Tom King and Mitch Gerads have basically been given the keys to the New Gods and Mister Miracle and been allowed to do what they want. That’s not only exciting but also allows them to play around with storytelling and do something a little bit different.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The hit miniseries reaches the emotional conclusion of its first arc! Scott Free returns to New Genesis to face his punishment, but instead finds the whole world has been flipped upside down. Mister Miracle and Big Barda battle their way through monsters and New Gods to get to the Highfather, but once they reach Orion’s throne room, they learn that the war against Darkseid has taken a bloody turn.
Why does this matter?
Instead of standing by after disobeying the law of the New Gods, Mister Miracle and Big Barda have decided to take the fight directly to Orion and his men. This issue follows these romantically entangled characters as they bust through traps and guards to tell Orion how they really feel about Mister Miracle’s execution.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Jeez, that’d be pretty heavy to deal with.
Last issue, Barda literally pummeled guards to death who were attempting to bring Mister Miracle back to Orion for punishment. This issue opens with Barda and Mister Miracle burning their corpses. Yeesh, that sounds heavy, and it’s followed up with even more heavy violence committed by Mister Miracle and Big Barda. This is as action packed as the series has been, yet with plenty of cool traps to avoid and New Genesis guards to cut down.
To reduce the harshness of their violence, Tom King has our heroes discuss renovations on their apartment. It’s a conversation that runs through nearly every page of the book and adds normalcy to the acts they commit. It also shows how effortless it is for them to break through New Genesis guards and defenses much like how Spider-Man can quip effortlessly while avoiding death. This dialogue suits the series which has had a proclivity of keeping the conversation civil and normal so as to show these gods are just like you and me.
Gerads once again shows how creative he can get with the page. Take a nine panel page where we see a crack grow over six of them. In the last three, we see our heroes were smashing a wall on the other side of the panel. It adds a bit of intensity and progression in the act of cracking a wall that most comics can’t do simply because there are fewer layouts to increase the tension of the moment. There’s also an exciting scene of our heroes dodging lasers and climbing through air ducts (yes, air duct crawling can be exciting!).
Get used to this yapping.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I enjoy a good bit of normal dialogue in my fiction much like Quentin Tarantino has done since his first film, but it just goes on too long here. The subject of changing a room, making a room smaller, getting rid of junk you don’t need is all well and good, but it becomes rather boring about midway through the book. It’s effective to a point, but then it simply becomes glaringly obvious what it’s trying to do. After they escape the third thing it reads almost like bragging, as if these endless traps are so easy to get through that the topic of turning a closet into a bathroom is more important. It does all lead to a big reveal that is satisfying, but by the time you get there you’ll be tired of the topic of renovating.
Is It Good?
The life of a superhero god can be very complicated, yet their daily routine is as normal as yours or mine. That’s what this series gets so well, making for character storytelling that’s relatable even when the New Gods are some of the strangest and most inhuman characters ever created. King and Gerads are doing a great job establishing how weird these characters’ lives are, even if they want it to be a conventional American lifestyle.