5 Things That Make Mister Miracle the 2019 Eisner Award Winner You Must Read
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, I finally pulled my life together to make it to the Eisner awards in time to enjoy the dinner and mingling that occurs before the ceremony begins. One year, I missed it because of the timing of a panel I was moderating. Then, there was the Great Nail Polish Explosion Incident of 2018. This year, I was almost late because I forgot to bring my dress. (Seriously, why am I like this?) But it was fine. I made it, I looked sparkly, there were tiny apple pies for dessert, and a lot of great books and creators won some awards.
One of my favorite books of last year, Mister Miracle, came away with Best Limited Series, Best Writer for Tom King, and Best Penciller/Inker for Mitch Gerads. I was pretty late picking up this book, to be honest. I wasn’t too familiar with DC’s New Gods, and I figured I would be totally lost, but Mister Miracle is one of those books you can just start reading. It’s a story about love and family and obligations and choices, more than it is about gods or superheroes. (You’ll pick up the details of the mythology along the way. Don’t worry about it.)
Since I would argue it’s the seemingly quotidian moments that do a lot of the heavy lifting in Mister Miracle, here are my five favorites to convince you to check it out:
1. In issue 5, Scott and Barda spend what they believe is their last day together. I never thought I’d sob, “Take Olympic, everyone knows that!” at a fictional couple discussing how to avoid L.A. traffic, but here we are. You know you’re from L.A. when you get sentimental about traffic.
2. The entirety of issue 6 is a genius use of 9-panel grids. I know, I know, we get it with the 9-panel grids already, but the rhythm imposed by the grids are the perfect framework for the contrasts happening in this issue. Scott and Barda casually discuss remodeling their condo while they battle their way into the New Genesis throne room. By the end of the issue, the stakes could not be higher, both in the war and in their domestic lives. Symmetry!
3. When Barda is in labor, the Furies (co-workers? Relatives? Friends-ish, maybe?) show up at the hospital and give Scott a knife that will assist with the birth—or, more accurately, they loan it to him, with instructions to return it because they’re going to use it to kill him later. Scott’s exhausted reply (“Okay.”) says more than any monologue ever could about the weight on his shoulders at this point in the story, and Gerads sure knows how to convey the weariness of a new dad in a single panel.
4. While a god-level war rages around them, while they fight to overcome the trauma of their pasts, and while they try to figure out how to be parents, or to simply just be, one constant of the book is this: Scott and Barda love each other. These quiet, simple, loving moments are sprinkled throughout the book, and they resonate deeply because they are so ordinary.
5. Darkseid is.
He’s a jerk who double dips. That’s all you need to understand what kind of villain he is. It’s a joke, but like everything in this book, it’s not a throwaway moment, and that’s maybe what I love most about limited series. In order to tell a really good story, every moment counts, even the small ones. King and Gerads definitely figured out how to make them all count in this book.
If you haven’t read Mister Miracle yet, maybe all the Eisner awards will convince you to check it out. It certainly deserves all the praise and acclaim it’s garnered. Or maybe what you really need is a collection of poignant human moments, woven into a story about New Gods.
(images: DC Comics)
Tia Vasiliou is a Lead Content Specialist at comiXology. You can find her on Twitter at PortraitofMmeX.
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