Mister Miracle #10 – Tom King, Writer; Mitch Gerads, Writer
Ray – 10/10
Ray: After last issue’s unspeakably brutal events – which began with Scott and Barda returning to Apokalips to face the monsters who made their lives hell, and ended with Darkseid proposing a horrific bargain to end the war in exchange for Scott and Barda’s son – this issue returns to Earth and domestic normalcy, but the horrors of the war are never far behind. Mister Miracle #10 is one of the best portrayals of domestic strife and a relationship under pressure that I’ve ever seen. While I’m loving this book, the fact that Barda has rarely been able to speak for herself in Scott’s narrative is a legitimate criticism. I was really glad to see that this issue finally gave her some big moments, as the trauma of the last nine issues has been hitting her as hard as Scott. This issue feels scattered, but not in a bad way. We’re seeing snippets of a life that just keeps on going, and time moves fast as baby Jacob is soon to turn one. Scott tries to de-stress from the recent events by going out for the night with Booster and Ted. Their drunken revelry provides some of the issue’s lighter moments, and brings up a possible spin-off that I would love to read. But ultimately, it’s just a brief distraction.
Much like last issue, this issue is about pain. While last issue was about harsh, sudden trauma, this one is about the creeping realization that you have no good choices. Scott’s desperation to rationalize whether he can let the war rage on and kill billions to spare his son, or whether he can bring himself to give his son to a monster, leads to a fascinating rambling speech towards a random clerk – and the issue’s most painful moments in a showdown with Barda. After Barda’s been the stoic, loving wife for most of the run, she finally loses it a little as her anger over Scott’s suicide attempt and near-abandonment of her finally bubbles over. Some of her comments come off as a little too hurtful and cruel, but they feel like they come from genuine pain. And that’s where this comic has always excelled. It’s a love story, and a tragedy, against the backdrop of an unspeakable endless conflict. The issue ends on a hopeful note, with Barda and Scott coming up with a plan to fight back. I’m highly invested in rooting for them, and that’s the sign of a great book, but this book feels like a tragedy in the end. I’m anticipating the final two issues with both excitement and fear.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.