[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene—only to what end?
I really loved the segment with Mister Miracle and Big Barda checking out Jack Kirby’s handprints in the sidewalk outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Unfortunately the King didn’t receive that honour outside the DCU. Also, there is reference to a statement he reportedly made to an aspiring artist, “Kid… comics will break your heart.”
And then there is the… interesting sex scene. It had never occurred to me to wonder about the Free’s love life, but of course it only makes sense that Scott would be into bondage.
Scott pays a touching visit to Oberon’s grave, confirming that Oberon’s dead as stated in the first issue. However, does Oberon’s epitaph – “Get me out of here!” – serve as a hint that Scott needs to rescue Oberon in some way? Or is Scott the one who needs to get himself out of the situation he finds himself in?
I find Scott’s philosophical musings on Descartes and his proof of existence interesting. With a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but his analysis of Descartes’ argument is clearly more than superficial. And it adds to the recurring emphasis on God shown in this title.
And although I’m not sure what it means, I believe King is telling us something when Scott states that he will stay and fight, but only if Barda tells him to. Why doesn’t he have the agency to decide for himself? And what does it mean when she responds that she can’t do that – “I’m not your way out.” But then, she later tells him, “Stay.” Is she his way out after all?
I don’t have a problem with the pacing of the story, but I find it maddening that it’s going to take so long to get to the root of the mysteries of this book. If only it were twice-weekly like many other DC titles. On the other hand, if that would cause a drop in the book’s quality, I’d rather die of impatience.
While DC’s Rebirth era has given us many great books, Mister Miracle is one of the best, despite not being labelled as a Rebirth title. It has breathed new life into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World without losing touch with the spirit of Kirby’s original stories.