Friday, June 15, 2018

Mister Miracle #9 Second Opinion

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: June 13, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Review by: Dispatchdcu (go read all his awesome reviews!)

So what happened during this issue of Mister Miracle? That’s a really great question that hopefully, we can answer by the time we’re done discussing it. I’ll be the first to admit that I want a straightforward story that’s not confusing, complex, or complicated. And without a doubt, this story is confusing and overly complex. No one can doubt that. No one can argue that they totally understand what’s happening in this story either.

With all that being said, why do I like it? If you hate complex and confusing stories, why is this one ok? That question is fair and easy to answer. When I know what I’m getting into before the story starts, I’m ok with it. I don’t walk into Burger King demanding a Big Mac. I’m not watching the movie “White Chicks” and expecting it to win an Oscar. This story was never designed to be straightforward. This story was designed to be thought provoking and complex, which it has in spades.

It’s the style that King is going for throughout Mister Miracle. However, an answer must happen by the end or then I too will be just as angry as many others. You can throw curveball after curveball at me as long as you throw me one right down the middle at the end so it all makes sense and I can at least get on base. So, let’s jump into the story, shall we...

This issue is actually simple on the outside. Scott is there trying to negotiate with Kalibak on behalf of Darkseid. They are trying to end the war and come to some type of peace agreement. The talks go back and forth and it appears as though everyone has agreed until Darkseid gets his sticky little fingers on the deal. Darkseid tells Kalibak the new deal, which was very shocking. Darkseid is willing to stop the war, create peace, and give back the anti-life equation. Again ... GIVE BACK THE ANTI LIFE EQUATION!!! However, Scott and Barda have to give Darkseid their child Jack Free for him to raise as his heir. That was an interesting twist. So, will they do it? And why would Darkseid be willing to give up the one thing he has been searching for his entire life for Jack Free?

Now, there was a huge part of the story that I feel many are overlooking and not talking about. It actually happened when Scott went to pee in between negotiations, which was hilarious to me. He was told a story about a master painter and his apprentice, which by the way was the story of Zeuxis and Parrhasios that he manipulated to being about Da Vinci. Side note: how often do we get two comics in the same week that reference Da Vinci (see SHIELD by Hickman)? Anyway, the painters had a contest to see who was the better painter.

The painters put their paintings behind two curtains. The apprentice opened his curtain first to reveal fruit. But the fruit was painted so realistic that birds flew into it and tried to eat them. When it was the master's turn, he was asked to reveal his painting. The master says “I already did.” Turns out, the masters painting was so realistic that his painting was the actual curtain itself that was out the entire time. It was so good, that he didn’t just fool the birds, he fooled the entire crowd as well as the apprentice.

So why do I feel like this story is so important? Because this is King giving us a clue as to what’s going on throughout the story. King is telling us that the real truth has not been revealed. In a way, he’s being a Magician of sorts. “A good artist can fool our natural selves but a great artist can fool our culture.” Everyone is focused on something to do with depression, suicide, death and even rebirth. Others have speculated that this is all in Scott’s mind and that’s what the blurry video lines are each time we see them. The speculation is that Scott is in some type of “matrix”. I think the point is that the story about Da Vinci was to clue us all in to say, “you’re all wrong!” The artist/ magician (King) is doing something bigger that no one has thought of yet. So, the last question is, then what is it then?

I say this: think about what a curtain does. It both hides and reveals. Something big is still hidden in this story but the revelation to me is Jack Free. He is important to this story. We have had issues dedicated to him that seemed pointless.... but they weren’t. Everyone is concerned about Scott and his suicide as well as the blurry lines when we should focus on what’s right in front of our face; Jack Free. It’s basic sleight of hand.

But remember, a curtain hides and reveals. King revealed the importance of Jack in this issue. But that same curtain is still hiding something big. If I was to speculate, the meaning of “Jack” is to supplant, which also means to overthrow. I wonder if the new ruler of Apokolips when this is all said and done will be Jack Free since we know Darkseid will be traveling in space with the League? Or maybe Jack Free is Lump, which some have mentioned already. All that I feel confident about right now is that Jack is important to this story and should not be overlooked AND something bigger is yet to come.

If you like what you heard, love talking all types of comics, and are interested in joining a comic chat group, hit me up at or @dispatchdcu on twitter. Catch you all later! Peace

The art was fantastic. The story had its moments of humor and King has done a tremendous job with this series so far. The only thing I feel like knocking King for is that I feel like he tried to sell us on the painting story as his own and that is a story I heard in school a long time ago. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Otherwise, I’m really digging this story and loved this issue. How do I know? Whether it be good or bad, all anyone can do is talk about this book, especially about what’s going on within this book, make theories up about this book, and try to draw their own conclusions. If that’s not a good book, I don’t know what is.

Bits and Pieces:

When your done reading a book and you can’t stop thinking about it or be wanting to talk about it, in my humble opinion, it’s a great book and a great issue. I’m all in and I hope you are too.


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