“On the very first page, it has one of the biggest twists I’ve ever written,” Tom King told reporters at SDCC about his upcoming first issue of Mister Miracle, “and on the second to last page, it has the biggest twist I’ve ever written.”
Calling Mister Miracle “the most ambitious book I’ve ever tried” is saying something when you’re a writer like Tom King, who gave fans the haunting and critically acclaimed Vision at Marvel, and who is currently the writer on a far-reaching, headline grabbing run on Batman. But King and artist Mitch Gerads (who previously worked together on war drama Sheriff of Babylon for Vertigo) conceived the Mister Miracle series with the idea that they wanted to create something that could stand alongside some of DC’s greatest ever works. In other words, they want to take one of Jack Kirby’s greatest creations, a cornerstone of the Fourth World mythology (which has, in turn, become the cornerstone of so much of DC’s cosmic universe), and tell an all-time great comic story with it.
Like Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns, King wants Mister Miracle to be “both a superhero comic and also address the time you’re in and reflect that time.”
So yes, perhaps “ambitious” is the right word. But with every piece of Mitch Gerads’ art that DC has let fans see, it starts to sound far less impossible than you might think. And anyway, Mister Miracle himself specializes in the impossible. And if King’s words here read like grandiose pronouncements, I assure you, they weren’t, as he seems remarkably self-deprecating considering he’s one of the hottest writers in comics at the moment.
So what are our times about, exactly? “Everyone here wants to talk about Trump, but they don’t want to,” King jokes. “I don’t want to talk about politics and comics, I think that’s a waste of time. I want to talk about that bizarre feeling of our current time, where the things that weren’t supposed to happen are happening, and the rules…don’t make a difference anymore.”
Yes, this does sound like something a cosmic escape artist should tackle. And perhaps, more disturbingly, it feels like Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation has somehow started to creep into our own, decidedly not comic book world. “The same way [Alan] Moore wrote about the ’80s through Watchmen and those superheroes, I want to write about this bizarre world we’re in now, where every day, you wake up and the world has changed under your feet and you still have to go to work.”
If that all sounds to heavy, well, “That’s what Mister Miracle is! But with punching!” See? I told you King manages to make all of this sound less heavy than it reads here.
Mister Miracle #1 arrives on August 9, only 19 days before the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby’s birth.
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