Review: Mister Miracle: The Great Escape

 

"Mister Miracle: The Great Escape"

Writer: Varian Johnson
Artist: Daniel Isles
Letterer: AndWorld Design

Review by: Tony Farina

DC Comics decided several years back to reintroduce a multitude of characters via YA re-imaginings. They started with the heavy hitters of course; Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman featured early on and those books were all bangers. Beast Boy and Raven also got three amazing release, which tied into each other, to cash in on their appearance on the show Titans. While I, personally, didn't love those as much, they were still solid. We hard-core fans kept hoping that eventually, DC would dig deep into the bench and start introducing the new YA fan base to some of our favorite characters. With this newest entry, our wishes have been granted. 

Varian Johnson, Coretta Scott King, and award-winning writer and Afro-futurist artist, Daniel Isles, have pulled a fan favorite, Jack Kirby creation, Scott Free off the back bench and thrust him into the limelight. It's clear that Johnson and and Isles are fans because they made sure to keep the cast that surrounds the galaxy's greatest escape artist true to Kirby's vision, while also giving it a very welcome modern update. They knew that one can't tell a Mister Miracle story without also telling the story of his one true love, Big Barda, and the woman who's determined to ruin their lives, Granny Goodness.

While this is clearly a super-hero origin, it's also the story of how two people, seemingly different in every way, shape, size, and background, are destined to fall in love. While, we can't be sure that Kirby planned to make Scott and Barda stand-ins for Romeo and Juliet, this YA retelling makes it clear that Johnson and Isles think they could be. They are told to hate each other, and set up to fight and destroy one another simply because they've been brainwashed. What we see here is that true love, regardless of time, place or dimension, can't be denied.

The pacing of this story is neck breakingly fast, but that's not a bad thing. It forces readers to hang onto the book with both hands and never let go. In fact, some, like me, may go right back to the beginning when they finish just to spend time on the beautiful art by Daniel Isles. In the above panel, we see how much story he tells with the expressions of the characters. Even while Scott's wearing his mask, we know just what he's thinking and feeling.

Conclusion

Fans will be thrilled to see these characters again, particularly as they haven't been so well represented since Adriana Melo and Cecil Castellucci's criminally underrated Female Furies series, from a few years back. Those who may be meeting Scott, Barda and Granny for the first time will hold their collective breath as they tear through these pages.
The only real knock on this story is that it ended. This writer wants to thank Net Galley and DC Comics for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Honestly, people need to go buy this graphic novel right now before it escapes your local comic shop or bookstore. 

Images and digital review copy courtesy of DC Entertainment and Net Galley

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