I’ve been collecting comics for the best part of two decades now and one of the mainstays of that collection was the Giffen, Dematteis run of Justice League. About a year ago I finally completed that entire run, and picked up some of the sister titles that went along with it, like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Huntress, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle.
The second volume of Mister Miracle spun out of the Justice League International series at the beginning of 1989 and was written by one half of the JLI writing team JM Dematteis with art for issue #1 being provided by Ian Gibson.
The story goes into the history of the character Mister Miracle and this particular issue serves well as a jumping on point for new readers, it tells the origin of Mister Miracle (aka Scott Free), of how he was the son of Highfather ruler of the New Gods, who was traded to Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips in order to prevent a war, of how he escaped that hell hole with his wife Big Barda and escaped to Earth where he then became an escape artist, before joining the Justice League and then eventually settling in the suburbs.
And that is where this story picks up, with Scott Free trying to reconcile his personal life with his life as a superhero, it opens with he and his wife, and his assistant Oberon (a surly Dwarf) moving into a new home in Bailey, New Hampshire. Its interesting to see the newly wed dynamics play out, setting up a new home can be bad enough, without adding super heroics and villain attacks into the bargain. So seeing the problems that setting up a new business and making good impressions with the nosy neighbours brings up whilst coupled with maintaining a secret identity and running from the (para)demons of your past is a delightful premise.
JM Dematteis’ writing is its usual flawless prose, my olny criticism is that trying to fit in every detail of Mister Miracle’s past life and exploits into three pages of exposition was maybe not the best way to proceed, but I understand that there is a fine line between giving the readers the info on a character that was probably needed a bit more in the 1980’s, I mean it isn’t like today where you could just look up their fictional biography on wikipedia. The early villain reveal was a nice touch and didn’t detract anything from the final page cliff hanger that we were left with.
The Art is typical of the late 80’s/ early 90’s especailly at DC, there were a lot of line and colour was used quite liberally to good effect, Mr Gibson certainly knew his stuff when it came to pencils and managed to portray a whole range of emotion.
As a first issue, it really sets the tone for the rest of the series, that its going to be fun and hopefully wont take itself to seriously, and will use the rich backstory of the characters but wont be overly reliant on them, and will be able to stand on its own two feet and be its own thing, and hopefully wouldn’t be stuck in the shadow of the original Jack Kirby Series.
This post is part of a series that will review various things that may not necessarily be new. It’ll look at comics, films, books, audio dramas, band’s, CD’s, clothes and TV shoes from yesteryear, partly to fill you in on some gems you may not know about, but mostly because it gives me filler for days when I’m feeling lazy or hungover, or for when the creative muse has left me in its entirety.