Mister Miracle #11 (of 12)
Written By: Tom King
Art by: Mitch Gerads
Lettering by: Clayton Cowles
Darkseid Is. This motif has run through the entire series and finally gets its due. While this is the first issue to feature the big bad himself, he has been ever present in the previous 10 issues. “Darkseid is,” is an embodiment of the evil in the world and in our minds. This is a play on what Jack Kirby started. Darkseid rarely got directly involved in the action, yet was consistently behind the scenes pulling all the strings. Grant Morrison was the originator of the term showing how Darkseid goes beyond a physical presence and has the ultimate goal of total domination of all that makes life worth living. Darkseid is the devil, Darkseid is the absence of free will, Darkseid is all our evil thoughts, Darkseid is.
Mister Miracle and Big Barda travel to Apokolips in order to barter peace with Darkseid himself. Peace can only be achieved through the exchange of a child, much like the story “The Pact” (by Jack Kirby). In this case it is Scott and Barda’s new son, Jacob, that needs to be given up to Darkseid. The entire issue revolves around that simple concept, but I will not go into the details of how it plays out. Needless to say, there are many twists and turns peppered with emotional highs and lows that this series has been known for.
Tom King has quickly become one of my favorite writers. He is able to use humor and wit in order to move a story along and never keep the reader in one state of mind. In the span of a few pages he took me from laughter to fear. He also shows a depth of knowledge and respect for the characters in the New Gods pantheon. This series is up there with the likes of Grant Morrison and Jack Kirby’s work. Tom knew to save Darkseid for the climax of his story, and the wait was worth it. Even on the page Darkseid remains a presence of evil and delivers only one line (and it is a perfect one). This issue wraps up in the most shocking way possible making the wait for issue 12 almost unbearable.
Tom King may be gaining a name for himself, but it is his frequent artistic collaborator, Mitch Gerads, that deserves just as much of the praise. It takes an exceptional artist to make a vegetable tray dynamic and funny, yet he makes the task look easy. Nine panel grids aren’t pulled off often in comics, yet I cannot see this story unfolding any other way. Mitch also uses colors and special effects to really get the out-worldly nature of the story across to the reader. Tom’s dialogue is bare at times, which leaves the heavy lifting of the storytelling on Mitch’s shoulders. Much of the humor in the book revolves around the art itself, and there is one page in particular featuring Darkseid and a carrot that has become my favorite scene in any comic this year. Simply, Mitch Gerads is just a stand out artist and his name alone is enough to sell any comic.