Sunday, August 19, 2012

Why Mister Miracle?

After becoming disgruntled with Marvel in the early 70's, Jack Kirby turned to DC Comics and tried his hand at what he envisioned to be a finite series depicting a cosmic battle between good and evil. This conflict had its beginnings in the aftermath of Ragnarok itself before it found its way to Earth and the DCU. Originally consisting of the titles The Forever People, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, The New Gods and Mister Miracle the series became known as the Fourth World saga and charted the battle between Apokolips and New Genesis and it's denizens, the aforementioned New Gods.

Amidst this pantheon we meet Scott Free (yes, really), son of the ruler of New Genesis. As part of the the agreement to keep the peace between the two worlds Scott was sent to live on Apokolips, where he rebels against the oppression of the world and it's ruler, Darkseid. Eventually he escapes Apokolips and heads to Earth, his actions reigniting the war between the two worlds. On Earth he is taken in by Thaddeus Brown, a circus escape artist ,with Scott proving to be an excellent escapologist himself. Soon after this, Thaddeus is murdered and Scott takes up his mentor's stage costume and name, Mister Miracle.

Since that time Scott has won his freedom from Darkseid, joined the JLA, tried to live the quiet life in the suburbs (with wife Big Barda) and even recruited his own protege/successor in Shiloh Norman (who has taken up the Mister Miracle mantle himself).

So why Mister Miracle? No situation is too impossible for him to escape from, he never gives up, he's part of a cosmic battle between good and evil and even death can't hold him forever. If Kirby himself is woven into the very fabric of modern superhero comics then Mister Miracle is a distillation of everything those comics do well-- big stories, big themes and, dare I say it?

Escapism.



14 comments:

  1. I've been looking forward to this one since I saw it in the queue. Thanx for picking another favourite!

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  2. Mister Miracle - Arkham Unlocked - Simon McDonald

    PANEL ONE
    Mister Miracle and the Warden march down a dark corridor. Mister Miracle’s vibrant outfit doesn’t suit this underworld of shadows and sadists. He looks out of place.

    WARDEN:
    "The greatest architectural minds of our time had a limitless budget thanks to Wayne Enterprises. They worked in conjunction with the GCPD. Flawless, they called the design. Unescapable."

    PANEL TWO
    Mister Miracle smirks; says nothing.

    WARDEN:
    "You think Metropolis' Stryker's Island is a supermax, this is ten rungs above that."

    PANEL THREE:
    They are passing several locked cells. The names of several inmates are stencilled into the metal. These include: THE MAD HATTER, THE RIDDLER, HUGO STRANGE, etc.

    WARDEN:
    “But we can't account for the innovative depravity of their minds. They see things we don't. Failings. Weaknesses.”

    PANEL FOUR
    They stop outside a cell door, wide open, clearly marked as THE JOKER’S. It’s empty.

    WARDEN:
    “Three years. Eighteen escapes. It needs to stop.”

    PANEL FIVE
    Mister Miracle looks at the Warden, a confident smile plastered on his face. In contrast, the Warden is ashen-faced.

    MISTER MIRACLE:
    “Warden, I’ve been here seven minutes and conceived thirty-two potential methods of escape. Don’t worry. When I’m done…”

    PANEL SIX
    A shot of the infamous Arkham Asylum gate.

    DIALOGUE CAPTION:
    “… this facility will be as impermeable as the Black Ways of Necropolis.”

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    Replies
    1. This combination of elements is genius. The master of escape making the jail that holds Gothams worst inescapable.

      The wardens dialogue play well off the choices of panels that you have mad as does the contrast in the look of MM and his environment.

      This would make for a super fun mini.

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    2. You really nail it here, Simon. All the things that make MM great completely encapsulated in panels 5 and 6. Arkham is an inspired place for him to use his talents. Very cool script.

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    3. This is so clever and makes so much sense that the fact that nobody's done it before is a crime. Although, if they really did make Arkham escape-proof, then there'd be no more Batman stories.

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    4. Glad to have you back, Sime, even if it's for but a single script. It's an even nicer bonus when the script is as good as this one is. Nice combination of different elements from DC's shared universe. I echo Shaun's feelings that this would make for an intriguing mini.

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    5. love this. I agree with JD that it's so obvious, it is a surprise no one has done this before. excellent use of this character's skill set and how it might be applied in the extended DCU.

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  3. Excellent page, Sime.

    Great hook and concept that tie in with the character and the DCU as a whole.

    Great flow of panels and the dialogue is really strong too. Good stuff.

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  4. Thanks for the kind words, guys. I felt my panel descriptions were a tad sparse and the dialogue could use some fine-tuning, but it was a rush job, so I'm glad it went down well with you lot!

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  6. Mr. MIRACLE – STREET CRED
    panels 1-3 sit side by side in a row across the top
    Panel 1 – Mr. Miracle and Plastic Man are kicking it, having a casual conversation

    Mr. Miracle - ...HOW CAN YOU EVEN SAY THAT? THERE IS NO WAY THAT YOU ARE A COOLER SUPERHERO THAN ME! I MEAN, I’M MR. MIRACLE! I’VE EVEN GOT A COOLER NAME THAN YOU!

    Plastic Man - I’LL CONCEDE THAT YOU’VE GOT A COOLER NAME, BUT A NAME ALONE DOES NOT MAKE YOU AWESOME. BESIDES, MY ARGUMENT ISN’T ABOUT WHO’S COOLER, BUT WHO’S MORE KNOWN. PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM, I ACTUALLY HAVE ENEMIES. I EVEN HAD MY OWN SHOW FOR A WHILE! I HAVE STREET CRED. YOU... NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES.

    Panel 2 – Similar to panel one, but body language has changed slightly, and Mr. Miracle now has a his infinity cube in one of his hands

    Mr. Miracle - WHAT? YOU’RE WRONG, PLASTIC MAN! I’M ONE OF THE COOLEST HEROES THERE COULD EVER BE! I’M A GOD! IN FACT, I’M THE GOD OF ESCAPE! NOBODY ESCAPES STUFF LIKE I DO!

    Plastic Man - OKAY, WHATEVER. I DON’T REALLY CARE...

    Panel 3 – Suddenly they are teleported to a swamp just outside the headquarters of the Legion of Doom

    Mr. Miracle - WATCH, YOU PHILISTINE. I’VE USED THE MOTHER BOX TO TELEPORT US JUST OUTSIDE A GATHERING OF EVIL VILLAINS. I WANT YOU TO WATCH FROM AFAR. I’M TOTALLY GOING TO GO IN THERE, LET THEM PUT ME IN SOME ELABORATE DEATHTRAP, AND THEN I’M TOTALLY GOING TO ESCAPE AND THEN YOU’LL SEE HOW AWESOME I AM!

    Plastic Man - UM... OKAY...

    Panel 5 takes up the entire center of the page, with a small panel 4 overlaying the upper left hand corner as a segue into panel 5 and a small panel 6 overlaying the lower right hand corner as a segue out of panel 5.

    Panel 4 –We can see part of a table, where Gorilla Grodd and Brainiac are seated.

    Gorilla Grodd - ...AND SO THE RABBI SAYS, “IT AIN’T NO THANG!” HA HA HA!

    Brainiac - I DON’T GET IT.

    Panel 5 – contains a bigger interior shot, a horizontal shot that shows a large table with villains including Gorilla Grodd, Brainiac, Cheetah, Scarecrow, Bane and a few others seated at it. They are now facing the viewer, as they all have turned to look at Mr. Miracle in confusion.

    Mr. Miracle - EXCUSE ME. HI. HELLO EVERYONE. YOU’VE CAUGHT ME. THERE’S NO ESCAPE FOR ME, I GUESS I BETTER RESIGN MYSELF TO MY FATE OF BEING PUT INTO SOME SORT OF ELABORATE TRAP THAT NO ONE CAN ESCAPE FROM.

    Cheetah - ...AAAAAND WHO ARE YOU?

    Mr. Miracle - HEH... GUYS, COME ON. YOU KNOW WHO I AM.

    Scarecrow - NO, I’M AFRAID WE DON’T.
    Scarecrow - (in smaller letters) Heh… see what I did there?

    Mr. Miracle - I’M UH, MR. MIRACLE, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE MOST REVERED HEROES OF ALL TIME? I’M UM... I’M IN YOUR LAIR? I’M GOING TO, AH, THWART YOUR EVIL PLANS?

    Panel 6 – A smaller panel that overlays the lower left hand corner of Panel 5. Close up of Gorilla Grodd

    Gorilla Grodd - YEAH, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE, BUT WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A VERY IMPORTANT DISCUSSION, SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE.

    panels 7 - 8 site side by side in a row across the bottom
    Panel 7 - The villains all turn their backs to Mr. Miracle and resume their discussion. Prominent in this panel are Gorilla Grodd and Brainiac again.

    Gorilla Grodd - NOW BRAINIAC, HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT JEWISH CULTURE?

    Brainiac - WELL, GRODD, I ACTUALLY KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERY CULTURE IN THE WORLD. I AM CALLED BRAINIAC, AFTER ALL. BUT THAT JOKE JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I THINK YOU MAY HAVE MESSED UP THE DELIVERY.
    Gorilla Grodd - IMPOSSIBLE!!!

    Panel 8 – Mr. Miracle is back outside, looking triumphant and self-assured. Plastic Man casts his gaze down disapprovingly and pinches the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.

    Mr. Miracle - SEE? I WALKED RIGHT IN THERE AND I TOTALLY ESCAPED! I’M AWESOME!

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  7. I dig the set up and idea behind the page and you build up nicely to that finally panel pay off, which put a smile on my face. My only negative is that it reads dialogue heavy, with a bit of editing I feel it could flow to that nice pay off a bit smoother.

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    Replies
    1. it's true, sometimes i tend to get a little verbose when writing dialogue. :) thanks for the feedback, i've considered it and found a couple ways i could probably make this dialogue more concise.

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