Back in January, we learned that Batman writer Tom King was planning another twelve issue series in the tradition of The Vision, Omega Men, and Sheriffs of Babylon. In fact, it seemed that King would reteam with Sheriffs of Babylon artist Mitch Gerads for the book, which we learned in April would have something to do with the New Gods and would hit stores this Summer:
"Is this not the true romantic feeling; not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you." –Thomas Wolfe pic.twitter.com/Tdtht6DYuu
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) April 12, 2017
"I need some older, wiser being to cry to. I talk to God, but the sky is empty, and Orion walks by and doesn't speak." –Sylvia Plath. pic.twitter.com/1HlA9t5bhI
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) April 13, 2017
Today, King and Gerads revealed all of the details in an interview with Paste Magazine, and we now know that the team will be giving us a twelve issue Mister Miracle series starting in August. Though inspired by Jack Kirby’s original masterpiece, King knows that trying to compete with it would be like “trying to make Star Wars again, or like trying to rewrite the Iliad.” But they have another approach that just might work.
“You can take those grand cosmic space opera themes and internalize them and use them to tell a very personal story,” King said. “That’s what appealed to me about it. We were going to take the bigness of Kirby and turn that into the intimacy of Mister Miracle’s life.”
And taking a unique approach to dealing with the modern political landscape in a superhero comic, rather than hamfistedly shoehorn clumsy metaphors about it into a punchy kicky heroes vs. heroes slugfest, King and Gerads’ Mister Miracle will reflect inward instead:
“Kirby used a metaphor for his time, written in the late ‘60s early ‘70s when the world was going utterly insane,” King explained. “We’re going to use it as a metaphor for our time, the late 2010s, when once again the world is going insane. It’s almost like we’re holding up a mirror to that work, or internalizing it. We’re going step-in-step with him.”
King elaborated more on that later, saying, “I wanted to write about the Trump era, but I didn’t want to write, ‘Fascism sucks’ or ‘Trump sucks.’ That doesn’t get you anywhere. You’re taking your Twitter feed and putting it in panels. What I wanted to do is capture the emotion of the period, and the anxiety, the way Alan Moore captured the anxiety of the ‘80s or Kirby captured the anxiety of the ‘70s or even Lee captured the optimism of the ‘60s; to capture the feeling, more than the politics. That’s what interests me. That’s how you make something that’s just not a polemic. After page four, the whole thing goes into a 9-panel grid, and it’s to give you a sense of that claustrophobia. To give you a sense of what it is to be trapped, not only in the themes and the words, but in the actual panel structure. He’s trapped behind those bars we had in Omega Men, and how does he break out?”
A writer talking about the art? Hashtag #ArtCred? Now we know this is going to be a different kind of comic. So tell us more about this, Mitch Gerads!
“When I do my art, I tend to be very inspired by what I’m consuming at that time, and I remember doing issue one of Mister Miracle and being very inspired by ‘60s magazine illustrators: Austin Briggs, Al Parker,” said Gerads. “I think a lot of that came through, but one of the nice things is, because of the nature of the book, as we go forward I can still be influenced by what I’m consuming at that time and just evolve with it. I get to use the reality-bending nature of the book as an excuse to do that.”
But what about the most important part of a comic book pitch — how will this series be like Game of Thrones?
“One of the fun things for me is taking all of these Kirby designs and taking the crazy world of New Genesis and the crazy world of Apokolips and boiling it down to more Game of Thrones,” Gerads explained.
And finally, what’s Tom King’s opinion on punching Nazis? Asked if, as a former CIA agent, King identifies with Kirby, who fought in World War 2, King says: “Both of us want to punch Nazis in the face, so we have that.
Well, it looks like they’ve covered all the bases. Look out for Mister Miracle in August, and in the meantime, take a sneak peak: