Cover of Mister Miracle: The Great Escape, featuring a young black man wearing a jacket with pins and patches all over it.

About the Book

Title: Mister Miracle: The Great Escape

Cover Story: Pieces O’ Flair
BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia
Talky Talk: Pre-Origin Story
Arty Art: Plop and (No) Fizz
Bonus Factor: Height Difference
Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grownups
Relationship Status: Wishing You the Best

Cover Story: Pieces O’ Flair

This cover doesn’t say a lot about the story within, but it’s a really fun piece of art on its own. I dig the kid’s jacket, with its nods to elements both of this version of Mister Miracle’s origin and the larger DC universe.

The Deal: 

Scott Free is a young man with no past—or, at least, that’s what he’s been told. He lives in an orphanage run by the horrid Granny Goodness on the planet of Apokolips, home of Lord Darkseid and his army. Kids like Scott have little to look forward to other than being sent to the front lines of the war, but he’s got a way out … if he can get around Big Barda and the Furies, Granny’s group of fierce students who enforce all of her rules. 

BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia

BFF charm with Natalie Imbruglia's face.

Scott’s a good kid. He’s a bit of a troublemaker, but I certainly can’t fault him for wanting to undermine Granny whenever possible. I also can’t fault him for doing whatever he can to get away from Apokolips, but I would feel very hurt if we were friends and he made the (obviously hard) decision to leave me behind when he finally got out. I get it, but it would make me hesitant to really lean into a friendship. (I mean, were I to know what he was planning before he actually carried it out.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Scott doesn’t need anything to detract him from his plan to leave, but then he meets Barda, someone who he has no business liking, especially if he wants to keep his head down and avoid Granny’s ire. But there’s something about Barda that Scott can’t deny. She’s got secrets, which could be dangerous for them both, but the heart wants want the heart wants.

Talky Talk: Pre-Origin Story

I was unfamiliar with the Mister Miracle character before reading The Great Escape, and I feel like I’m still completely unclear on what kind of superhero he actually is. Scott, on the other hand, is a great young man who’s obviously got a pretty interesting road ahead of him. Johnson wrote a great story about a boy who’s looking to find a way out of a horrid situation who unexpectedly finds love along the way, but I didn’t get any superhero vibes.

Arty Art: Plop and (No) Fizz

Panel from The Great Escape in which two characters look at the night sky
Page via DC Comics

Truth be told, I don’t love the art style in this book. Some of the characters are uncomfortably odd-looking and don’t really match the rest of the folk who look like Earthlings. (But they’re all supposed to be aliens, I believe.) I do like the sparsity Isles employs, however; his pages are mostly free of too-detailed backgrounds, which highlights the important parts instead of drawing the eye away. The visual onomatopoeia is delightful, too. This is the first time I remember ever seeing the word “plop” used in a comic setting, and it makes me laugh.

Bonus Factor: Height Difference

Two potted cacti, one is taller than the other

This is sort of a silly thing to like about this book, but there’s a major height difference between Scott and Barda, and it’s in her favor. (She’s known as Big Barda for a reason.) It’s a rare thing to see in any pop culture, much less YA.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Awful Grownups

Boxtrolls characters

In addition to Granny, who literally throws bad kids into a pit only one person has ever come out of (Scott), Darkseid’s son Prince Kalibak shows up and picks a battle with Scott, who’s a threat to him for an as-yet-unclear reason. These are actual adults who take their frustrations out on kids, and that is Not OK.

Relationship Status: Wishing You the Best

I’m hoping we have a chance to get together again, Book. But if we don’t, I truly hope you have a wonderful life, because you deserve good things!

Literary Matchmaking

Nubia: Real One

Nubia’s another young woman who has to rebel against authority while discovering who she really is in L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith’s graphic novel.

Gotham High

The kids who attend Gotham High in Melissa de la Cruz and Thomas Pitilli’s graphic novel might someday become heroes and villains, but they currently ahve too much homework.

Renegades (Renegades #1)

Marissa Meyers’ superhero series features a complicated relationship between two super-powered individuals.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from DC Comics, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Mister Miracle: The Great Escape is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.