DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“As part of a peace pact, Scott Free was raised in an orphanage on the cruel world of Apokolips. Young Scott finally escaped that destiny and made his way to Earth where he was befriended by escape artist Thaddeus Brown, known as Mr. Miracle. Under Brown’s tutelage Scott assumed the identity of Mister Miracle and elevated to greater glory as an entertainment super-escape artist!”
In time for Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, his beloved Fourth World creations have made their triumphant return to the four-color-printed pages. Well, a few of them, anyway. Kirby’s most successful Fourth World creation is the evil monarch Darkseid, but I’d say that Mr. Miracle’s a pretty close second. His original book ran for twice as long as the others, and he’s had more than a few revivals, including a currently running one, which I’ve been picking up and enjoying enough to keep reading. He’s also had a pretty good helping of action figures. I’ve already looked at two of them, but here’s one more.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Mr. Miracle was released in the sixth series of DC Universe Classics, which was the final assortment of the line’s inaugural year. It was a rather rocky year, with a slow start at Series 1, poor distribution for the four series, and quality control issues all over the place. Series 6 marked a real turning point, being a little easier to find at retail and offering overall higher quality figures. Scott was the second Fourth World addition, following Orion in Series 1. Following Scott, there’d be one New God per series until Series 12. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. He’s built on the medium base-body, which works well enough for Scott, since he’s usually a little smaller than Orion and the like, but still usually depicted as larger than average. Scott has a new head, forearms, and shins, as well as add-ons for his cape and belt. It’s nice to see just how many new pieces there were on this guy, given how prone to just painting the details this line got as it went on. The head is a generic depiction of Mr. Miracle’s mask, not based on any specific artist’s version. Obviously, there’s some pretty heavy Kirby influence there, but it’s not a strict Kirby version of the character. Nevertheless, it’s a good take on the character. The other pieces are mostly just designed to slot in pretty flawlessly with the base body, which they do pretty well. The cape, it should be noted, is made from a harder plastic than you might expect, which means it’s really stiff, solid, and heavy. It can make him a little difficult to keep standing. That being said, it’s still a nicely crafted piece, so no complaints there. What I find most impressive about this figure are the details that most people will never see. The back of his belt features a removable Mother Box, and the bottoms of his feet have been re-sculpted so as to get some Kirby circuitry. Both easily overlooked details, but both details included here anyway. The paintwork on this guy is perhaps his only real negative. It’s not terrible, but it’s a little sloppier than I’d like. Still, it’s got some very nice accent work that you don’t see much these days, and is all-around pretty good. In addition to the previously mentioned Mother Box, Mr. Miracle is also packed with a pair of flight disks (which get a circuitry detailing similar to the underside of the foot), as well as the right leg of Kaliback. Most impressively, he includes a pair of arm cuffs, clearly modeled after those included with his old Super Powers figure, making this guy the first official call-back to Super Powers in this line.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t buy this guy new. Not long before his release, DC Direct had done their own set of Jack Kirby designed New Gods figures, which I quite liked. That Mr. Miracle was my favorite of the set, and I didn’t really feel like I needed another. Then this figure’s price shot up fairly quickly, and I figured that was just as well. Recently, Cosmic Comix got in a nearly complete set of DCUC figures, and they’ve been slowly putting them out. I saw this guy, and it was the same week as the new issue of Mr. Miracle, so I felt it was appropriate. I’m glad I picked him up, because he’s quite possibly one of the finest offerings from DCUC. He’s a character that really fit the style, and it’s clear they went the extra mile to make him so cool. It’s almost hard to believe this was actually a Mattel offering.