Ah, welcome fellow agents, you’re probably wondering why I’ve called you down here through the interminable depths of the malefic mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313, why you have had to negotiate it’s herculean hallways and cavernous crypts, wending your way past such iconic areas as the astonishing Amphitheatre of Awards, and the Movie Mausoleum, whilst taking in the majestic sights of the Comic Crypts and the Ancient Amazon Archives.
It is often said that Precinct1313 is a dilemma within a mystery contained in an enigma, it’s been three and a half years since this entity first welcomed us into it’s dark ceaseless corridors and herculean hallways and today we are making our way through it’s unending profundity to a room we haven’t visited for close to a year – The Scrying Chamber, within this portentous room sits a single stone table upon which resides an ominous black crystal ball, which not only has the power to decipher the future, but also recreate the past in vivid memories. So please, make yourselves comfortable, as we gaze deep into it’s sanguine depths and relive the Precinct’s favourite moments from 2017.
Wonder Woman’s Cinematic Debut Is A Triumph In All Kinds Of Ways…
Forget Disney and it’s vision on what a Princess is, Diana successfully schools them in every way possible on how to portray a strong forceful female warrior with the strength and fortitude to turn the tide of a great war, yet also the compassion and love to convert the hearts of the most staunch human soul… Wonder Woman has been empowering her fans for over 75 years in comic-book, animation and television, and this summer received her long overdue silver screen outing, and it was… outstanding!
Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins brought William Marston’s much loved Superheroine to life magnificently, finally giving the much loved Amazon the attention and adoration she deserves, delighting fans both new and old with a tale that encompasses a gamut of emotions and emancipation. This film is important on so many levels – firstly proving to the world that female led comic-book movies can easily match their male counterparts, approaching the now staid Superhero movie franchises with a new high in how to tell a canonical origin story with a real emotive centre and a poignant yet impassioned and powerful tale that encompasses everything we love about the Themysciran Titan. This film turned out even more magnificent than we could have ever imagined, and for us, is the stand out best movie of 2017… in fact ever!
Comic Book Writer Tom King Blew Us All Away!!
Phew, what a year for comic books 2017 has been, notable mentions need to go to Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott for their sterling work on the astounding Wonder Woman Rebirth series, Gerard Way’s (yes the front man for My Chemical Romance, now a wildly successful comic book author for DC Comics!) Young Animal imprint, and, more recently, Geoff Johns’ sequel to Alan Moore’s opus Watchmen with Doomsday Clock. Yet one man has decided to top all of these, with his literary genius abounding in the two greatest comic-book offerings of 2017 – Batman Rebirth and Mister Miracle – the elaborate and intricate tales woven by master creator Tom King have sat at the head of this particular DC fans table, and I for one cannot wait to see what other spectacles of fantastic fiction he has in store for us in 2018.
The Precinct’s Head Agent Was Almost… Beaten To A Pulp By A Giant Mallet, Schooled On Venerable Verbosity By A Vaudevillian Vigilante, And Eaten By A Ferocious Feline!!!
2017 was the year that the Precinct threw open its doors to the villainous, the vigilant, and the Superheroic (and their Super-Pets) when we deigned to interview some of Comicdom’s most treasured Superheroes, Supervillains, Costumed Crimefighters and Dimension Dwelling Demons, when we premiered our “World’s Finest – An Interview With A Superhero” series.
And it’s proven to be huge hit, with more views than any article or post we have ever put out, though our hapless interviewer has really been put through his paces with his erstwhile attempt to extract those interesting facts and truths from the variety of costume clad individuals invited onto the show each week… he has been – in an alliteration battle with a master, dodged getting smushed by the giant mallet of hellacious Harley Quinn, and almost the main course for feline Supervillain Cheetah, yet he comes back each and every time, ready to once again verbally duel whatever guest is invited onto the Precinct (so he’s obviously an idiot!)
So which of these exceptionally excessive episodes were the most popular? unsurprisingly the Harley Quinn instalment has easily garnered the most views of them all to date. The most fun to write was without a doubt the V episode, and my personal favourite? absolutely the Cheetah one, I unreservedly adore the character, so it was fun channeling her ferocious feline awesomeness!
The Justice League United…
2017 was a particularly great year if you’re a DC Comics fanatic, not only did we get the long awaited cinematic debut of the Worlds first, and greatest female Superhero, we were also lucky enough to bask in the glory of the premier team of iconic costume clad crimefighters – The Justice League!
Now then, as expected, the critics apparently hated it… but (like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad before it) the movie going audiences loved it! The ongoing debate about whether ‘professional critics’ are ruining the cinema experience by damning movies so much that they are ostensibly stopping viewers from going to see films doesn’t necessarily seem to be true, to date the critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is 40%, yet the audience verdict stands at a much more impressive 78%.
You know what? ignore critics, Justice League was a fantastic and fun romp from start to finish, the Amazon battle segment at the start was phenomenal, and the sequence where a disorientated Superman took on the entire League was just a blast, especially the super-speed fight between the Man of Steel and The Flash. If you’re still on the fence about seeing the film due to low scores I have two things to tell you – 1. Don’t be, it’s a great movie full of sterling action scenes and plenty of laughs (plus it gives you even more Wonder Woman!) 2. Get off that fence, it wasn’t designed to be sat on! (I mean, wouldn’t a chair be more comfortable!)
Happy New Year to all our Special Agents, readers and everyone else who visits the Precinct, 2018 brings more DC Comics cinematic greatness in the form of the ocean dwelling King of Atlantis – Aquaman, plus the production begins on three new DC movies, Wonder Woman 2, Shazam, and Flashpoint, so lots of things to get overtly excited about and geek over. Until then, as always… Make Mine DC!
Tom King is without a doubt the most fitting writer currently working in comics today to take on the legend that is Mister Miracle, not just because he’s a scribe of almost unparalleled talent, but his surname ably pairs him with Miracle’s genius creator – Jack ‘The King’ Kirby!
To honour the the 100th anniversary since Jack Kirby’s birth, DC Comics along with aforementioned writer Tom King, and artist Mitch Gerads are reuniting us with one of Kirby’s most beloved and successful creations – super escape artist Mister Miracle, in a 12 part maxi-series that also features The New Gods from DC’s Fourth World Saga – which is widely hailed as being one of the sources that classic sci-fi movie Star Wars was inspired by.
Jack Kirby was an American comic book artist and writer who is one of the most influential and innovative personalities in the medium. Aside from Mister Miracle and The New Gods for DC Comics, Kirby also created such iconic characters as – Silver Surfer, The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Captain America, X Men and many, many other too numerous to mention.
Kirby initially was a Marvel stalwart, creating, illustrating and writing a myriad of storylines for the publishing giant, his titles always had high sales and even higher praise, but behind the scenes a different picture was being painted. Kirby felt he was being unfairly treated by Marvel, his perception was that he was seen more as a writer/artist for hire by the company as opposed to one of it’s foremost creators and innovators, and in response in 1970, he left Marvel and joined its arch-rival DC Comics.
Signing a three year contract with DC Comics Kirby created some of his most memorable characters, from The New Gods, Etrigan and The Forever People, through DC’s big bad – Darkseid and of course – Scott Free (the perfect moniker, let’s be honest) better known as Mister Miracle, the super escape artist whose creation could almost be seen as the perfect allegory for Kirby’s flight from Marvel to DC, breaking the shackles of previous employment to forge new horizons.
Miracle has been a popular character for DC since his inception, with a slew of ongoing and mini-series, and was an exceedingly welcome addition to the ranks of The Justice League (alongside his wife – Big Barda, which is a whole other post we can’t wait to get to!), during the excellent Keith Giffen and J.M DeMatteis late eighties entry of the World’s Greatest Superhero team-up.
The much anticipated return of Scott Free is, thankfully, not only been worth the torturous wait but manages to exceed all expectations with a fantastically written tale that gives us a very much grounded portrait of a Superhero, a quirky yet flawed individual who is ultimately struggling to find his raison d’etre.
As fantastic as the writing is, the art by Gerads is definitely no slouch in comparison, in fact it’s superb! Gerads is an extremely flexible penciller which shines through in his art in this first issue, which at times evokes an almost pitch perfect Kirby-esque feel in the art style.
Mister Miracle #1 is a must buy, featuring one of Jack Kirby’s (definitely my favourite) greatest creations,and a first rate creative team who bring us a powerfully emotional tale that entices you in and holds you entranced until the final page… dammit why isn’t issue 2 out yet!?