By Justin McCarty
Mister Miracle continues to be a fascinating read unlike pretty much any other book out right now. This issue takes us further into the psyche of Scott Free as he tries to understand his true purpose. Barda is still just trying to get through the war. The larger issues at stake here come into focus with the increasingly tyrannical Highfather Orion doing all he can to keep his people under his thumb. Scott and Barda may be headed into a trap. Watch out for Dr. Bedlam and his paranoid-pill!
The issue opens with Orion removing the head of the now deceased Granny Goodness. Scott recalls a story about a little German boy at Christmas time. The story gives us foreshadowing to the coming betrayals and how they can trap you, even if they are unintentional. Scott is having doubts about Orion and his motives -- methods. He needs to get clarity. Orion needs complete allegiance and will not settle for any disrespect.
Compared to the previous two issues this issue doesn’t have the same surprises and emotional beats. This story really focuses on the slow build of pressure on Scott and his possible delusions. Orion mirrors Scott as he seems to be breaking too under his ambition. We could be getting a better picture of Orion and his true intentions in the next issue. What the story misses in the hard-hitting drama, the story gains in character development. There’s so much said in the little interactions between characters. Which Gerads is so good at depicting.
Three issues in and Mister Miracle hasn’t lost any steam. We are really just past the first act. We can look for Scott and Barda to be faced with, and start making, some tough decisions. About who they are and what this war means for them. Orion’s armies will eventually rebel against him. Will Scott lead them? All of these things will be coming into focus in the next couple issues.
There is so much subtle storytelling here. The use of stories from Scott's memory, the references to Dr. Bedlam, the shaky, fuzzy depictions of panels, all tell the story without forcing any exposition on the reader. This is a book that trusts its readers to just get what is presented to them through the images. King and Gerads continue to tell a fantastic psychological drama with an emotional depth that will not let you put this comic down.
Mister Miracle #3