Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle is magical, dark, intimate and unlike anything you've read before. Scott Free is the greatest escape artist who ever lived. So great, he escaped Granny Goodness' gruesome orphanage and the dangers of Apokolips to travel across galaxies and set up a new life on Earth with his wife, Big Barda. Using the stage alter ego of Mister Miracle, he has made quite a ca...

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Title:Mister Miracle
Author:Tom King
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Mister Miracle Reviews

  • Artemy

    Okay, I'm not going to pretend I understand everything that's going on here. Jack Kirby's Fourth World is extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around (not in the least because, let's face i

    Okay, I'm not going to pretend I understand everything that's going on here. Jack Kirby's Fourth World is extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around (not in the least because, let's face it, those old 70's comics are borderline unreadable today). It also doesn't help that DC isn't doing anything to ease you into that whole world of crazy, not even an intro page to explain what's what. So yeah, even though I understood some things from the context, I'm pretty sure a good chunk of King's

    went over my head — everything about the mother boxes and boom tubes, the complicated relationship between Orion and Miracle, the New Gods, Darkseid, Apokolips, New Genesis and everything else — I have no idea what the hell it all is and how it all relates to each other.

    I loved the comic anyway.

    I loved it because underneath this veil of cosmic deities, gods, mother boxes and boom tubes there is a very human story about pain, depression, love, hate, fear and hope. Every time I saw a "Darkseid is" panel I felt that crushing sense of dread. I felt Scott's fear and confusion when he was losing his grip on reality, I felt his love for Barda, his hatred of Granny Goodness, his philosophical ponderings about God and life and death, and what it all means. I felt it because I'm going through it all myself, day to day.

    I loved it because it made me feel things. Complex, uncomfortable and important things.

    And that's a weird thing to do for a superhero comic by a major publisher. And yet Tom King keeps doing this stuff, year after year —

    , even

    . And now

    . The themes in his writing are always pretty similar, but with every new comic he approachers it from a different angle, and he almost never fails to win me over (except for

    , but now that I think about it, maybe I should give that series a re-read to see if I like it more, too).

    is an outstanding series. Even if you're not a Jack Kirby scholar.

    Darkseid isn't. I hope.

  • Artemy

    God, how do I even do this? How can I review one of the best comics I've ever read and describe everything it made me go through while I was reading it? I know this is a big statement to make about a book that has barely wrapped up, like, a month ago, but I feel like Mister Miracle will now forever be one of my favourite books of all time.

    And no, I can't review it. Sorry. I tried several times. I just can't. This book is too personal, it hits too close to home, and I won't be able to do it justi

    God, how do I even do this? How can I review one of the best comics I've ever read and describe everything it made me go through while I was reading it? I know this is a big statement to make about a book that has barely wrapped up, like, a month ago, but I feel like Mister Miracle will now forever be one of my favourite books of all time.

    And no, I can't review it. Sorry. I tried several times. I just can't. This book is too personal, it hits too close to home, and I won't be able to do it justice with my lacking second language words.

    I actually wrote one

    for Mister Miracle already, back when it was supposed to come out in two volumes and I basically reviewed the first one after reading the first 6 issues, back then it didn't yet get the chance to wreck me entirely. A lot of what I said in that review still stands, but I'll also add that I caught up on the Fourth World mythology since then, re-read MM afterwards and had a much better comprehension of some of the story moments. If you want to do that as well, I will offer a helpful pro-tip: Tom King actually wrote a several-page introduction explaining all the things necessary for better understanding of the book, but it was only included in

    , and will also be included in the trade paperback when that goes on sale. It's not absolutely necessary to know all that stuff to enjoy the book and get what it's trying to say, but it helps a lot.

    So I'll just ramble a bit here, because that's all I can really do here.

    First of all, Scott and Barda are perfect. Their relationship is the emotional core of the entire book, and between them and Batman/Catwoman, Tom King is secretly our generation's best romance writer.

    Among so many other things, Mister Miracle is a bittersweet love letter to Jack Kirby. Two characters here embody the spirit of Kirby, and that's Oberon and Jacob. Unlike Tom King, I never had this big emotional bond with the man even though I do fully recognise his greatness as a person and his importance as a creator. Either way, it was fascinating and touching to see such a tribute. What moved me even more is how the character of Funky Flashman is basically Stan Lee! I loved everything about Funky and Jacob's friendship. We lost Stan just two days before the final issue of MM hit the stands, and in a book so focused on existential dread, loss and overcoming the fear of death it all started to feel a bit too surreal for me. It was the sweetest tribute for both Stan and Jack, free of any cynicism or conflict, just two shining creative lights, making comics together.

    (click the pic to enlarge)

    The final issue teased a follow-up series soon to be announced. What could it be? Hmmm...

    DC must release an absolute hardcover edition of this series. I never buy absolutes because of how ungodly expensive they are, but I will make an exception for Mister Miracle. This series is worth it, and not just because of how perfectly written and structured it is, but also because of Mitch Gerads' mind-blowingly fantastic art, colouring and graphic design. And Nick Derington's covers are icing on the cake, total eye-candy.

    Okay, I'm done and completely spent. I couldn't end the year without writing at least something about this series, because, like I said, this is without a doubt the best comic of the year. Sorry I couldn't come up with anything more coherent.

  • Shadowdenizen

    Originally read as single issues.

    One of todays top writers takes on one of Jack Kirbys most underrated creations, and hits it out of the park!

    This is, hands down one of my favorite runs of the last few years! It takes a relatively minor character and brings him directly to the forefront of the DCU.

    Tom King masterfully navigates this complex character, throwing in enough history to please long-time fans while still making it accessible to new/casual fans.

    Highly recoommended (along with the Visio

    Originally read as single issues.

    One of todays top writers takes on one of Jack Kirbys most underrated creations, and hits it out of the park!

    This is, hands down one of my favorite runs of the last few years! It takes a relatively minor character and brings him directly to the forefront of the DCU.

    Tom King masterfully navigates this complex character, throwing in enough history to please long-time fans while still making it accessible to new/casual fans.

    Highly recoommended (along with the Vision mini-series from Marvel.)

  • Malum

    If Tom King keeps it up, his name will be spoken in the same breath as figures such as Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. Almost everything this guy has been putting out for the last few years has been instant-classics. Happily,

    is no exception. This is the comic book risen to the level of true art.

  • Bookwraiths

    Never having been a huge fan of Mister Miracle or the New Gods, I went into this one with no preconceived expectations. I'm glad I did though, because this is quite a different comic story. There are a lot of cool concepts thrown around. (Especially interesting is the creative team's twist on the old mystery of whether any of this is real or not.) The art is distinct and unique. And Scott Free's characterization is intriguing as he is a god pretending to be an ordinary person yet having to deal

    Never having been a huge fan of Mister Miracle or the New Gods, I went into this one with no preconceived expectations. I'm glad I did though, because this is quite a different comic story. There are a lot of cool concepts thrown around. (Especially interesting is the creative team's twist on the old mystery of whether any of this is real or not.) The art is distinct and unique. And Scott Free's characterization is intriguing as he is a god pretending to be an ordinary person yet having to deal with extraordinary circumstances which complicate his whole life to the point of it not only being jarring for him but for a reader as well.

    Overall, this was a very good read. There are some highs and some lows in here. Some cool twists, some dumb plots. It's all a nice setup, but not much else. And there better be a damn good payoff, because if not then all this weirdness was for nothing.

  • James DeSantis

    From my ratings of King's previous work you can probably tell I'm a pretty big fan of this guy. Taking on Mister Miracle I was a little worried. Always am from getting overhyped. When I began reading this title I was a tad bit confused why so many people loved it. I couldn't get into the first 3 issues really much at all, but the rest? Well...

    Who is Mister Miracle? Well, if you're like me, you have no fucking clue. You might have seen him before but never as a main character. He's the ultimate e

    From my ratings of King's previous work you can probably tell I'm a pretty big fan of this guy. Taking on Mister Miracle I was a little worried. Always am from getting overhyped. When I began reading this title I was a tad bit confused why so many people loved it. I couldn't get into the first 3 issues really much at all, but the rest? Well...

    Who is Mister Miracle? Well, if you're like me, you have no fucking clue. You might have seen him before but never as a main character. He's the ultimate escape artist. In this title he is at war with Darkseid and his army. But really, the core focus of this book is about Big Barda and Scott Free as they live their life together. Mid-way through the book, and this isn't a spoiler, they have a child, and it changes the dynamic and the reasoning why they are fighting and their choices for it. It's a big storyline, spanning 12 issues, but telling a story of love, of pride, of honor, and of loss.

    Good: Loved the hell out of the middle issues. They might be my favorite issues in the series. Strong family dynamic and both funny and heartfelt moments throughout. I think King shined here in both pacing and dialogue. I also enjoyed the ambiguous ending as it left it up to the reader to decide and it was well done. Also, the art is fantastic. I loved how character reacted and the overall design to everything.

    Bad: Wasn't a huge fan of the start. It's a lot to take in, it's weird as shit at points, and the tone feels all over the place.

    Overall, this is a fantastic book once it starts going. King has done so many amazing stories so far. I truly mean it, this guy is one of the best storytellers around if you ask me. Mister Miracle is not my favorite work by him but it's very high up there. A 4.5 out of 5.

  • Sam Quixote

    So I usually try to summarise a book before launching into the review but part of why Mister Miracle, Volume 1 didn’t fully click with me is because I don’t really know what’s going on?!

    I can explain bits of it: in addition to being a superhero, Mister Miracle/Scott Free (I know, these names - it’s superhero comics, just go with it) is an escape artist and he’s planning the ultimate escape... from death itself!!

    There’s a war on Apokolips/New Genesis (are they the same?) where Darkseid has the

    So I usually try to summarise a book before launching into the review but part of why Mister Miracle, Volume 1 didn’t fully click with me is because I don’t really know what’s going on?!

    I can explain bits of it: in addition to being a superhero, Mister Miracle/Scott Free (I know, these names - it’s superhero comics, just go with it) is an escape artist and he’s planning the ultimate escape... from death itself!!

    There’s a war on Apokolips/New Genesis (are they the same?) where Darkseid has the Anti-Life Equation (again) and the Highfather and he are fighting over it or something. Mister Miracle’s gotta get involved because he’s related to a bunch of these guys? And that’s the other main thing: family drama in this large, weird dynastic family of powerful god-like nutters.

    The “escape from death” thing is only touched upon in the beginning and isn’t referenced again, which is a shame as it’s a cool idea. The Apokolips war sounds epic and dramatic but it’s surprisingly boring. The problem is that whatever obstacles Scott and his girlfriend Barda encounter, they overcome pretty damn easily, usually while talking about domestic banalities like their sitting room layout! On trial? Sentenced to death? Eh, whatevs - we’ll yawn our way out of trouble and oh hey look it worked out what should we have for dinner? War, trials, executions all sound exciting as concepts but reading them here it’s anything but.

    The deadpan way Scott and Barda breeze through these massive events reminded me of Matt Fraction/David Aja’s Hawkeye run, where you saw the in-between moments of life for Clint Barton when he wasn’t getting mixed up with the Avengers. Scott is also always bandaged like Clint was. It’s an amusing tone to take in a superhero comic, like Tom King’s wryly cocking an eyebrow at this melodramatic, cosmic noise, which I appreciate for its subversiveness, but it also undermines the action. It’s an approach that giveth and taketh away.

    So then there’s the family drama which was the best part for me because it goes a long way to explaining a character I have zero prior knowledge of. He was born on Earth but he’s related to Darkseid, the Biggest Bad of the DC Universe, he and Barda had shitty childhoods on Apokolips, and they can’t escape their connections to this horrible place where unpleasant relatives are forever fighting one another. The trial scene with his dickhead half-brother Orion stood out to me the most as you got a strong sense of Scott’s bubbling frustration buried deep at his core - it’s a very intense scene, done perfectly by King and artist Mitch Gerads.

    Gerads’ art is fine. I’m not crazy about it but I don’t dislike it either. The classic nine-panel grid layout of the pages allow for more nuance within the story. I didn’t understand why the art sometimes went fuzzy, like an olden-style TV on the fritz.

    Then again, I didn’t really understand most of what was happening! I’m not totally sure what the story is, where any of it is going, why “Darkseid Is” is repeated constantly throughout, who most of the extended cast were (though I suspect it doesn’t matter), what was going on or the meaning of anything. And the fuck of it is, I know Tom King can write perfectly coherent stories - his Batman series being the prime example - so he’s being deliberately obtuse here and it’s annoying!

    I kinda like Scott though. Barda too. They’re a charming couple. Scott’s monologue on Descartes was compelling and offered up a possible explanation of the “Darkseid Is” chant. I like that Jack Kirby, Mister Miracle’s creator, made a cameo as “Oberon”, and a young Stan Lee appeared as Funky Flashman - you can see whose side King/Gerads take on Kirby/Lee’s troubled creative partnership with Funky’s fate.

    I’d like it more if I felt like I had a better grasp of what King was going for - generic family drama except the family are gods? Alright, but a lot of crap could’ve been pruned away and streamlined for this to work better. As it is I spent most of the time floundering, semi-understanding and quasi-enjoying what I was seeing and remaining puzzled for the rest of it!

    Mister Miracle, Volume 1 didn’t live up to the hype for me - it was too inconsistent and vague for my taste - but it’s not a bad book either and parts of it were fun. I’ll come back for the second half but with lowered expectations.

  • Sam Quixote

    Scott Free is Mister Miracle: superhero, escape artist, New God, husband… and soon father-to-be! Together with his wife, Big Barda, they face parenthood alongside all-out war on Apokolips against the greatest enemy in the DC Universe: Darkseid!

    I think Tom King is one of the best comics writers working today and certainly among the finest DC currently has – his Batman run is jaw-droppingly good! But outside of Batman… ehhhhh. I can take or leave his stuff. Mister Miracle’s not bad but, particula

    Scott Free is Mister Miracle: superhero, escape artist, New God, husband… and soon father-to-be! Together with his wife, Big Barda, they face parenthood alongside all-out war on Apokolips against the greatest enemy in the DC Universe: Darkseid!

    I think Tom King is one of the best comics writers working today and certainly among the finest DC currently has – his Batman run is jaw-droppingly good! But outside of Batman… ehhhhh. I can take or leave his stuff. Mister Miracle’s not bad but, particularly given its overwhelming plaudits, it’s a disappointingly unimpressive 12-issue maxi-series.

    Let’s be honest: this will be most people’s first Mister Miracle book – it certainly is mine – and, though you get a decent idea of his character, King doesn’t do a very good job in explaining his complicated world. Scott and Barda’s extended families are the main focus of this book but I never really understood the various relationships. I got that some nutter called Granny Goodness was a teacher/steward to them when they were little and that Scott’s dad is some kind of Force Ghost dude called Highfather, but beyond that… no clue. Scott’s got some brothers, Darkseid is his – dad as well, maybe granddad? Who is Barda to Scott besides his wife – the daughter of another high-ruling family?

    What is the difference between Apokolips and New Genesis – or are they the same place, just named differently? Why is there a massive war breaking out now? Why doesn’t Darkseid use the Anti-Life Equation to win the war? What’s the difference between New Gods and Old Gods? Which characters are New Gods and which are Old – does it matter? What do the titles mean – what’s the hierarchy?

    The story is largely unfocused too. The war is almost an afterthought or background dressing (ditto the escape artist stuff which always seemed incidental and irrelevant). I never had any idea which side was winning or the context of any battle we saw, what its stakes were, and it came off as oddly undramatic and dull. There’s zero tension – Scott and Barda are essentially invincible (we literally see them bathing in lava at one point!) – and the characters that do die are one-dimensional and unknown (to me anyway) so their deaths had no impact.

    I guess the real story is about parenthood and Scott and Barda’s relationship (and she plays such a huge part in this book the series should’ve really been called Mister Miracle and Big Barda), which is well-written and convincing, buuuut… it wasn’t very interesting. I suppose it was amusing that they were talking about their condo’s layout and other banal domesticities whilst doing something daring and (supposedly) exciting like breaking into a palace to assassinate someone.

    As well as not explaining Mister Miracle’s world very well, I generally had no idea what was happening. Why do the pictures suddenly go fuzzy like those old TVs where the signal would cause the image to blur? Why is “Darkseid Is” repeated throughout? They’re interesting aspects but a little too avant-garde for my tiny brain to comprehend. It’s hinted early on that Mister Miracle’s greatest escape will be to “escape death” but nothing really happens with that.

    So what did I like about it? I like Scott and Barda. King writes Scott a lot like Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, which is to say he’s kind of a ditz who’s always getting banged up but he’s charming and effortlessly likeable – there’s never a point you’re not rooting for him. Scott and Barda’s relationship is likewise believable and you get a strong sense of their deep love, so kudos to King for conveying that so powerfully. The True/False trial was gripping and King inserts a running gag, as is his wont in nearly all of his books now, this time of crudités, so characters munch on carrot sticks at random points – even Darkseid! – which made me smile.

    Mitch Gerads’ art is interesting. He’s completely mastered the classic 9 panel layout structure used throughout. I like that the weird New Gods/Apokolips costumes mix a weirdly feudal/medieval style with camp futuristic sci-fi. The colours and the look reminded me of the original Tron movie and it’s quite eye-catching (the slave negotiating table!). I like that Oberon looked like Jack Kirby too, Mister Miracle’s creator, which was a cute, respectful nod. I didn’t think it’s the prettiest art but it works fine for the book.

    The ending is a bit of a bugger’s muddle. Barda conveniently gets an uber-powerful super-weapon, Darkseid suddenly becomes extremely gullible and stupid and… yeah. Not great.

    Mister Miracle is not a bad comic. I give it a lot of credit that it’s not doing what most superhero comics do which is: good heroes punch bad villains, saves the day, zzz… King and Gerads have produced an original book that takes chances and shoots for art above all else – wonderful, honestly. If only more creators attempted this!

    Except I still had no real idea about the whole New Gods stuff in the DCU and the story, besides being confusing and unclear, really didn’t grab me – I found it very easy to put down and read anything else instead. Mister Miracle is for readers looking for something a little bit different from their superhero comics though don’t expect the masterpiece the hype would have you believe it is.

  • Bookwraiths

    I know most people love this series and adore this writer. That is actually why I picked it up months ago, came back to finish it today. And I have to admit the first few issues of Mister Miracle lived up to its praises, were damn intriguing. Unfortunately, I can’t say the series as a whole maintained the high level of that beginning, because for me it didn’t. Sure, it was interesting, thought provoking even but just an okay story overall. Hope others enjoy it more.

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