooooo, I did not think that was coming back around, but when it did? Gawd damn!.
It Don’t Get No Better!
This book is so pretty, man. Ten issues in and Gerads has never disappointed. This shit goes hard: from the aftermath of Barda’s reaction, to the choice falling on the couch, and Skeets (drunkenly?) flying around Booster, BB, and Scott and even handing Scott a tissue. There’s a scene in a convenience store that has way more depth than you’d expect, and it’s drawn to perfection. From Scott’s worrying, to the cashier’s answer, to Scott’s impossible question; Gerads continues to be the perfect pairing to bring these characters to life with Tom King.
Yo, I told y’all this series was going to be hard as hell. I told you this was Game of Thrones in space (minus sexual assault being used as a constant plot device on that show). I told you King and Gerads were taken Kirby’s 4th World to a whole new plane. Get this book. Get on this series. Despite all the shit going on leading to the end, the bow on the final page of this issue? Let’s fucking go.
Reading Mister Miracle? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.