Details: The first issue of this twelve issues series was first published in 2017. Official site for the trade paper back is https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/mister-miracle-2017/mister-miracle
There are a lot of whispers on the internet that this book is nominated for an Eisner award, the Oscars of the comic book world. Which isn’t really surprising. This book offered me something that I always look for, but rarely get: it showed me something new and relatively original. Mr. Miracle combines the fantastic and mundane, creating a trippy book where you question whether any of it actually happens or is a hallucination of the protagonist.
Mr. Miracle is a superhero and a member of a race or people known as the New Gods, a race of godlike beings from the Fourth World. There’s a lot of history involving these characters as they were created decades ago by Jack Kirby. There were two main groups. One was led by Highfather and these were the good guys. The other was led by Darkseid and was the bad guys. The two went to war and established peace by exchanging sons. Apparently, Mr. Miracle was one of those sons, though I don’t know if that was always the case.
Mr. Miracle grew up on Apokolips, home world for Darkseid and his forces. There he was tortured everyday and trained. He eventually escaped with a warrior named Barda and the two fled to Earth and started an ordinary life together, occasionally teaming up with superheroes and fighting bad guys. Now the two live a quiet life where Mr. Miracle makes his living as a performer and escape artist.
While living their peaceful life, they are drafted once again into the war between Highfather and Darkseid. At the same time, Barda becomes pregnant and they have their first child.
One of the greatest parts of this book is the juxtaposition between ordinary life and the fantastic world of the New Gods. One minute they’re stuck in traffic and complaining about Los Angeles, the next their on Apokolips fighting the hordes of evil. There’s this huge mishmash of ordinary and fantastical and it just helps convey that trippy atmosphere the story succeeds at.
With that said, the problems of these two worlds are still engaging independently. Mr. Miracle grew up on Apokolips while being tortured every day. Darkseid commands the Anti-life equation, some mystical formula that lets him control minds. Mr. Miracle fights this incredible evil.
On the other side, Mr. Miracle has never been a father before. He is scared and trying to figure out names for the new baby. He wonders if he’s happy with his life and whether he’ll be a good father. You know, ordinary problems.
Both stories are compelling on their own and when combined, the overall story reaches another level.
The art is also pretty good. The style matches the nature of the story well.
Overall, this was a unique story. It reminded me of Fantastic Four a little with how it combines the ordinary with the incredible, except that this goes a little further than the Fantastic Four usually goes. I really enjoyed the story because it combines the plot of a family drama with a heavy science fiction story in the most severe ways. Stylistically, it’s one of the more original stories I’ve read in recent memory.