Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mister Miracle (vol.2) #7 (1989)

Mister Miracle (vol.2) #7 (August, 1989)
"Just Another Day!"
J.M. DeMatteis - Plotter
Len Wein - Scripter
Joe Philips - Penciller
Pablo Marcos - Inker
John Costanza - Letterer
Nanci Hoolahan - Colorist
Kevin Dooley - Asst. Editor
Andy Helfer - Editor
Cover Price - $1.00

The second volume of Mister Miracle takes place post-Crisis and focuses on a more domestic version of Scott and Barda Free.  Part of the Justice League International family of books, Mister Miracle has a little of that Bwa-ha-ha magic to it as the Free's try to balance their new "normal" life in Bailey, NH where Scott runs "Free's Fixit Shop" with their Justice League obligations.  This is a title that ran for 28 issues from 1989 to 1991, and was for the most part, able to maintain its fun and interesting tone throughout.

This was a 50 cent bin book for me that I had picked up around the turn of the century.  This was before I decided to pursue a full Mister Miracle run, and I chose it solely because of its cover.  Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) and Booster Gold (Michael Jon Carter) were old favorites of mine, and seeing them turn up at the Free's doorstep uninvited (and visibly unwanted) was more than enough for me to snag it up.

We open on old Justice League foe, Professor Ivo.  He is leaving a double-feature of Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil shown at a Bailey theater.  We later learn that this is not the sole Professor Ivo.  Ivo returns to hotel or apartment structure to be greeted by several more Ivos.  These are androids, based on Professor Ivo's personality and programmed to destroy the Justice League.

Scott is working away at the Fix-it shop, finishing up repairs on an old radio when he receives a call from Oberon.  We later see Oberon having a secret meeting with a man whose face is obscured from the reader.  They appear to be plotting something, Oberon plainly states "Scott Free won't know what hit him!!"

Big Barda has also taken a day job.  She is working at the Fair Street Nursery School where she rules over the tots with an iron fist... and booming voice.  Just as she is about to read a book to the children, she catches a glance at a most terrifying sight through the window... the Bug (Blue Beetle's aerial transport vehicle).  The bwa-ha-ha tandem of the JLI has come for a visit.

During this era of Justice League comics, the characters of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are notorious for their antics, and are just barely tolerated by their teammates.  Miracle may feel as though Booster and Beetle are benign, if annoying... Barda, however, is clearly not a fan of the duo.

Beetle and Booster cause a stir outside the Fixit shop and people gather.  The main focus of these early issues of Mister Miracle's second volume is that Scott and Barda want to live as normal people when in Bailey.  Booster and Beetle showing up at their doorstep greatly hinders that plan.  An ongoing side plot features a couple of young boys who believe that when it comes to the Frees, there is more than meets the eye.  They overhear Scott ranting at Beetle and Booster, and hear him admit to being Mister Miracle.  This is a bit that will continue in the coming issues.

As Scott melts down, Beetle decides that the best course of action would be to act like they were just a pair of actors scheduled for a guest appearance/signing at Free's Fixit Shop.  It is all well and good, until they attract the attention one of the Ivos.

A battle ensues, ending with Beetle yanking the hair off of Ivo's head to show its true robotic form.  Booster now knowing he doesn't need to pull his punches, punches Ivo's head clear off.  Booster, Beetle, Scott, and Barda begin to celebrate until they notice that they are now surrounded by several more Ivos.


This was such a fun era of DC Comics.  Not everything needed to be an event.  We don't get stories like this much anymore.  Not overly serious, while at the same time not overly bwa-ha-ha either.  Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and Mister Miracle had such a fun relationship.  Booster and Beetle were great on their own, but Scott plays the perfect straight-man to temper their antics.  Watching Barda and Scott trying to live their suburban lives in small-town New Hampshire is a treat, and gives the reader a unique view of (non-Metropolis/non-Gotham) civilian life in the DC Universe.

This is a series that has been relegated to 50 cent bins (though, I suppose mileage may vary).  It is an absolute steal at that price and definitely worth tracking down.  The Justice League International family of books from this vintage is one of the things that hurt me the most when they announced The New 52 reboot.  They were the perfect blend of super heroics, soap opera, and comedy.  Just fun comics.


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Ivo: "God, I absolutely love this town!  The even give you extra fortune cookies!"

Woman: "Murray, Look!  It's that Blue Devil guy from the movies!"
Beetle: "In point of fact, dear lady.  I'm the Blue Beetle--of Justice League fame!"

Beetle: "Where should we stick the pizzas?  They're getting cold."
Miracle: "You don't honestly want me to tell you where to stick them, do you?"

Miracle: "You have utterly ruined my life!!"
Beetle: "Gee, we--we didn't mean to."

Man: "How d'ya make it fly, huh?"
Beetle: "Uh--Would you believe hot air?"

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