by Tom King & Mitch Gerads
I was going to start this review with ‘Mister Miracle is’, but now that I’ve given it some more thought, I don’t believe that is true. Orion would tell me it doesn’t matter what I believe, a statement is either true or false. So, let me try again, ‘Mister Miracle is’ is false. According to what I learned in this issue, ‘Mister Miracle is’ would imply that the comic Mister Miracle is all things, good and bad. It isn’t all things, it is all things good. The reason for me writing this review is to convey to you this very fact, that Mister Miracle is all things good. So, let me take a similar approach to the one René Descartes took on proving that God exists. Descartes’ argument is rooted in the idea that God is all things good. If you examine two things, God is always the better one. Take love and hate for example; love is better than hate, therefore God is love. This is where existence comes into play, since existing is better than not existing, God exist. If I reverse this logic and say Mister Miracle is well written, which is better than poorly written. It has gorgeous art, which is better than eye gouging art. It effectively utilizes the nine panel grid layout to tell the story, which is better than the nine panel grid layout bogging down the story flow. It stirs up a wide range of emotions, which is better than reading a comic with emotional responses equal to a robot. It exists, which is better than not existing. I think this proves that Mister Miracle is all things good. If I stick with Descartes “I think, therefore I am” then because I am a person and because Mister Miracle is a comic that is all things good, it has been selected as the finest comic of the week.
Okay, I think I lost myself in there somewhere. I hope you’re all still with me.
When considering the quality of a single issue comic, scope is something I always come back to; how much story does a single issue tell within the natural confines of the medium & format. Single issue comics have natural limitations in terms of size, anything approaching one hundred pages or more is probably a graphic novel at that point, while a single comics page itself can probably handle nine to twelve panels at most per page. Furthermore, a sizable portion of comics are created using pre-existing intellectual property, which in itself creates it’s own form of constraints on story telling based on the framework of the concept, to say nothing of the editorial guidelines of the corporate IP holders. But all these limitations are a big part of what I like about comics, seeing how creative talent can work within those guidelines and still tell an amazing story in a way that no other medium can. And that starts with scope, how much story a creative team leverages out of those limitations. Batman: Creature of The Night #1, by Kurt Busiek & Jean Paul Leon, is a comic that fully realizes its scope, and mines out its limitations for an incredibly creative and profound single issue, with a technical proficiency & synthesis in the art & writing that makes for a purely excellent single issue comics. Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Batman Creature of The Night #1