Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mitch Gerads / DC Comics
Rubber-band covering the bruise, left wrist
Faith in a man I can’t prove, exists
I really got nothing to lose but a death wish”- Joe Budden
I felt like Diddy reading this issue of Mitch Gerads and Tom King’s Mister Miracle. Every panel had me saying, “uh-huh, yeah” aloud at how raw each scene got. There’s such a clear scale of escalation in the events this time around with Orion leading New Genesis in the war against Darkseid. The opening scene with Orion having Granny Goodness corpse dug up just to highlander / Ned Stark her head off? This is what the fuck this age old war between these two worlds been missing, point blank casualties. Main characters catching the hightop fade [get it?].
The action scenes in the series so far have been incredible, especially in showcasing how Mister Miracle, Scott Free, isn’t able to just use his cunning like a Jack Sparrow or Constantine type over fighting. We saw Scott Free will fuck you up hand to hand. However, the dialogue provides the greatest movement of the story, even more so than the action.There’s a conversation between Forager and Scott Free, who got some time off from the war in order to work, about Orion’s lack of regard for life of the “lower class” bug people acting as soldier for the New Gods.
Soldier is a loose term, they’re being used as fodder for a war that isn’t even theirs. You can tell King and Gerads did their homework on the New Gods as this conversation is a throwback to the 80’s Cosmic Odyssey story line. It was there we saw how prejudiced Orion was toward the bug citizens (mind you, they rock bug armor but look like just like the other New Gods).
This does beg a question of continuity, did Cosmic Oddyssey happen in the Rebirth Universe or is Forager not a name but a title given to certain members of the bug people (making it someone else under the helmet)? There’s some questions there but they all keep you engaged into how this will all unfold. Listen, it’s one thing to revamp a story but being able to build upon the lore that was already put in place in order to give the retelling a stronger rooting in authenticity is the mark of a true artist. Building a new story while paying homage to the foundation set by predecessors is a skill of a master builder. Gerads and King are creating a freaking symphony in front of our eyes with each act unfolding in this story.
I’m trying hard not to get too detailed so as to spoil anything, so I won’t talk about the end. These endings have been real heavy. I’ll instead focus on the tale Granny told Scott. She tells him this haunting story of a boy in Nazi Germany accidentally, unbeknownst to him, revealing his family was hiding Jewish citizens in their basement. The introduction of Scott retelling this tale from Granny shows how deep her influence is on him years later and even after her death.
King has a great way of showing how big these character’s presence can be, when they’re in the room or being spoken of. Gerads’ translation of that onto the page remains top notch. The opening as we watch Orion decapitate Granny Goodness feels as if we’re watching it as a memory. The constant reminder of Dr. Bedlam skewering around whenever Scott’s taking his pills. Gerads makes this series not only an (often) bloody portrayal of war but a psychological thriller as well. I say that because, maybe it’s just me, I’m not entirely sure we’re seeing things play out as the truly are if this is all from Scott Free’s perspective (as we learned is shaky from issue #1). Regardless, Gerads makes Scott Free look like a calm storm waiting to be unleashed and that’s the update this classic character needed. #ThatFiveOClockShadowDoe.
Tom King and Mitch Gerads are giving us Game of Thrones in space. I gotta repeat, this isn’t just a stale rehash of the beef between New Genesis and Apokolips. This is a war. I repeat, this is a fucking war. Mofos are getting got out here. By the time it’s all said and done, Mister Miracle will be the gateway comic you give to newcomers to introduce them to great story telling, grounded gritty art, and the psychology of rebuilding a character for the modern time.
Reading Mister Miracle? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.