SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Mister Miracle #9, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
For as much as Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle miniseries focuses on the mundane aspects of the lives of Scott Free and Big Barda, the true crux of the story thus far is actually three-pronged. First, there’s Scott and Barda attempting to balance superheroics with parenthood. Then, you have the prevalent subplot in which readers are forced to question whether Scott is living in a false reality. Finally, there’s the ongoing war being waged between both domains of the New Gods – New Genesis and Apokolips.
Of course, while the first two plot points are exclusive to King and Gerads’ character-redefining take on the World’s Greatest Escape Artist, the latter is nothing new.
The Fourth World was separated from the rest of the universe during a war that destroyed the Old Gods and their planet Urgrund, which resulted in the formation of New Genesis and Apokolips. Essentially allegories for Heaven and Hell, New Genesis, ruled by the Highfather (a mantle Scott currently occupies), is a beautiful and idyllic planet with an abundance of vegetation and wildlife, as well as a floating city called Supertown. Meanwhile, Apokolips, ruled by Darkseid, is a fiery and polluted industrial dystopia.
Practically as soon as New Genesis and Apokolips were formed, the two planets became locked in an eternal war of good versus evil. Eventually, though, a short-lived peace treaty of sorts was reached when Highfather and Darkseid agreed to exchange their newborn sons. As such, Highfather’s son (Scott) was sent to live on Apokolips, while Darkseid’s son (Orion) would be sent to New Genesis.
The peace didn’t last, though, and in the pages of Mister Miracle, the war continues to rage on. However, in Issue #8, the conflict takes an unexpected turn, and while the result could be renewed peace between New Genesis and Apokolips, the cost might just be too much for Scott and Barda to bear.
As the issue begins, we find Scott, Barda and Lightray on Apokolips in an attempt to end the war through diplomacy rather than bloodshed, and leading the Apokoliptian committee is Darkseid’s first-born son Kalibak. Unfortunately, the animosity that exists between the two sides makes negotiating a truce quite difficult.
Nevertheless, Scott and Kalibak continue to meet day in and day out to discuss timetables for withdrawing troops and exchanging prisoners, with plenty of red tape and bureaucracy to muddy the waters. Finally, though, after seven long and arduous days of back-and-forth, a breakthrough is reached.