You think of Jack Kirby, and you imagine the cigar-puffin’workhorse of a visionary artist helping to co-create some of Marvel’s greatest comic book heroes. Alongside Stan Lee, Kirby is the architect of many a hit at the House of Ideas during one of their most creative periods. Kirby’s impact wasn’t just felt at that publisher however. A couple of years later, he’d hit the offices of rival DC Comics for a chance to work on his dream project: The New Gods.
Weird,wild and wacky, the New Gods have always been a presence within DC Comics who have seldom found an audience during their various incarnations. They’re the Inhumans of DC, powerful beings of two polar opposite worlds who possess an array of incredible powers. The most notable faces from that side of the universe being the ultimate evil Darkseid and his more noble son who fights for New Genesis as Orion the Soldier God.
One of my all-time favourite comic book characters, Mister Miracle possesses possibly the best ever power of the Fourth World: Super-escapology. There isn’t a trap capable of holding Scott Free for long, as the master escape artist has even managed to work his way out of death and resist the irresistible Anti-Life Equation,a feat that only a handful of mortals have mastered. Listen, New Gods stuff is weird but awesome.
A fantastic character, who has largely languished within the DCU for years now. Until now that is, as Batman writer Tom King is teaming up with Omega Men artist Mitch Gerads to revive Scot Free. “When I first started doing this project, I started talking with creators like Mark Waid and one of the things I came across was people saying, you didn’t know Mister Miracle was Jack Kirby’s Jesus? He’s Jesus as an escape artist,” King said to Paste of the new series that’ll have a touch of Judeo-Christian themes within its pages:
That’s utterly ridiculous, but the writer in you is like I get to play with Jesus as an escape artist. On the other side of that you have Darkseid, who’s the horrible evil that walks. There are religious themes in this, but it’s all inspired by Kirby. He was drawing on Old Testament and the New Testament to make a kids adventure. That’s why it worked—he’s telling old stories in new ways. So now we’re going to try the old Jack Kirby stories in new ways. We’re going to go as deep as we can.
“I think Scott Free, in this book, really embodies what a lot of us, if not the vast majority of us, are feeling right now: being surrounded by a world that doesn’t make as much sense as it used to,” Gerads added.
He’s just trying to process the absurd
I really sympathize with Scott, and as the book goes on you sympathize with him more. There’s so much in the book of just him giving weird looks to people. In a way, it’s Jim from The Office giving looks to people half the time. He’s just trying to process the absurd. I think that’s something I try to escape. It’s hard to do this interview and not get super political. There’s so much in this world right now that isn’t lining up.
You assumed there were safeguards in place to make sure things always do line up. It’s escaping that kind of world and trying to find the real world again. Hopefully that real world is still a thing that exists.
That sounds fantastic. You’ve got the mostly untouched cosmic Kirby side of DC Comics, one of the best artists in the business and King writing a character who draws on Christian myths and legends combined into a new series. Even if you’re not religious, that sounds like a brilliant mix of ideas,provided that it doesn’t get too heavy-handed along the way.
DC has a 12-issue run planned for Mister Miracle, to kick off in August.
Last Updated: May 16, 2017