Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mitch Gerads / DC Comics
“Should I run away and change my name?
Or should I stay and fight
Through the night
And never close my eyes?
I’ll never close my eyes”- Our Last Night
*clapping hands* Here’s what the fuck I showed up for. Here’s what I knew Mister Miracle would deliver. My staff mates been poking fun at my love for obscure characters and seeing them get revitalized from the floor up. Seeing characters get that remodeling, get that home improvement for that spotlight shine to come through the newly renovated windows and illuminate the fully refurbished living room for the fandom to hang out in. Yes, I ran with that house flipping analogy for way too long but I cant be contained. I can’t be calmed, we got Scott Free aka Mr. Miracle aka Mr. Escape The Room in the trenches.
King sets the reader in the middle of the war against Apokolips’ hordes with Scott Free catching body after body after body. Scott Free doesn’t just escape, our guy can break into the thick of the muck and scraaaaaap with the most gutta of them. Orion is giving Scott locations to attack and he is taking them down like a machine, like it’s nothing, like it’s a typical taco fucking Tuesday.
The contrast of Scott killing his way through mad fields for us to then see him with Barda trying to work a shower is a great way of grounding these characters. We get to see the after effect of war from these two who were raised on Apokolips as Barda reminisces how simpler life was on there. Last issue, we saw Barda snapping Scott back to reality with tough (Granny Goodness level) love. This week we see a vulnerability between Scott and Barda for additional depth into their relationship. Scott’s reassurance of Barda’s beauty and dismissal of her insecurity is such a great draw in for these characters. The following scene serves as a reminder of how long these two have been together, how long they’ve known one another, and why they love each other.
The main event for this book comes from Barda and Scott’s debriefing with Orion, who now has the title of Highfather (we’re going to come back to this). Despite Barda and Scott putting numbers on the boards with their troops, their still losing drastically. A majority of these losses are coming from Granny Goodness’ forces. I ain’t even gotta say more. Granny Goodness is the woman that tortured Scott Free and Barda in their adolescent youth. Everyday was a fight for their life, a test to break them down physically as well as mentally. Yeah, confronting your tormentor ain’t ever goin’ go great. However, this being a time of war, you already know this confrontation is about to be game over for Granny.
I’m going to leave the meat of Scott and Barda’s meeting with Granny Goodness for you to view yourself. Knowing the history of these characters and the amount of suffering that Granny put Scott and Barda through, the way they greet each other is perfect. King plays with the relationship between these characters in a way the reader / comic fan wouldn’t ever expect. The casualness of confronting your tormentor as well as everyone knowing the part they’re playing in this current war. The meeting is very unique and one I appreciated, instead of the typical fighting right from jump. King displays how “sweet” and “nice” Granny Goodness can be to her former “child prisoners” then in an instant reminds us of how vile she is. Granny’s levels get played upon more so in this story than any incarnation of the war between New Genesis and Apokolips that comes to mind for me. There’s a lot going on with this meeting that I don’t wanna spoil and will save till next month.
Now let’s get back to the debriefing between Scott, Barda, and Orion. Bruh, you can see the tension in the room and Gerads highlights that shit picture freaking perfect. Orion is now to be addressed as Highfather but Scott is clearly not with the shits. Personally, I’ve never seen Orion and Scott played off each other to this extent. Gerads makes sure the reader sees this isn’t the same mentally frail/ self doubting Scott Free from last issue standing in front of Orion.
Check the look on Scott’s face as he calls Orion by name. They’re then told by Lightray (who acts like he’s talking to the class when he’s really speaking just to Scott’s ass) that Orion is to be called Highfather now and to kneel when greeting him. Yo, they telling Scott Free to kiss the ring and he is not having that shit. Gerads captures this moment frame by frame as Barda forces him to kneel but Scott doesn’t break eye contact with Orion as he is pulled down and this shit is stuuuuuuuuuupid hard.
Scott Free is burning a fucking hole through Orion’s dome and you know this is impeccable foreshadowing. This that good-good foreshadowing. Scott Free and Orion’s relationship and animosity toward one another (due mostly to the truce brought about by them being exchanged to their father’s enemy [Orion to Highfather, Scott to Darkseid]) is going to come to a head and I can not wait. King and Gerads have given a new life to this ageless war between New Genesis and Apokolips by making this feel like actual wartime, upping the stakes, spreading paranoia, and showing that this war is only going to get uglier from here. Mister Miracle is not a title or character to be slept on this time around.
Reading Mister Miracle? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.