MISTER MIRACLE #7 / Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mitch Gerads / Letterer: Clayton Cowles / Publisher: DC Comics / Release Date: March 14, 2018
After a nice break, he returns! The man who can escape anything! Who dares to pop the paranoid pill and take the plunder into the depths of this review? Mister Miracle!
Since last year, Tom King and Mitch Gerads have done a masterful job of deconstructing the character of Mister Miracle aka Scott Free. In this series, they’ve focused on the man underneath the mask, hardly ever focusing on his superhero persona. Depression, anxiety, self-hate, some modern existential philosophy, this series has it all; and King has done a great job of blending these heavy themes with the madness of the New Gods. Gerads art adds a psychedelic feel do this comic that makes it stand out among other titles at DC right now. Mister Miracle #7 picks up where one might not expect, given the end of the last issue. The quality remains, the story is engaging, and the way King manages to weave character development into these weird situations is awesome and so much fun to read.
The best things about Mister Miracle #7 are the pacing and the area of the story that King chooses to focus on. The end of issue 6 was emotional; we find out that Barda is pregnant, Orion is dead, and Scott comes face to face with Darkseid. When I picked up issue 7, I expected to maybe see an epic battle between Scott and Darkseid. The ruler of Apokolips versus the master escape artist. Huh? What’s that? Oh, right. Tom King decides to focus on Barda giving birth instead. Seems like a weird choice, but this issue turns out to be just like the others before it, full of heart and humor. Scott and Barda’s relationship has been written well in this series. Scott doesn’t really care about his life too much. He doesn’t particularly care for his occupation either; but one thing that’s been made clear in this series is he has a deep, unwavering love for Barda, and Barda feels the same way.
This issue focuses mainly on Scott and Barda in the hospital as she’s about to give birth. While there, Barda’s old crew, the Female Furies, make an appearance to check on their old friend. The scenes with them are awkward and funny because they’re on the opposite side of the war as Barda and Scott.
A good portion of this issue involves Scott and Barda trying to come up with a name for their child. Scott is hopelessly throwing out names as Barda continues to shut them down. I enjoy how King makes even these seemingly boring moments of the comic shine; as anyone that has a child knows that the birth of your child is really the farthest thing from boring. There’s tension and anxiety involved with bringing a new life into the world, and King does a good job of establishing that tone in this issue.
Artist Mitch Gerads deserves a ton of credit here too. In issue six, he showed off his color skills. The colors in this issue are good too, but Gerads shows how talented he is at pacing as well. The 9-panel technique is utilized well in Mister Miracle #7. Gerads packs emotion into every panel, and makes every image mean something.
From the start of this story, he has brought Scott and Barda to life, Barda especially. Throughout this series, she’s had some epic moments I’ll never forget. Whether she’s frowning during Scott’s trial, smiling while they’re out to eat, or covered in blood after killing someone, Gerads has made her look beautiful in every sense of the word. This issue is no different. Barda’s faces as she’s talking with Scott change from stoic complacency to pure terror when she experiences complications during birth.
My favorite part of this issue was when Barda was close to giving birth. She starts to ramble about a story about how she first noticed Scott. It turns out to be the moment she realized she loved him. It was a sweet moment because she used it to block out the pain, but also comical because of the faces she was making. Scott’s expressions are also well-done in this comic. King sets up the tension up with the dialogue and Gerads amplifies it with his art. Gerads’ subtlety in his art is fun too, whether it’s Wonder Woman posters in the background or it’s the monitors attached to Barda resembling Omega beams.
This series on the surface is good. It’s about Scott Free and his life as a New God. The never-ending war between New Genesis and Apokolips rages on and the death of Highfather and Orion has lead to Scott becoming the leader on the side of New Genesis. Through it all, he has the love of his life with him. Barda is a strong, beautiful woman who is the definition of ride or die. Their relationship is strong one, but a realistic one.
Beneath all of that, though, this series is special. It’s about self-hate, destiny, and free will. In issue 5 Scott brought up Descartes and this idea of really existing, or just being controlled by a demon; and if one does exist, then what role does God play? It’s one of the most important themes in this comic and this issue is important because of how it ends. I think for the first time in his life, Scott has found some sort of importance and meaning. How much? Well, that’s hard to say; but I think it’s clear that Mister Miracle #7 was important, not only for the plot of the story but also for Scott’s psyche as he continues to battle for the glory of New Genesis.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
“His name is Toren Chenault but he goes by Raymond X. He’s currently a student attending Michigan State University from where he will graduate this spring. He loves all things nerd culture from television to comics and his favorite heroes are Daredevil, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Nighthawk, and Captain Atom. Toren is a writer as well, and his debut superhero novel, Mystic Man, will be released this year.