Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mister Miracle #6 Review

Renovate This!

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mitch Gerads and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 10, 2018

Thus far, I have spent my reviews of Mister Miracle trying to attach a score to my utter failure to see what everyone else sees in this book.  Maybe that's not the case, however, as I've grabbed some quotes from actual reviews.  "I’m not sure what the heck is going on.", "I’m not entirely sure what I’m reading" and "I can't say I completely get what's going on with this series" are just three that I found quickly.  The problem is, these reviewers also claim this is a book for the ages or at least the best of 2017.  What?!?!  This is my can you give perfect scores to an issue when you don't know what's going on in that issue?  I am just about to chalk it up to mass hysteria the likes that hasn't been seen since the Hollinwell Incident, but I just think it boils down to reviewers wanting to look smart and gambling that Tom King will prove them right in the end.  Well, I am anything but smart and my momma didn't raise no gambling man so I will stick with what got me to the dance...I will read this issue and give a score based on the writing and the pretty pictures in this issue.  Call me crazy, but here it goes...

The issue opens with the standard nine-panel layout and while we are thrown into the situation, I have been conditioned by the previous five issues to go with the flow, do a little guessing of what we are seeing, scratch my head, rinse and repeat.  With what we get this month, I am going to be doing a lot of rinsing and repeating.

The issue boils down to Scott and Barda fighting their way to Orion while talking about renovating their condo.  Yes, I guess I can look at it as a metaphysical examination of the human condition and even the restraints of commitment and the more boring side of married life, but then I'd be a pretentious prick who is faking the funk in order to sound fancy.  I am not writing this review to get invited to a fancy dinner party so why should I pretend that I am?  I get the concept that this mundane dialogue over top the bloody action is supposed to give the feel of Singing in the Rain over a bit of the old ultraviolence, but I've seen it before (obviously) and it just comes off as boring and tiresome here.

Scott and Barda fight there way through traps, monsters, and guards (two of which seemed very similar to the Death Star Technicians from Blue know, the ones with ambitions to be famous singers) while Barda talks in circles about what it is to overreact, what is a trap and why we want to escape.  The problem is, right when we get close to something that feels really meaningful, King rips it away by going back to nonsense.  In a book where I am desperately trying to figure things out, this is just pouring salt in the big gaping wound that is my brain!

A big moment comes when Barda tells Scott some important news of the most personal kind while the two fight Lightray, but again, I don't know what is real and what isn't here, so I am taking it with a grain of salt.  All this leads to a bloody cliffhanger that is a real game-changer, complete with a pretty big appearance.  Like every other cliffhanger, I am not sure that it will even matter at the beginning of next issue, but it feels big here.

Six issues in and I still don't have any idea of what the overall narrative of this book is.  I am starting to suspect that this is just the way it's going to be and by the end, I will be left with a "you make the call" ambiguous ending that Tom King seems to revel in.  I don't want to make the call!  I don't want to fill in the blanks!  Am I the only one who thinks this is a story that is written only to be clever?  Don't get me wrong, I love a clever story, but this just feels like the worst case of the Emperor's New Clothes wrapped up in Fourth World mumbo jumbo and the majority of readers and critics are too afraid to see it for the nakedness it is!  This may not be the worst written story of the series, but the utter conceit of it made me hate it the most.  I am beyond defending my position with this book, I hate it and it somehow feels personal now.  I am telling everyone right now...if this story ends with a non-ending where Scott gets out of the shower ala Bobby Ewing, I may lose it!  However, I would take that a million times over what I suspect we will get and that is a nonending which will be praised as perfect but will show that we wasted our time and money for little mundane moments and nothing more!  My guess is that Scott will work through his daddy issues with Darkseid by beating him down and then will be given the choice of living out his days in "heaven" with his family or get back to the real world and have to fight for who and what he loves.  Since it's Tom King, Scott will no doubt take the non-hero route! But, of course, even that won't be properly explained! Alive?  Dead? Captured?  Free?  I know it won't matter in the end so why do I care so much?!?  I guess I will try not to now so I can keep my sanity later!

The art, which has been the best thing of this entire series, is even a little off in this issue.  It's not bad by any stretch but feels a tad rushed and washed out at points.  It's still the biggest selling point, though.

Bits and Pieces:

Halfway through this maxi-series and I still have no clue what's going on.  Sometimes, if I'm having fun, I can go with an enjoy the ride philosophy, but Mister Miracle is a frustrating read that makes me wonder if Tom King is making it up as he goes.  I still hope that it all ties together by the end and thus, reads best in trade, but as individual issues go, I am far from onboard the hype train.


1 comment:

  1. This was my giving up point. I don't need an issue long non-sequitur that's going down an obvious route, included with circlejerk fourth wall breaking fourth world conversations, only to end it in something utterly incomprehensible.