A solution for peace has been found, but is peace at this rice worth having? After rejecting the peace settlement which Kalibak and Scott Free negotiated between Apokolips and New Genesis, Darkseid has proposed an alternative. The price of peace is the custody of his grandson Jacob Free. Will Scott and Barda agree, or will the war engulf all? The 11th, penultimate issue of Mister Miracle is out September 19, from DC Comics.
Writer: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads
Cover: Nick Derington
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 19, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Mister Miracle: Life has been strange for Scott Free. A failed suicide attempt, the loss of his oldest friend on Earth, the death of his father and step-brother, becoming the leader of New Genesis, waging war against Apokolips, having a child with Barda, it’s all be quite a bit to handle. Now, he has been told that he can end the war with a single act, giving his son to Darkseid to raise. Untold millions will be saved, but will Scott be able to do it?
LET’S VISIT OLD GRANDAD!
When you have a kid there is a lot to remember when you are preparing to take them to visit their grandparents for the first time. You make sure you have the stroller, their favorite toy, extra diapers, your Mother Box, you know, all those little things that will help make the trip to see their elders more bearable. It’s considered a fun time and important to the development of a child and his connection with their roots. But what if you grandpa is the ruthless god-like dictator of a world which has literally been described as hell and he is waging a war against the people whom you father leads? Well then, you better take a veggie tray also, just to be safe. That’s just what Scott Free and Big Barda plan on doing as they step through the Boom Tube to take their child, Jacob Free, to be turned over to Darkseid in exchange for peace between New Genesis and Apokolips.
When they arrive, father and mother are prepared to take that step which will end a bloody war and ensure peace. It is the ultimate sacrifice for a new family, but one that Scott and Barda seem willing to make. So as Uncle Desaad spouts accusations at Mister Miracle, Darkseid munches on the veggie tray, because while Darkseid Is, one thing he is not is rude. But Darkseid seems on the level, peace for the custody of the child, and he makes some serious concessions to Big Barda and Scott so as to assuage some of their fears. It looks like history is repeating itself in a way, and the Highfather of New Genesis turns his son over to the ruler of Apokolips to ensure peace… or is it? You have to read to find out. But let me say, as a father myself, this is a gut-wrenching issue.
THE PRICE OF PEACE IS NEVER TOO HIGH
This issue continues the original and unique storytelling of Tom King (Grayson, The Omega Men) and Mitch Gerads (The Sheriff of Babylon, The Punisher). Tom King has long been a creative writer, but I feel that he has hit a high watermark with his work in this series. This particular issue has multiple moments which lull you into a false sense of security, and all the while the sucker punch is being wound up just outside your guard. While Jack Kirby may have created the Fourth World, Tom King has taken the New Gods and denizens of Apokolips and given them humanity. This is no small task. More so maybe than nearly any other characters inhabiting the DCU, these are ones who were made to be larger than life. They are the ones the superheroes look at in awe, just because of who they are. King, however, makes them human in a way many writers ignore. Yes, they may be enemies on the battlefield, but that doesn’t stop Barda from greeting an old sister from the Furies as if they were real sisters, or maybe distant relatives. So much of the New Gods revolve around family and King’s work here, and in this issue specifically, hammers that home more than any other. What you do for family, in spite of family, and to escape your family, is brought to the forefront in a beautifully magnificent way.
Mitch Gerads interpretation of King’s scripts are nothing less than stellar. The entire issue, minus a two-page splash, consists of the nine-panel format which Steve Dikto made popular so long ago. The images flow across those nine panels in multiple framing techniques, including somewhere the gutters between panels are ignored but not banished, giving a sense of an epic presence while still conforming to the rules the story sets out for itself. Action carries from second to second, jumping across panels and adding to the sense of time and motion the story possesses. Wonderfully detailed images expand the script beyond the words you read, making for a complete experience.
BOTTOM LINE: TWISTS AND TURNS WITH A CLIFFHANGER TO DIE FOR
This story is good and it is as much a character study of Scot Free and Mister Miracle as it is a tale of life during wartime. The cosmic scale of it frames a story that is very personal for the characters involved and they base their decisions on the wellness of their family as much as the repercussions on the rest of the universe. Dialogue is smart and snappy without falling into the trap of making every character brilliantly sarcastic. The art just clicks, and some of the images will make you laugh out loud, while others put you on the verge of tears.
Mister Miracle #11 sets the stage to redefine Scott Free’s journey of the last ten issues, and I can’t wait to see where it all leads.
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