Couldn’t Put It Down: Mister Miracle (REVIEW)

Darkseid is.

 

Before starting this review I want to clarify where I am come from as a reader so when maybe I give an opinion that upsets you, you can at least understand where that opinion is coming from. I largely knew very little about the New Gods and the Fourth World before reading this book. I mean wasn’t totally ignorant; I knew the basics from Superman The Animated Series and Justice League (2001)/ Unlimited (2004) but I never delved any deeper into that corner of the DC Universe. That is until I heard about this Mister Miracle run from Ex-CIA officer turned comic book writer Tom King. I genuinely heard nothing but praise for this series from multiple people, critics, and podcasts so after a few months of having it collect dust in my Comixology library I finally gave it a shot and I couldn’t believe how captivating this book is. I haven’t felt this way reading a comic since my eighth-grade teacher loaned me is original Hush issues back in 2012.

Darkseid is.

This book does a great job of laying down the foundations for the series within its first couple of pages. The brief yet informative history lesson given about the New Gods, New Genesis, and Apokolips is everything a new reader would need in order to grasp the story and not feel lost in so much complex comic book history. From there the book immediately hooked me with it’s, real and raw approach to that history it sets up. Scott Free (Mister Miracle) is known as the world’s greatest escape artist and lives in Los Angeles with his wife Big Barda. After becoming tired of his escape acts feeling that they’re too mundane Free tried to escape from the biggest trap of all, death. Starting off with Scott being taken home from the hospital after his suicide attempt was certainly a bit of a shock but one that dares the reader to want to find out more. 

Darkseid is.

This is a book with a grand backdrop of a legendary war but rather than telling another sci-fi epic between the struggles of good and evil between the forces of New Genesis against the forces of Apokolips, the book takes the approach of dealing with human struggles of PTSD and depression. It captures the isolation, desire to get better, a constant sense of confusion that comes along with depression in a way that was authentic and is now the gold standard for representing those feelings in movies, TV or comics. That approach to this story makes it easy for the readers to find something to attach themselves to in such a personal way making the journey of this book all the more satisfying. Scott’s constant need for support and reassurance that things are going to be okay or the reassurance of love are all themes and ideas that anyone can relate to and make this book so much more universal than it may appear. Going beyond Scott and how his depression and suicide have impacted him we see the strain it put on the way he lives his life and his relationships with the people in his life most notably his warrior wife. The dynamic between Scott and Barda realistically goes through waves of understanding, support, love, frustration, and isolation.

Darkseid is.  

Of course, there’s more to Mister Miracle than it’s take on real-world human emotions. For example, the characters and their interactions all have a sense of familiarity with one another that feels natural and like they really have had relationships beyond this book. That’s something that a lot of stand-alone out of continuity stories don’t always manage to do but this one accomplished it in spades. The greatest tool in King’s armory when it comes to those sharp character interactions is his dry sense of humor that had me laughing out loud and chuckling to myself whenever I thought about them in my day to day life. It all complements the story being told and never disrupts the flow of the story. The humor interjected into the book works so well not just because of Kings writing but also because of the art illustrated by Mitch Gerads. His art is more than just good for humor much like Kings writing, it does a great job of capturing human emotion. The vibrancy of the art and color choice makes for some memorable imagery, whether it be funny, heroic or chaotic.

Darkseid is.

Mister Miracle is a fantastic mini-series that is filled with real experiences, human emotions, and art that help bring those experiences and emotions to reality. It’s one of those books that once you start it you never want to put it down. Hell, I even at points felt like reading it while stuck in traffic (I didn’t because that would be stupid and dangerous) because of how engaging this story was for anyone with any level of familiarity with this aspect of the DCU. If you are looking for something that goes beyond your usual comic book heroics then this is the book for you. I already can’t wait to read it again. It is easily up there with some of the best comic books I’ve ever read. If you’ve read Mister Miracle let me know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment here or by reaching out to me @nerdycausal on twitter. Also, be sure to share this review around with all the lovely people on your various social media. Thank you for reading, I always appreciate it and until next time see ya!

 

Darkseid is.

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