By Justin Tremor
First, let me state the obvious. Who is this guy? Why does his opinion matter? I’m just a fellow Memphian like the rest of the Nerd 901 crew and my opinion probably does not matter. Sometimes you have to do things on a whim and see what happens. This is one of those times. Unfortunately, I have spent most of my life without friends who share my love of comics. Social media has opened new opportunities to connect with like-minded people and, quite frankly, I’m ready to take a leap of faith. I love talking comics with my fellow nerds, so I decided to give this a shot. So… here… we… go…
Twitter has been buzzing the past couple of weeks about one of this week’s new releases, Mister Miracle #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. In fact, every time I open the app, I see someone from DC or an industry professional hyping it. This comes as no surprise considering their marvelous (hehe) collaboration on Vision a couple of years ago. That book garnered accolades for examining the inner workings of a lesser known character. To be honest, I did not read it but heard nothing but great things. This duo seems perfectly suited to tackle the complexity that is sure to follow in their newest book. So, who is Mister Miracle?
Created by Jack Kirby, Scott Free is one of the New Gods. He was raised in Granny Goodness’s orphanage on Apokolips. Desperate to free himself from constant war, he escaped to Earth and began a new life with Big Barda, whom he married. As Mister Miracle, he is a master escape artist and illusionist. He has even fought alongside the Justice League. Admittedly, I am no expert on the history of the New Gods. A man with so much going right for him must be happy, right? After reading the first issue of this new series, it’s crystal clear that this guy has problems. The premise of this new title is that Free has escaped every trap and now he seeks to free himself from death.
The story opens with an unmasked Scott, passed out in the bathroom, with blood flowing from his wrists coating the floor in crimson. OMG! Is this our hero? The rest of the book is a journey through madness as Scott recovers; but experiences hallucinations, apparitions, and other self-deception. The art parallels the story so mindbendingly well as we are taken through a world where reality and trances are indistinguishable. Intertwined in this tale is the ominous presence of Darkseid, who never appears in a single panel. Very interesting because this book is IN CONTINUITY with current DC storylines, and Darkseid was last seen as a reincarnated infant. The issue ends with a cliffhanger that will be either a vision or a journey across the stars. To be honest, when it was over, I was not sure what happened. It took a second reading to really immerse myself in the imagery and storytelling being laid out before me. I enjoyed the first reading, but the second was AMAZING!
This book is so refreshing and thought provoking. My son claimed it “blew his mind but gave him a headache.” While I’m not sure everyone who reads this issue will need pain medication when it’s over, I can ensure that it will leave you intrigued and curious about what lies ahead for Scott Free. One can only assume that we will be given details about his past on Apokolips and painful memories that still seem to haunt him. The art in this issue seemingly paints him as very withdrawn and troubled. My theory is that, perhaps, Scott is more interested in escaping life than death. He may simply be losing his mind as well. Plus, how does this fit into DC Rebirth and the inevitable return of Darkseid? I can hardly wait to read the next issue. But I must agree with Shannon from 901 Comics who told me “I’m glad it’s only twelve issues”. Yeah, twelve seems to be a magical number for these types of maxi-series. I believe King and Gerads may be constructing a modern classic that fans will remember for years.