REVIEW: ‘Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom,” Issue #1

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Mr Miracle The Source of Freedom #1 - But Why Tho?

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1 is written by Brandon Easton, illustrated by Fico Ossio, colored by Rico Renzi, and lettered by Rob Leigh. It is published by DC Comics. Shilo Norman, the latest person to take up the mantle of Mister Miracle. has become a worldwide celebrity, pulling off death-defying escapes with the help of his sentient Mother Box super-computer. However, a mysterious figure threatens to rip away everything Norman has built up, believing that he is unworthy of the Mister Miracle mantle.

The Source of Freedom marks Easton’ second time writing Mister Miracle following the Future State-Superman: Worlds at War special, and he proves to be just as adept as scripting Norman’s adventures in the modern-day as he is in the far-flung future. Norman literally begins the issue with a massive plummet from the Karman line — better known as the line where Earth’s atmosphere ends and space officially begins. To top it off, he is wrapped in titanium chains and if he doesn’t escape, he’ll hit the ground at Mach 1.5. It’s a nice example of the insane stunts that only Mister Miracle would dare attempt. Easton also writes a nice rapport between Norman and his Mother Box, with Norman’s witty responses to the Mother Box’s clinical observations providing a constant source of humor. A bit about 80s music provided a good chuckle, for example.

Easton isn’t also afraid to tackle more serious issues, however. Early in the issue, a discussion between Norman and his agent brings up an argument over whether and why Norman should publicly unmask. This in turn leads to the discussion that Norman is a Black man, and the implications that going public would bring. Easton does not shy away from the hard truths this conversation brings up, including the fact that white women clutch their purses whenever they walk by him and how Jim Crow laws still exist, in different forms. “When I wear that costume…it’s the only time I ever feel ‘free,'” Norman says, a simple sentence that speaks volumes.

On the art side, Ossio draws immensely creative action sequences that hew close to the groundbreaking imagery that Jack Kirby introduced into the Fourth World mythos. An example of this is the aforementioned space drop. Within the space of five pages, Norman tumbles through the air, friction and heat surrounding him as he cleaves through the atmosphere. Adding to the tension, page four features interlocking panels with concerned viewers watching Norman’s stunts on their television sets and iPhones. This leads to an ending I won’t spoil but is full of the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanies these death-defying stunts. Ossio also designs a new foe for Mister Miracle that hews fairly close to another piece of Fourth World mythology and presents a new challenge for the escape artist.

Rounding out the artistic team is Renzi on colors. Renzi brings the same eye-popping palette that he did to his work on Spider-Gwen, for scenes both heroic and normal. Mister Miracle stands out the most due to his red, yellow and green costume, but the various environments have their own flair as well. Metropolis at nighttime has a deep purplish hue to it, while in the daytime it still feels like the shining beacon of the future that Superman calls home.

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1 is packed full of all the death-defying thrills and Kirby Krackle that you’ve come to expect from the titular escape artist. With a jaw-dropper of a cliffhanger, the creative team may have placed Shilo Norman into a trap he can’t easily escape from. I hope to see what else this series has in store for the rest of its run.

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1
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TL;DR

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1 is packed full of all the death-defying thrills and Kirby Krackle that you’ve come to expect from the titular escape artist. With a jaw-dropper of a cliffhanger, the creative team may have placed Shilo Norman into a trap he can’t easily escape from. I hope to see what else this series has in store for the rest of its run.