(W) Tom King, (A) Mitch Gerads
While one of comics’ largest publishers tries to recapture their magic through collectable stamp promotions, the other is allowing creators to push its characters into bold and daring directions. To that end, Mister Miracle #4 is nothing short of brilliant. Everything that writer Tom King did right in Omega Men and expanded upon in Vision has been perfected in this New Gods drama. In just four issues, he and artist Mitch Gerads have garnered whispers of the coveted “m” word: masterpiece.
As a quick aside, it should be noted that Mister Miracle and Big Barda are one of the greatest romances (and some would argue the greatest) in all of comics. This issue only adds credence to that, as this might be one of the greatest depictions of Barda ever. She is protective and loving, but when called for she is ruthless. Her handling of Lightray is, in my humble opinion, one of the most entertaining moments of the year.
In the fallout from the previous issue, Mister Miracle #4 is framed around a trial – the trial of Mister Miracle. In line with this seemingly apathetic depiction, Scott Free opts to have his trial held in his living room. The result is a blending of comedy and tension that is breathtaking. Thanks to the 9-panel layout that has become a staple of King’s works, the tension builds as we progress through Orion’s line of questioning. With each question, and each response by Scott Free, one can’t help but shake the feeling that one of these two are going to snap. In the end, Mister Miracle #4 runs the reader through a gamut of emotions that is as taxing as it is rewarding.