Review: Mister Miracle #5 (of 12)

How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end?

Mister Miracle for four issues (and now a fifth) has been a bit of a puzzle. Is this all a dream? Is this some alternate reality? Is this Scott dreaming while he escapes from his suicide? It’s been a fascinating read no matter as it’s a prime example of how amazing individuals can come together to create an even more amazing whole.

Writer Tom King keeps up the questions and goes meta in Mister Miracle #5 as Scott attempts to enjoy his last day alive with Barda and the result is a touching issue full of meloncolly. Reading an issue during the holiday season, I have to say, I’m glad I’m no longer single, because it’s depressing.

The fact King is able to deliver such an emotional punch so effortlessly and with such cliches shows his strength as a writer. The issue is sad, depressing, and tense as the pages turn like a clock counting down until the final minute. But, through that desperation, and helplessness he also delivers so much love on the page. I never quite got Scott and Barda other than they’re two abused individuals who found each other in the madness, but this issue, I really felt their love for each other. You feel Scott’s helplessness over it all but what’s stronger is Barda’s desperation and not wanting it to end, to somehow see Scott escape once again and survive his fate.

And part of that emotion is to also get the reader to think what they would do in the same situation. Who would you spend your last day with? What would you do? Through Scott we ponder our own mortality and choices.

Mitch Gerads‘ art is part of that emotion. Beyond the interesting glitches we see, Gerads masters storytelling through small details like body language. A tilted head, the way someone stands, a certain movement, it all are details that add to whatever the writer is doing. And that addition helps bring a lot of that emotional impact as it conveys exactly is being felt without the need for words. There’s panels that are wordless with just a look and the position of a head to tell the reader everything they need to know.

I can’t say I completely get what’s going on with this series but there’s no ignoring that this issue is full of emotional weight with the expected amazing art. The series continues to be a head scratcher but it’s a head scratcher I look forward to reading every month and one of the best of the year.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads Cover Art: Nick Derington
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review