As I can see from a quick glance at the all-seeing, all-knowing magic eye that is the internet, I’m not the only reader finding Tom King and Mitch Gerards’ Mister Miracle series frustratingly opaque. Even Scott Free himself doesn’t really know what’s real and what isn’t. Is any of what we are reading real at all, given the incongruities we are all witnessing right in front of our very eyes?
Orion as a tyrannical Highfather waging all out war of his father, Darkseid, with Scott as one of his wartime generals, and a DC universe almost unrecognisable as the Rebirth universe it’s now become. Is Scott Free actually trapped within the Anti-life Equation itself, trying to break free in what would be his greatest escape act yet? Was it his attempted suicide in issue 1 that transported him into this purgatory? What is the ‘paranoid pill’ he’s taking as if it were medicine? Is Scott Free hooked on opiates? I doubt it, but you never know.
This is a story of both gods doing godly things as well as the story of a man trying to live his life mundanely (other than the odd show) in our mundane world. All the while, not looking his best as he tries to catch up with his earthly life while taking some well earned shore leave from the war of the gods.
Scott’s distant, melancholy mood permeates this comic, and along with the out-of-kilter and intrusive static interference into the art, courtesy of Gerards, can we really be sure Mister Miracle isn’t being messed with, manipulated? It’s too early to say, given this is only the third of twelve issues, but something is most certainly rotten in this state of Denmark, and the prince is perturbed. Darkseid is…all around? Playing tricks and setting psychological traps for his adopted son? And, what of Scott’s own, now dubious, parentage? Questions, questions, questions, and none answered yet. And, it’s just occurred to me, if Scott Free is The New Gods messiah, maybe this is his last temptation from which he has to emerge the better man?
Alongside all of this are references to the mass genocide of the Jews during WWII, this time replaced by the 6.5 million bug people that Forager belongs to, killed by Darkseid and kept low by Orion. The victims of a war not of their making and a society that is happy to look down on them and exploit them for their own gain. War, as we know, is good for absolutely nothing, but Forager travels to Scott Free’s earthly apartment (both literally and figuratively) to plead with him. Forager and his people always looked up to Scott, and follow him into death. That’s some dedication and loyalty. After all, if you’re going to change the world for the better, you’re going to need followers; disciples or at the very least an army, right?
A series that’s too early on its path to call anything yet, but one I do hope starts dripping further clues to keep me from simply scratching my head–and the collective heads of the world wide web–and one beautifully kept purposefully fuzzy thanks to Mitch Gerards’ gritty artwork. Will normal services be resumed soon? Or will even more mystery be heaped upon Scott’s already burdened shoulders?
Mister Miracle #3 is available now, from DC Comics ($3.99).