With a masterful showing of characterization and visual thrills, this ambitious new addition to the New Gods mythos gets extremely down to earth. There are so many wonderful elements here that show the true antagonist for escape artist Shilo Norman may not be the unexpected last page reveal, but himself.
Opening up with a history-making stunt that would make Evel Knievel blanch with terror, the title character is as focused on demographics and marketing as Booster Gold but with less of the rapacious commercial vibe. He follows a similar theme, engaging in heroism for the PR boost, and struggles with a key element of his “brand” — wearing a mask keeps him from the scrutiny of a nation that often poses challenges for people of African descent (shades of the Blue Marvel). He goes on a date; he finds a continuity busting new foe (unless “N’vir” translates into “Jacob” somehow, or Wonder Woman’s universe reboot at the end of Dark Knights Metal undid a lot of things) and generally kind of reacts to his environment.
Brandon Easton’s script does a fantastic job of depicting the realities for a character in this situation, especially leaning into the continuity-friendly references to Thaddeus Brown. Likewise, it also creates a good supporting cast with his manager Vito, who makes a good sounding board for exposition. Likewise, the visual storytelling from Pico Ossio, Rico Renzi, and Rob Leigh is interesting and effective in showing character and action moments.
This issue has a lot of good elements but doesn’t connect with its head-scratching last page and its title character mostly struggling with himself. Let’s see if it can dance its way out of its restrictions in subsequent issues. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Mister Miracle #1: The Source of Freedom
By Brandon Easton, Pico Ossio
Spinning out of DC Future State, the story of how Shilo Norman became the Mister Miracle of tomorrow starts here. The Mister Miracle show used to be the hottest ticket in town, whether you caught him onstage escaping from perilous traps or spotted him on the streets of Metropolis taking out bad guys. What Shilo Norman forgot is the first rule of both showbiz and super-heroing: always leave them wanting more. Now it’s time to start showing the world what a miracle man can do. Showbiz/superhero rule #2: timing is everything. There’s a new performer in town who wants to knock Mister Miracle off his pedestal and stake a claim to his famous moniker! Can Shilo break free of this trap? (Why yes, that is a clue.)