‘Mister Miracle’ Comic Brings Breath of Fresh Air


Photo By Photo Courtesy of DC Comics

Mister Miracle gleefully appears before his audience.

Chayce Wellings, Videographer

To many people, DC superheroes extend to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League only. While they are important and crucial to the DC universe, there is one hero that has just entirely changed the ballgame when it comes to the core of DC.

Mister Miracle is written by Tom King and drawn by Mitch Gerads, and follows the story of the DC superhero Mister Miracle, whose superpower is that he can escape anything. I was among the many who believed that a superhero dubbed Mister Miracle and his superpower of escaping traps was totally lame, but I quickly found myself infatuated with Mister Miracle’s compelling story of his triumphant attempt of his greatest feat: escaping death.

Scott Free (Mister Miracle) is a member of the New Gods, a race of extremely powerful cosmic beings. They exist in a realm called The Fourth World, where there are two planets, New Genesis and Apokolips. New Genesis is lush with vegetation, happiness, and hope, and on the other hand, Apokolips is a planet that lacks all of that and looks like Hell. The two planets have been at war for a millenia, and they come to the agreement that the rulers of each planet must trade sons and take them in as their own. Highfather and Darkseid, the leaders of New Genesis and Apokolips respectively, agree to this proposal and go through the peace terms. Highfather takes in Darkseid’s son, Orion, and raises him like his own, whereas Darkseid puts Highfather’s son (Mister Miracle/Scott Free) into the slave pits of Apokolips, throwing him away as if he was just any other peasant on his fiery hellhole of a planet. Both boys grow up hardened fighters, Orion celebrated as being a savior for New Genesis and Scott being regarded as just a peasant who was able to escape from the fiery pits of Apokolips. Even though he was able to “miracle” his way out of Darkseid’s grasp, there are still the horror’s of Darkseid’s hell planet that are imprinted on Scott Free’s mind and soul.

Mister Miracle is definitely not your typical superhero. He’s got serious issues and I know a lot of superheroes have serious issues, but he has some serious issues. The guy’s got depression and is suicidal. His father put him in Hell, he was a slave as a child, he was tortured as a slave, he’s battled some of the biggest cosmic threats the DC universe has to offer, and he’s lost many friends along the way. He’s done with everything by the time we’re introduced to him. The first time you see Scott, he’s opened his wrists up and is bleeding out in his bathroom. Scott is at his lowest point. As he’s slowly bleeding out in his bathroom, and as he’s remembering why he attempted suicide, he recalls how he was trying to escape something that no one can escape: death. But he’s cheerful about the whole thing. It’s as if it was just any other escape for him. He was getting bored of the routine of being able to make the greatest escapes, until he remembered what nobody can escape.

As someone who’s been reading comics obsessively for years, I can definitely say I’ve never seen a character like this. Scott brings PTSD for superheroes to a whole new level. He’s not just a ‘brooding on top of a building overlooking the city’ type who complains that he has nothing to live for. Sure, there are heroes like Daredevil who have a death wish, but he would never grab a razor and slit his wrists. Unlike Daredevil, Scott still has plenty to live for. He lives in sunny California and he’s friends with the Justice League. Yet Scott Free is still depressed. Scott Free still has PTSD. Scott Free is still a broken man. But broken things can always be fixed.  Thankfully, Scott has a real-world beacon of hope that is able to slip through the cracks of his bright red,green, and yellow costume.   

Big Barda, quite the name. It definitely gives ‘Mister Miracle’ a run for its money. Big Barda, a fellow New God from Apokolips and Scott’s current wife, who at first tried to kill Scott but then fell in love with him, constantly counters Scott’s depression by taking it head-on, doing whatever it takes to make him happy again. She recognizes what he’s going through and sticks by his side more than ever. Barda completes Scott. She’s the reason he’s still alive and more importantly, she’s the reason Scott doesn’t completely give up on everything. It’s Tom King’s way of conveying to the reader that there are people in your life who will do nothing but be there for you. They will have your back and will be your shoulder to cry on. They will possibly kill an army of winged alien bugs who threaten to kill you every day. Maybe not that last one, but Mister Miracle certainly has that luxury. Despite the outlandish circumstances, it’s scary how real Mister Miracle and Big Barda’s relationship is. As much as the extremely eccentric lead characters are covered in cosmic DC wackiness, they’re also raw and frankly, real people. Their dysfunctional dynamic is not only entertaining, but it also what makes them both who they are. There is no Mister Miracle without Big Barda.

Tom King does a great job of crafting a story that is unlike any book I’ve read. Mister Miracle blends old-fashioned wacky comic book greatness with truly damaged individuals who can achieve amazing feats but also struggle with real problems. Mitch Gerads’ art harkens back to the classic ‘60s and ’70s style of comic book art that brings the reader back to a more hopeful era of comics. That being said, King’s perfectly put together story makes the book much more than just the beautiful retro-looking art. These characters are real people, with real problems. It can be as simple as debating what the color of a room should be or as serious as taking your husband to the hospital after he tried to kill himself. Mister Miracle does something truly special by not only reaffirming the hope that is richly spread throughout the DC universe, but also  being a beacon of hope in of itself for people who have depression. Mister Miracle’s story is an aspiring one, and if we can learn anything from it, it is that as long as there is hope we can escape from any trap.