Title: Mister Miracle: The Great Escape
Creators: Varian Johnson, Daniel Isles (Illustrator)
Genres: Comics, superhero
Publisher: DC Comics
Review copy: Library
Availability: Available now!
Summary: Falling in love was never part of the escape plan.
Scott Free is a student at the Goodness Academy, on the planet Apokolips, ruled by Lord Darkseid. Sounds pretty cool, right? Wrong. Scott Free wants nothing more than to leave Apokolips for planet Earth; the only problem is that no one has ever left Apokolips of their own free will…or alive.
Scott Free has a plan, a foolproof plan, a plan that his found family depends on for their own freedom. But that plan never involved falling in love with the head of the Female Furies, Big Barda-the one person tasked with ensuring he never escapes.
From the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of The Parker Inheritance, Varian Johnson, and afrofuturist artist Daniel Isles (DirtyRobot) comes the story of an escape plan that will take a miracle to pull off. Lucky for Scott, everyone calls him MISTER MIRACLE! Okay, fine, no one calls him that… yet.
Review: DC Comics has been hitting it out of the park with its latest comics, many of which involve teaming up stellar YA and kidlit authors (L.L. McKinney, Sarah Kuhn, and others) with incredible artists. Mister Miracle: The Great Escape by writer Varian Johnson (of the middle grade graphic novel Twins) and illustrator Daniel Isles is another graphic novel to add to your superhero comic collection if you’ve been enjoying comics like Shadow of the Batgirl and Nubia: Real One.
I went in with absolutely zero knowledge of Mister Miracle and while it took me a bit to get situated in the story, I enjoyed the journey I went on. If you know a lot about Mister Miracle, you might enjoy the references or possibly dislike the changes — but I can’t speak to that. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, setting, and the character of Scott Free. The story follows Scott Free as he struggles to escape the nightmarish Goodness Academy, while grappling with trauma from his past surviving the school and its terrors. The stakes are high — it’s escape or live a very, very short life as a soldier — and the school is merciless. Along the way, Scott learns a little more about friendship and love, and maybe gains a clue as to who he is.
I think you can tell from the cover that the art is absolutely stellar. There’s some interesting stylistic choices throughout, and personally, I really enjoyed them. I loved how dynamic the movement and action was, and the colors were evocative and atmospheric.
The story, as I mentioned, might be a tiny bit confusing if you, like me, don’t know anything about Mister Miracle but you figure out what’s going on pretty quick. It’s a fast-paced, exciting read that will keep you reading — while pulling a chuckle out of you as Scott snarks at his enemies, jokes with his friends, and faces down his fears. The only aspect of the story that didn’t completely grab me was the romance, which within the limits of the graphic novel felt a a bit rushed. I imagine Mister Miracle’s romance is pulled from the source material, so I get the constraints there, but that’s an aspect of the story where I wish the story had diverged.
Overall, Mister Miracle: The Great Escape is a fun read with gorgeous illustratiouns, and another great addition to the new YA DC comics coming out lately. I’ll be looking forward to whatever’s next by Varian Johnson and the next YA DC comics offering!
Recommendation: Get it soon!