[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
What do you do after the most death-defying act of your escape artist career? You go to war, of course! Scott Free has skipped out on his trip to the great beyond and taken a boom tube to New Genesis instead, where he and his wife, Big Barda, take on the invading hordes of Apokolips. Things are a little off, however, and Mister Miracle starts to doubt why he’s fighting when Orion takes over the mantle of Highfather. It’s enough to make a New God miss Granny Goodness’s orphanage!
In this issue, as in the previous issue, there is a strange feeling of unreality, as if Scott’s reality is a dream or illusion. There are a number of things that seem out-of-place. They could be put down to Tom King rewriting a bit of Fourth World lore, or just making a mistake, but I think they are deliberate clues that something is going on beyond the events shown.
For example, Scott’s Mother Box answers a question in straightforward English, not pings. And are we really supposed to believe that the archetypal child abuser Granny Goodness has been loyal spy for Highfather?
And Granny serving Jello of all things to Scott and Barda? That just seems bizarre. And what is the meaning of Metron’s warning that Scott is “not to know the face of God”?
Also, it seems strange that Orion would seek out Highfather’s position as head of New Genesis. In previous New God stories, Orion has definitely seen himself as Darkseid’s son, and shown little interest in accumulating power. Also, he never paid much attention to proper protocol before, so why is he so insistent on it now.
However, Granny does bring up a good point. Scott’s claim to the Highfather’s position is as good or better than Orion’s. So, why does Scott meekly accept Orion taking Highfather’s place?
I will be severely disappointed if the events depicted turn out to be literally as shown with no deeper level of reality behind them. If that were the case, then the issue is full of sloppy mistakes or clumsy retcons. I believe that King is a skillful enough writer and familiar enough with Kirby’s Fourth World that this is not the case. Something is going on here beyond what he is showing, and I choose to see these anomalies as hints – for now.
Mister Miracle’s defining trait is that he can escape any trap. I am positive that this is the story of his greatest escape ever, even though we have yet to see the nature of the trap. This series has the makings of a truly epic Fourth World story.