One more: the issue begins and ends with a carnival barker-style narrator, imploring readers to roll right up for the adventures of Mister Miracle; this narrator is absent through the rest of the issue. King used a similar device in The Vision, setting the scene through a tranquil “voiceover,” and here it almost feels like a TV intro and “cliffhanger” spiel. You can imagine the voice, easily. Given the performative aspect of Mister Miracle, though — we see posters of his death-defying escapes, modeled after actual comic covers, and of course there’s the matter of Godfrey — one can’t help but wonder if the narrator is in on the game, whether he or she has some more tangible role to play.
Mister Miracle #1 is a superhero comic with very little action, and yet so much happens. The threat is greater than any giant monster; greater, even, than Darkseid. King and Gerads once again stun with an original and unexpected story, powerfully told. Fans of Kirby’s character may on the one hand be dismayed to see their hero put through so grim an ordeal, but there’s nothing out of place here in terms of the Mister Miracle concept or Scott and Barda as they have been previously established; this series is a far cry from Justice League International, for instance, but these are recognizably the same characters, their love is strong is precisely the way we’ve seen time and again. Readers coming to these heroes for the first time should be able to empathize immediately with Scott and Barda, and can easily take the assorted Fourth World conflicts in stride; the relationships are clear, the rest can fill in later.
This issue is an extraordinarily heavy read, but one that is also extraordinarily rewarding.
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