Image: DC Comics

Scott Free is the universe’s greatest escape artist, but the current Mister Miracle miniseries is building a trap from which he can’t break free. Scott has become the Highfather of New Genesis and taken on the responsibilities of leading an alien planet during wartime, but he’s also a regular father dealing with the stress of a newborn son. Writer Tom King, artist Mitch Gerads, and letterer Clayton Cowles have delivered a complex superhero story that is constantly moving in unpredictable new directions, and after spending the first half of the story exploring Scott’s isolation and despair, the creative team has thrown Scott into conflicting father roles. Last month’s Mister Miracle #7 showed that being a good father and husband is the top priority for Scott, but now that he and Big Barda are settling into parenthood, Scott needs to get back on the battlefield and lead his troops to victory.

Cover by Nick Derington
Image: DC Comics

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Mister Miracle has been a massive hit for DC Comics, largely because it balances the grandiosity of Jack Kirby’s New Gods concepts with grounded human experiences, giving readers a deeply personal take on these characters without sacrificing spectacle. This dynamic is at the forefront of this exclusive preview of next week’s Mister Miracle #8, which opens with a peaceful page of Scott singing a lullaby to baby Jacob. The repetition of a single image for nine panels and the fixed word balloon placement highlight the monotony of being a father, but there’s an added element of instability with the single distorted panel, which occurs during the lyric about a broken looking glass.

The tone dramatically shifts for the following action sequence on Apokalips, which features chaotic action in a sea of hot, bloody red. Gerads has remarkable control of the pacing in this sequence, and while he starts with dramatic angles, Gerads pulls back once Scott gets shot in the knee, settling on a side view as the intense motion stops and Scott picks himself back up. He’s wounded but still has plenty of fight in him, and that intensity comes back into the artwork as Scott goes into attack mode, carving his way through enemy hordes. Everything calms down again when the battle stops, and that final page on Apokalips is an especially interesting example of the book’s central contrast, showing Scott getting his knee mended with alien technology while he talks to Barda about how they can get Jacob to sleep for more than a couple hours at a time. The struggles of parenthood have added a new dimension to this narrative, and it’s elevated a series that is already one of DC’s standout titles.

Variant by Mitch Gerads
Image: DC Comics

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Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

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Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics