“There are master magicians performing here. Their names are Tom King and Mitch Gerads. And like the best magic trick, with MISTER MIRACLE you’ll never see it coming.” —Brad Meltzer (IDENTITY CRISIS, The Tenth Justice) That quote says it all. I just got finished reading issue one of DC Comics' Mister Miracle (M.M) and I'll tell you what there is a lot there beyond the smoke and mirrors and I'm excited to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
This issue starts with M.M pulling off his greatest escape ever. Escaping death. With a first introduction splash page that would put 13 reasons why to shame. From there, the book follows his life after his seemingly great escape...So of the back, the best thing about this issue, and possibly what could be the series, is that you can't discern if this is M.M's reality, if he's going mad, or if Death it self is playing tricks on him. If it's one thing we know about DC is that Death is not one to take lightly as it always gets its due.
This series is written with the idea of being as good as Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, and New Frontier to name a few. And let's be honest it's entirely too early to determine if they'll hit their mark. However, I can say this. Issue one is written with fluidity. The thing I've always loved about DC is that they can make a character who is all powerful and can do almost anything relate-able to the every day person. This issue does a great job of making M.M feel like less than super human through his insecurity and his feeling of mediocrity. One on my favorite parts of this issue can be seen below left:
"Only Granny Can Teach." If you don't follow DC or the New Gods. Then these couple panels mean nothing to you. However, for those of us who do. Just amazing. It also stands as a reminder of how hard M.M has had it. Through out all his triumph, all his fame, all his "success". He grew up in the pits of Apokolips. This sequence and the page before that truly captures this. Also, if you're looking at the picture to the left you'll see a big black space with the words "Darkseid is." And I for one can't wait to see what. This panel appears 24 times more and more until it's an entire page. WHAT!? It's easy to dismiss as "lazy writing", however, those of us who know better know this is something...and it's something major. It also leaves you wondering: is that what is echoing in M.M's mind? Or is it something he's hearing but ignoring? Or is it simply a sign of things to come in the DC universe? Only time will tell. Another thing, writer Tom King, nails in this issue is the relationship between M.M and his wife Barda. Even in that image to the left you can see it portrayed just right as she's helping M.M up telling Orion to "back off" essentially. Also in the pages that follow. The dynamic between to the two is done in a way that is very subtle but noticeable. However those last panels at the end of the issue featuring her will make you wonder wtf is going on!
And speaking of panels, let's talk art. Gerads really nails it this first issue and here's why. This gritty and grainy style really works for the tone of the issue. When you open this comic and turn to that first splash page. It makes you go "Holy Hell! What is happening here?!" Gerads really gets the emotion across with the faces too. There are scenes early on in this issue that could tell a whole story without words. There are also scenes which appear to be depictions of M.M on a t.v show and are drawn with the interference one would get on old time televisions where it would blur and distort the image. So delightfully wonderful. I can't wait to see more of Mister Miracle and all of the New Gods from Gerads.
All and all this issue is a MUST HAVE if you don't already. As previously stated King has set out to do something that may be impossible but I sure am happy he's trying. So far this is shaping up to be something magnificent and could just be The Prestige from Mister Miracle that could get a standing ovation from us all. #MagicPuns