Scott Free is the greatest escape artist in the multiverse. There aren’t any shackles or prison that can hold him. But is there something that he can’t escape from? Can even Mister Miracle escape death?
As part of the celebration for what would be Jack Kirby 100th birthday, DC has relaunched books featuring some of the most interesting characters Kirby created while he was working for them. With the Kamandi Challenge well underway, they decided to look at Kirby’s Fourth World books.
These books feature two planets of space gods almost constantly at war with one another. Darkseid leads the forces of evil from the planet Apokolips while searching for the anti-life equation which he wants to unleash and destroy the universe.
Scott, the son of the opposing New Gods’ leader, was raised under Darkseid control as part of a truce that secured a temporary peace between the two forces. Despite being constantly locked up, Scott always found ways to free himself and eventually he and Big Barda, another of Darkseid’s warriors escaped to Earth.
Tom King (Batman, Sheriff of Babylon, Omega Men), who himself is a somewhat master of misdirection in his stories, has Scott aim to escape from something no one escapes from — death. He leads off with Scott’s suicide attempt. Scott is rushed to the hospital and seems to be saved. But small things are off. Barda’s eyes are no longer the same. Scott finds himself talking to other people who are dead.
So the question has to be asked. Did Scott really escape death? Or is he trapped in some kind of elaborate hoax? We aren’t going to get the answer in the first issue of this series.
Mitch Gerads’ (Batman, Cave Carson, The Punisher) art also helps with the misdirection. Instead of crisp lined images, the drawings play with forced focus and other photographic techniques not usually seen used in comic art. These all serve to distract the reader from other clues that may be lying right in the open, but you are being led away from them.
This book is an interesting start to the limited series. I think that Kirby would enjoy what this team is doing with one of his characters. Scott was always one of Kirby’s most morally complex characters, a feature that often got downplayed by other writers as they tried to separate him from the Fourth World mythology. I look forward to seeing the rest of the series.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Nick Derington