Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mister Miracle #10 Review - Second Opinion


Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads and Nick Derrington
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 1, 2018

Well, we talked about accentuating the positive here at the Weird Science Studio and when it comes to Mister Miracle that meant me stepping away from it a bit.  Yes, if you read this week's review of the latest issue, that was not me, but DispatchDCU's review.  I am writing this one, not because his review was bad, in fact, I think that it is a great review, I am writing this because I couldn't stay away.  Seeing all the 10/10s drop on comincbookroundup not only drove me insane (the idea of a perfect issue is a discussion for another day), but made me see the need for another point of view.  I will never say my scores are the "right ones", but I can sure as hell say they are honest.  No faking the Funky Flashman here!  So, here we go...

We open the issue with Scott and Barda returning to Earth to see their son, Jacob, but we quickly shift to Scott hanging out with his buds Booster Gold and Ted Kord.  Is this Scott "escaping" a bit with friends and a little (too much?) alcohol?  I've promised myself I wouldn't fill in too many blanks here, but I think so.  I also think that Tom King is messing with things here too since this Blue and Gold really doesn't exist in this continuity and the scene is really an extended bit of nothing.

I'll step aside for a second and remind people that Tom King went on Twitter after the second issue of the series came out and said, "“Yup. Mr. Miracle is part of Rebirth…and Metal…and Doomsday Clock. It’s all one story..."  So, unless this is explained at the end as a dream, a dying vision or a forced nightmare, this can't all be happening.  That whole concept lets Tom King have carte blanche to do whatever he wants with no consequences whatsoever and while some eat this shit up, I find it extremely lazy here.  Instead of building tension and earning moments through character work, most of the big moments in this series have been over-the-top "wow" bits that will almost certainly be shown as never really happening.  If you are shaking your head at me, let me ask you, you really think DC is letting Tom King just rip through the New Gods and barely leaving anything left in his wake.  Highfather, Orion, Granny Goodness are really dead, huh?  BULLSHIT!!!!  Don't get me started with Barda ending The Darkseid War (on the day that the Rebirth Special #1 came out) leaving Scott to become a Furie for life!!!

Back to the issue, we continue with a bunch of scenes showing that Scott can't quite cope with being a father while also being Highfather.  Barda is definitely all in with Mommy-life and really only wants to deal with Jacob and his upcoming first birthday.  Scott has a lot more on his mind and breaks down in the shower.  Is this Tom King showing us what he experienced trying to balance a new family while also fighting a War on Terror?  I'm guessing so.  I also don't care.  I seem to be in the minority here, but I like my comics being more on the escapism side than paying $3.99 a month (if they aren't delayed, which this one has and will continue to be) for a writer to work through his issues.  

We continue with Scott going to pick out a birthday cake and it's nine panels of boredom which continues back at the apartment...I mean the boredom!  Barda is a bit pissed that Scott is more about the ongoing war or that she is even involved or both or something entirely different, I don't know.  Moving on, we get to see another boring scene with Scott buying party supplies and when the clerk spells out the Life Equation and Scott has no reaction, I just shook my head.  First, it felt like a lame attempt to make a boring ass scene mean something but also reminded me of the lamest of the lame...mentioning the name of a movie in the movie.  I know that he doesn't say "Mister Miracle" (which is a shock, actually), but it still had that feeling.  Again, no reaction to me means this is all make-believe.

We continue with an extended scene with Barda pissed at being the one who is always there to take care of everyone, but no one there for her and Funky Flashman pointing out the fact that he knows more about Scott's son than he does.  Again...fight hard to win a war and lose your family or fight hard to keep your family and lose a war.  This was generic enough to be about the guilt of a working parent or even someone who records 30+ hours of podcasts a week.  Yep, I see myself a bit in Scott here.  I have five kids and went through a lot of these feelings with each of them.  Does that make me enjoy any of this one iota more?  Nope!  It makes me depressed and wanting out!!!!  

We end with what I think the whole series is about...Daddy Issues.  I've read interviews where Tom King mentions his father wasn't around much for him and I think that when he went off in the CIA, he felt the guilt of leaving his family behind, even if it was for a noble cause that saved countless lives.  He still wasn't there.  I know, I am filling in the blanks, but I think Scott being given to Darkseid by Highfather resonates with King on an abandonment angle and the guilt and crushing pressure of fighting a war does as well.  Again, I get it.  Again, I don't enjoy reading about it.  We end with a Darkseid is... and wait for next issue to hopefully get any answers.  At this point, however, I don't even remember the questions and don't care anymore.

I know this is a personal thing and a mileage may vary situation, but this issue and series bores and depresses me.  Yes, the dialogue is good and the art is great...but I am bored and depressed.  I talk to people who say that this series is something we've never seen before and that it mixes the fantastic with the mundane.  Well, it may not have been seen before because of more than just Tom King's imagination and please, please, please (me, oh yeah?) leave the mundane out of the mix of comics.  I do understand that the mundane can make the fantastic more fantastic, but here it is the main focus and feels a bit like Sean Penn deciding to be in I am Sam.  I guess, though, that the recent Eisners show that we haven't reached the point where we shouldn't go "Full Mister Miracle"!

Bits and Pieces:

While I can pick out bits and pieces of things to like in this issue, it just ends up being boring and depressing as a whole.  It really doesn't surprise me that this type of thing isn't for me, it just shocks me that so many say it's for them.  I said it before, if it all ties together in the end, I may have to eat my words, but if it doesn't, not even a promise of it being "only half of the story" will calm me down.