SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Mister Miracle #1, and theories about where the story may be heading.
Last week saw the release of one of the most buzzworthy issues of 2017: Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Clayton Cowles' new volume of Mister Miracle, which sees the god of escapes trapped in a world that’s not quite right and faced with the looming and overwhelming inevitability of Darkseid.
The first issue is a triumph of sequential storytelling, and one of the best debut issues of the year. If you’ve read it, you might have guessed that not all is as it seems in the life of Scott Free, and we’ve got a killer theory for what’s going on that just might blow this mystery wide open.
Over the course of the first issue, we see a number of things go wrong for Scott, whether it’s on a huge scale or microscopic differences that he seems to be misremembering. The inciting incident of the issue is an attempted suicide attempt, and after his recovery it seems like life is out to get the transplanted New God. Not only does he completely forget the death of his best friend Oberon, at the end of the issue he receives news that his father died as a result of one of Darkseid’s attacks. His reality is so foreign to him and his own recollection is so unreliable, he can’t even remember the color of his wife’s eyes -- but what if Scott Free isn’t having a breakdown? What if the god of escapes is already trapped?
In the pages of Mister Miracle #8, by Jack Kirby, Scott Free went one-on-one with a grotesque creation of Granny Goodness. The creature, known as The Lump, is the master of the id, and as such has complete control of the surroundings and scenarios while a prisoner is hooked up to it. Over the course of the issue, The Lump alters reality, summons objects and environments from thin air, and does everything it can to keep Scott on the ropes. It's ultimately is defeated when confronted by its own hellish existence in the form of its reflection. After realizing its entire purpose is to be trapped in the id forever, The Lump is driven mad and Scott is able to free himself.
It certainly seems possible — based on that original appearance of The Lump — that Scott is trapped within the id in the first issue of his new series. A later appearance of the foul prison of the mind makes things even clearer, and highlights another of King’s potential big influences on Mister Miracle.
The two part Batman story “Last Rites,” by Grant Morrison and Lee Garbett, serves to fill in some of the blanks of Final Crisis, specifically what was done to Batman after he was taken hostage and held prisoner in the Evil Factory. In those two issues, we learn that Batman has been hooked up to The Lump, which was masquerading in his memories as Alfred, collecting all the data it needed and simulating potential scenarios to see how Batman would react. There’s a very good chance that Scott Free could be currently hooked up to The Lump in the same way and the oppressive “Darkseid Is” interstitial panels represent some form of conditioning. It would explain why everything has gone so wrong in Scott’s life and why he can’t remember simple details about simple things; The Lump has taken over and Mister Miracle must fight back against it.