Jack Kirby Mister Miracle Artist’s Edition

Following in the huge footsteps of the Jack Kirby New Gods Artist’s Edition comes another classic collection of Kirby Fourth Word beauty—Mister Miracle!  This latest Artist’s Edition collects SEVEN nearly complete Mister Miracle stories, including issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and more!  Mister Miracle was one of the core Fourth World books—a multi-generational epic that was one part King Lear and another part Star Wars.  One thing is for sure, you’ll never have a better chance to see the King’s cosmic opus any better than in the pages of this Artist’s Edition!!

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

The wackiest character to get a Fourth World series, Jack Kirby Mister Miracle Artist’s Edition gives us the very best of Scott Free and Big Barda.

This a great run of comics: two consecutive issues followed by five consecutive issues: 2-3 and 5-9. Then a gallery section featuring covers to issues 5,11 and 12, plus issue 11 pages 1-3 and 5, issue 15 page 12 and two other Kirby Mister Miracle illustrations. The fold out shown above features a double page spread on the other side, unlike earlier fold outs like Kubert’s Tarzan.

This is by far the best available production of Kirby’s Big Barda, and the main reason I bought this edition. It’s a crazy comic filled with ridiculous premises, over the top characters and sheer insanity as only Kirby could draw. Just drink in that last panel above of Granny Goodness; it’s the inks and lack of colour that do it for me. And there are a lot more intense panels just like that throughout.

The scan quality is excellent; while most pages are yellowed to some extent they are clean and clear. Paste ups and corrections are visible throughout, such as Barda’s face above, and Oberon’s hairline is corrected in every appearance in issue two. Of the pages only eight are “not scanned from the original art” as they are labeled. These appear to be bleached blow-ups of their published pages. They don’t include the total count anymore like previous Artist’s Editions.

Randall Dahlk’s design is eye-catching and enjoyable as always. Endpapers and chapter dividers are enlargements of panels with the unique look shown below. Here’s what he had to say about this edition.

When designing this collection of stories, I thought using the style of posters of Harry Houdini, would be a good influence. As with almost all of the artist’s editions, I chose to use a limited palette. I think if there are too many full color pages in the book, it would appear too jarring, and perhaps take away from the impact of the original art pages. Of course, the designed “posters” had to look as if they were battered and torn from being exposed to the elements. It was kind of like creating a “what if” scenario. Like, what if Mister Miracle actually did perform in a circus, what would the advertising for that look like?

Production, as always, is excellent via IDW’s tried and true methodology for Artist’s Editions. The book came in a cardboard case but wasn’t shrinkwrapped. The sewn binding was a little tight, as pages  didn’t lay flat and were much worse at the beginning and ending of the book.

Jack Kirby Mister Miracle Artist Ed HC

from Things From Another World