Mister Miracle #6 – Tom King, Writer; Mitch Gerads, Artist
Ray – 10/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: So…I’ve had a lot of praise for Mister Miracle so far, with most of the issues getting a perfect 10/10 score. So it stands to reason that there could be a downslide at some point. Well, not this month!
This issue is probably the best of the run, and may just be the best single issue of a DC book I’ve read in quite some time. This run has been defined by its duality in a lot of ways, with the title brilliantly weaving together character-driven dialogue with spectacular action-packed space adventure. And this issue, the end of the first half of the series, brings the two concepts together like never before as our ultimate power couple, Big Barda and Scott Free, undergo some major relationship developments as they battle their way through New Genesis to save Scott’s life. It’s Scott’s execution day and they’ve decided to fight, but just because New Genesis is the “Good planet” doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
The issue is essentially a series of set-pieces, done in spectacular fashion by Mitch Gerads, as Scott and Barda have a relationship talk that many people will be able to relate to. As they invade New Genesis, Barda breaches the topic of remodeling their condo. As they pummel their way past the guards, it becomes a discussion about bigger things, including Scott’s desire to hold on to the past and his mourning for Oberon.
There’s lasers, an endless void, a giant sea dragon, and my personal favorite, a collapsing room that shows just how much a great artist can do with limited space and settings. Barda’s words about moving on to the next stage of their life take on added meaning by the end of the issue – one might even say they’re pregnant with meaning. Babies in superhero comics are obviously a…dicey issue, so I’m hoping King sees this storyline through. Then we hit the end of the issue, and the story takes a sudden left turn into horror as we take a month break. This is essentially a story about trauma and moving on, and it’s one of the best comics anyone has put out in years.
Corrina: I have not been as fully in love with this series as Ray. I see it’s brilliance, of course, but sometimes it veers into being too clever and literary and loses the thread of the characters.
But this issue is my absolute favorite. It’s not only a brilliant character study but it’s brilliant technically as a comic book. I give King credit for the dialogue that uses redecorating a home as code for redecorating a life, much as the destruction of their home breaths new life into the Smiths marriage in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but it’s Gerards who blows me away.
You could take all the dialogue away from this book and it would still be eye-popping and it wold still tell the story of how Scott and Barda crash through all the obstacles and death traps to get to Orion, only to find him (possibly) murdered.
Gerads uses the panels themselves to show illustrate how a room is contracting around them, and there’s the detail in the panels of the various death traps, and, finally, the imagination that created all of the various creatures….like I said, I’m blown away.
Add in King’s dialogue as a contrast and you get a contender for the best single issue of 2018, yes, even though it’s January.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.