King and Gerads on the End of Mister Miracle
Herein, with this SDCC discussion about the end of Mister Miracle, there be spoilers for Mister Miracle #9 and 10. Ye have been warned.
Mister Miracle has been the surprise hit of the 2017/18 comics slate, some of DC’s best stuff in recent memory. Not only have Scott and Barda engaged in typical superhero shenanigans, they’ve embarked upon one of the greatest adventures any two people can have together: becoming a family.
The intense, compulsive readability of Mister Miracle probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, nor the fact each issue is more stunning than the last in every sense of the word: Tom King and Mitch Gerads have been making magic since they first met working on Vertigo’s 2015 The Sheriff of Babylon. The pair’s alchemy comes from a relatively simple place: respect and admiration by each for the other’s storytelling skills, though King admits their subsequent friendship has made working together, “a little intimidating, because it’s easier to make requests when you don’t know one another in real life…”
Gerads added that, when he works with King:
I really get into the characters. In Sheriff, they were real to me and it’s the same here.
The fact the book is an essentially undisputed masterpiece, however, didn’t stop me from asking the pair the question that all of us at Book Riot Comics have been clamoring to have answered:
How. Dare. You?
By this, we’re referring to the fact Scott and Barda appear to have bargained their son, Jacob, for peace between Apokalips and New Genesis. The cover of issue 10, in fact, features Jacob walking away from the reader, holding hands with Darkseid.
Though the myth persists that comics are for children, that they feature nothing more than brightly colored capes and tights, those of us who read Mister Miracle know better. We know that comics can convey deep feelings and force us to confront our worst fears.
King and Gerads, both parents, have done exactly that.
“You never want your kid to be holding hands with Darkseid,” King said during an interview at San Diego Comic Con:
You do everything you can to make sure that doesn’t happen, that they don’t have to live the same life that you did, and then, there it is.
A parent’s worst fear realized and the art? That element so many insist make comics across the board beneath notice? It just drives the point home that much more effectively.
We may not be New Gods, but we live in a dark world and, despite our most fervent hopes, our children may fall prey to that darkness.
Just as reading Mister Miracle has been an emotional experience for so many of us, its creators have spent over a year wrestling with the darkness that permeates the book. Though the last few issues have been pushed back to allow Gerads more time to complete his part of the story, neither writer nor artist wanted to push it back too far because its crafting has been deeply personal and extremely intense. While they’ll miss it as much as we will, they’re both ready to tackle something new.
We can only hope they’ll be working together again soon.
What do King and Gerads do when they need an escape? They turn to books, of course. Both said they listen to a fair number of audiobooks though Gerads was reading The Con Artist on the plane. King tends to alternate fiction and non, and is currently cycling through Fatherland, a biography of Frank Sinatra, books about “old Hollywood movies,” and, because he’s working on a murder mystery comic, “a lot of those.”
Mister Miracle #10 is due for release on 8/1.