Story: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerards
Colors: Mitch Gerards
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
What They Say:
Mister Miracle and Big Barda are in a panic. The war with Apokolips isn’t going well. And it’s Barda’s turn to have her past come crashing back into her present as the Female Furies appear on the scene with blood on their minds.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ll admit, after the small break between issues, I was almost wary of getting back in Mister Miracle. I’ve learned to trust in Tom King to tell a long form story like this and that there will be aspects that take time to be realized but with a gap and the first half of it ending as well as it did, I didn’t want to dive in quite so quickly. But there it was, in my list of books that I had available, that tantalizing cover from Nick Derington and knowing that it was full of wonders from Mitch Gerards. And it does not disappoint as Gerards takes the tension of a birth of this type and combines it with the realism of the tedium of waiting for that event to unfold. It’s one of the weirdest experiences ever, which I can say having two kids, and it’s just perfectly executed here as a kind of gap issue.
While I can imagine that even for some fans of this series and how Tom King works, this issue might be a bit of a challenge. But it worked really well for me just in exposing us to another kind of the tedium that exists in everyday life, even for people like Scott and Barda. With her close to having the baby, just the sheer frustrating in trying to get her checked into the hospital is a challenge. Scott’s just delightful with his weary and shaggy look that he has combined with being in a Superman t-shirt that just accentuates it even more. Barda’s just trying to deal with the process but for both of them it’s simply a matter of hurry up and wait. The nurses and doctors that check on her treat it like normal, since it is to them, and they know that it simply takes time outside of those rare exception people where things move very fast. That kind of calm can be frustrating to first-time parents and there’s elements of that in this.
What the book does well is to expose us to more of who these characters are in general and in this setting. The back and forth about baby names is just spot on beautiful with its humor, but also in seeing the way they eventually work toward the name that they pick and why. Reflections on the past are natural and with their connections it’s a bit more grim than one might normally have but it also shows the strength of their bond. With the child being the first born of someone from the two worlds as they are, as well as Scott being the Highfather now, there’s some real meaning to all of this and they do get some uninvited guests with a few Furies showing up. That doesn’t turn to battle but rather a temporary truce and even a bit of help for their sister. It’s a nice little piece to help with one of the more tense moments of the birth, though not an unexpected one. Most things here are telegraphed fairly easily but it all works perfectly because of the structure and familiarity of the series so far and of these characters.
Mister Miracle continues to just deliver great stuff. This is a wonderful moment for longtime fans of these characters to see them moving forward as they are with something new instead of running in place. King makes it heartwarming, funny, and a little tense along the way as well though it never felt like there was a real risk here, which I actually appreciate. And Mitch Gerards is just killing it once again with the nine-panel grid format. It’s not an easy format to work with and it requires a different thought process to bring the most out of. But the combination of talents here simply hits it out of the park again and has me excited to see what’s next and hopeful that more fundamental changes are in the mix for these characters.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 14th, 2018