Mister Miracle is a must-read comic. Full stop. For old and new readers alike, what writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads have crafted is a loving tribute that pushes the boundaries of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World – and the comics medium in general – to thrilling new heights. Scott Free (a.k.a. Mister Miracle) may be able to escape anything. But this creative team boldly asks the question: what about death?
The Director’s Cut additional content enhances the reading experience in several ways. First, the 8-page introduction from guest artist Mike Norton offers a succinct, accessible origin for those taking their first romp through Fourth World. The background on the New Genesis/Apocalypse conflict, the anti-life equation and Mister Miracle himself establishes invaluable groundwork for the story to come.
Other added content includes the full script from Tom King. I’m always fascinated reading a comic script side-by-side with the finished product. This script in particular gives us a clear window into just how in-sync this team truly is. The panel descriptions are brief, yet Gerads effectively pulls out the emotional heart of King’s words.
The final major difference from the original book is the (mostly) black-and-white coloring. In an early scene Scott is laying on his bathroom floor, wrists slit. In this instance using bright red blood, against an otherwise black and white color scheme, benefits the storytelling. More often than not though, the lack of color does little more than make you miss the vibrancy of the original #1. If this was the only issue of Mister Miracle I read, I would be missing out on a crucial part of the experience.
As readers of Sheriff of Babylon know, Tom King and Mitch Gerads are among the best new(-ish) creative teams in comics. The script is lean and every panel is a feast for the eyes. If character-first storytelling appeals to you, this future Eisner-winner is one you’ll revisit time and time again. If you’re already on the bandwagon, the Director’s Cut offers a wonderful new way to explore a modern masterpiece.