The Miracle of Life: A Look at the Ties that Bind in Mister Miracle

It’s difficult to explain what you think is going on in Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle. You might disagree, but think about it. First, you’d have to be able to convince yourself what exactly you think is going on. Try doing that, and then go back and try again. I bet you’ll create enough doubt, or straight confusion, that you won’t be able to put it together well enough to explain the overall story of the series. 

Now, of course, that isn’t to say that you couldn’t just go back and lay out the plot points as they occurred and then tell somebody what happened page by page. I mean yes, in that regard, you could tell somebody what occurred page by page. But, what is that weird thing that happens in some of the panels where they distort visually? You know, like when an old VCR had trouble with a video cassette – it kills me that some of you won’t get that reference – or when the Blu-Ray skips. Wouldn’t you call that a distortion in the reality of the series? So, go ahead and tell me what you think is happening again. 

Regardless of what is going on in the story – I’m sure we will be able to begin to piece it together soon as the series just hit its halfway mark – there is one theme that is persistent and undeniable. Whatever is going on with Scott Free, family is surely one of the most important aspects of it. You might say that yes, that’s pretty obvious, but let’s look closer at his relationships in this series. 

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WARNING: Spoilers are below, so read the issues first!

1.) Highfather: Scott Free’s own biological father is notably absent in this series. He is mentioned in the first issue before being reported dead by Orion – the work of Darkseid, apparently – and sparking the final war with Apokolips, that Scott and Barda find themselves in. Nothing like daddy issues to really get a character moving, am I right?

2.) Darkseid: Scott’s adoptive father, I guess, and ruler of Apokolips. His presence can be felt throughout the entire series. Even though he is only shown in one panel – so far – Darkseid’s reach is far and strong. He is apparently the murderer of Orion, but if you ask him what he’s done he will tell you that Darkseid doesn’t do. Darkseid is. I doubt you’ll forget that powerful moment in the series. 

3.) Granny Goodness: I’m going to say this flat out, Granny is a mind f@*k in this series, so far. When she meets with Scott and Barda, she treats them with a kind and nurturing demeanor that you would expect from a good granny, but it isn’t long before she mentions her past tortures of the pair while simultaneously starving one of their comrades to death; this is all while they eat like a family. She alludes to Scott that he is actually her son and maybe, just maybe, Highfather wasn’t his real father after all. She mentions some prophecy to Scott that also insinuates that Darkseid is his real father just before Barda viciously beats her to death. Too bad she couldn’t spill any more secrets with some of her innards. Scott’s only maternal figure is taken away from him, by his wife. Which seems to fit the natural order of things for the New Gods. 

5.) Orion: Scott’s brother, although not biologically. He is the pinnacle of a dickhead. I mean, he sentences Mister Miracle to execution. He is exactly the type of character that you expect your older step-brother to be. He is harsh, demanding, and abusive. He clearly wants to lead, and briefly does but at dear costs to New Genesis’ war efforts against Apokolips – just ask Forager. He is the force that Scott must answer to for much of the story so far, and yet Scott tolerates and even defends him. His brotherly love and respect for Orion is apparent from issue 1, and his death obviously affects Scott. So much so that when he dies at the end of issue 6, we instantly get a new life in issue 7. Thus, filling the void that Orion has left. 

4.) Big Barda: Scott’s loving wife. Barda knows exactly what Scott needs when he doesn’t himself. She is soft and caring, yet stern and demanding when the time is necessary. She may not know why Scott tried to kill himself, but she certainly doesn’t seem too concerned about getting to the bottom of it either. All Barda seems to be interested in is enjoying every moment she can with Scott, whether that’s as warriors or lovers. If Scott is escaping Death in this series, I think the argument could be made that Barda is his ideal source of Life. 

5.) Jacob: The son of Mister Miracle and Big Barda. He is born at the end of issue 7 and he is just perfect. Well probably, there are some ominous things that are surrounding the new little guy. If you look closely on a heart monitor the omega symbol is present in one of the panels. This monitor was specifically monitoring Jacob’s heart before he was born. Also, Scott had to cut the cord from around Jacob’s neck with The Fahren-Knife – forged from the hide of Darkseid by Desaad – which supposedly burns you from the inside out. At the end of the issue he doesn’t seem to have any ill effects, though he does begin to cry as the chapter comes to a close. Foreshadowing much?

6.) The Female Furies: Oddly, we don’t really get to see the Furies until this point in the series. It’s incredible that they are Darkseid’s honor guard that are sworn to kill his enemies, and yet they show up to support the birth of one of their former member’s child. Their disgraced and treasonous former leader to be exact. While they don’t have a close relationship with Scott, who seems uninterested in their arrival, they do represent a lot for Barda. They are where she came from, who she used to be. The Furies operate as a great foil for her while also conveyingthe strength of the bond of family. 

The theme of Family and its importance in this story can’t be denied. In fact, every time Scott is faced with a problem, he turns to Barda. They even start a family in the middle of a New God war. It’s interesting that it’s as a family man, that Mister Miracle starts to become miraculous again and not just be the same old same old character we’ve seen for years. 

As I wrap up, I’ve noticed a few things to continue to look out for in the series:

  • Barda’s eyes keep changing color from brown to blue. Scott even mentions it in issue one and he is right, they do keep changing color at interesting moments. 
  • The “Darkseid is.” panels seem to show up whenever Scott is making a decision. The most recent and prime example is when he decides to use the Fahren-Knife to cut the cord on Jacob and save his life.
  • The Face of God that Scott isn’t supposed to see – or maybe is – keeps popping up. It’s foremost in issue one and is the last thing he sees in issue six. 
  • A small detail, but Scott is referred to as High Father for the first time in the same issue that his son is born. That’s either important or a very nice touch by Tom King.

Hopefully, these will begin to reveal some more about the story soon. Either way, it’s been a great ride so far, and I look forward to how it continues. 

Brandon Evans is a freelance writer and comic book lover from St. Louis, MO. He is currently working to find his way into the comic book industry. You can find him on Twitter as @writingbrandon