#1484: Mr. Miracle

MR MIRACLE

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.

#0798: Mister Miracle

MISTER MIRACLE

DC ICONS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

MrMiracle1

Jack Kirby is a pretty pivotal figure in comics, having had a hand in the creation of a huge portion of the Marvel Universe. He didn’t just work at Marvel; he also spent a fair bit of time working for Marvel’s main competition, DC. He didn’t have the same impact at DC that he did at Marvel, but he did create the Fourth World, which picked up a pretty substantial cult following. One of my personal favorite characters from the Fourth World has always been Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. Scott (or Scot, as he’s known now. Extra “t”s are so last century) has made a fairly recent return to the DC Universe, and his new look just got a figure, courtesy of DC Collectibles’ newest line, DC Icons.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MrMiracle2Mister Miracle is figure 04 in the first series of DC Icons. He’s the lone New 52-based figure in the first series, which is fair, I suppose. The main purpose of the Icons line was to serve as a competitor for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so articulation is a key point. Mister Miracle delivers pretty well on this, sporting 27 points of articulation. Like a couple of the animated figures, he would really benefit from some sort of lateral movement on his legs, but you can still get a pretty decent range out of him. What he doesn’t deliver on so much is height. He stands about 5 ¾ inches tall, which makes him a good half an inch shorter than the average Marvel Legend and almost a full inch shorter than prior DCC figures. For what it’s worth, he’s in roughly the same scale as S.H. FiguArts figures. But he, and the rest of the line, are still a lot smaller than expected. Moving past that, he has a totally unique sculpt, which is pretty well executed. The proportions of the body are actually pretty good, and most of the articulation is worked in pretty well. Design-wise, he’s based on Miracle’s look from Earth 2, which is a slight tweaking of his original Kirby design. I think the original is still a stronger look, but this isn’t a bad look. The costume details are mostly etched in, which has MrMiracle3the result of making him look a lot sharper. The cape is a separate, but permanently attached piece, made from a softer materials. The sculpt is okay, but, the cape is a little oddly shaped. That being said, it works for what it is. The paint work on the figure is nicely handled overall. The etched in lines of the costume make for cleaner paintwork, and help to make the details pop a bit more. The colors are all done in a really cool metallic sheen, which really makes him look pretty sweet. For accessories, Mister Miracle includes two sets of hands (fists and open), a pair of hoverdiscs for his feet, and what I believe is a Mother Box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Mister Miracle from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix. He was actually the only of the four first series figures left. I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of Icons, and I’ve always liked Mister Miracle, so I thought this guy would be a good starting point. The issues of scale are a little frustrating, especially for people who were hoping to place these figures with their prior DCC figures. That being said, Miracle is a really fun figure, and he shows a great improvement in terms of quality for a DCC product. Plus, as more of these figures are released, the scale thing will become less of an issue.

MrMiracle4

#0164: Mister Miracle, Oberon, & Big Barda

MISTER MIRACLE, OBERON, & BIG BARDA

DC DIRECT BOXED SETS

MrMiracle&BigBarda

Hey, I’m back after a brief intermission! Hope everybody liked Tim’s guest review. I personally was really glad to get a day off, and I thought the review was pretty great too! Back to business…

Jack Kirby is a name that most casual comics/super hero fans tend to be familiar with. Along with Stan Lee, he helped to create the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, Marvel’s Thor, and Iron Man. Before that, he and Joe Simon were responsible not only for the creation of Captain America, but also the entire genre of romance comics! That’s quite a list of accomplishments! Anyway, in the 70s, Jack left Marvel and went to DC, where he created The Fourth World, which included New Gods, The Forever People, and Mister Miracle.

Today, I’ll be looking at the titular Mister Miracle, as well as his assistant Oberon and his partner Big Barda. Mister Miracle was Scott Free, who escaped from the prisons of Apokolips as a child and ventured to Earth where he became an escape artist/super hero. Barda was once part of Apokolips’s deadly Female Furies, but was freed by Scott. Oberon was… a short guy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three were released as a boxed set by DC Direct in the early 2000s. At the time, DCD was big on the boxed sets, so they released these guys all in one swoop.

MISTER MIRACLE

This is, interestingly enough, not Scott’s first foray into the world of action figures. He was previously part of Kenner’s Super Powers line in the 80s. This figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. Scott’s sculpt was all new to him. It’s pretty good, though the proportions aren’t the greatest. The don’t look bad, they just seem off in some places. Mister Miracle comes from a time when DCD’s sculpts were more simplistic, so he doesn’t have much texturing. That’s the style of the line of the time, so that works fine. Scott’s cape is sculpted in a similar style and it looks pretty cool and dynamic. The paint lines up nicely with the sculpt. There’s a decent amount of detail around the eyes, so you can actually see the skin around his eyes, which is a very nice touch. The reset of the paint is basic, with mostly large solid blocks of color, but it looks right for the character, and there’s no slop or bleed over. Scott included a set of hover discs which could plug into his feet, which are a cool item.

OBERON

Contrasting Mister Miracle, this is the only figure of Oberon ever made. He stands about 3 ½ inches tall and has a whopping 3, count ‘em 3, points of articulation. The sculpt isn’t bad. It’s a bit more detailed than Mister Miracle. Unfortunately, the legs are in some kind of an odd running pose, which makes him really hard to stand. As far as proportions, his shoulders are a bit too broad, his neck is too short and his head is a bit on the small side. None of the figures in the set are really styled after Kirby’s drawings, and this hurts Oberon the most. The paint is cleanly applied on Oberon, but it’s also really sparse. This figure really could have used some kind of a wash or something to bring out some of the details.

BIG BARDA

Barda got her first toy release with this figure, which was kinda a big deal at the time. The figure stands about 7 inches tall, and has 9 points of articulation. 3 of these points are effectively useless, thanks to her hair limiting the neck, and the cut joints on the hips being useless. The height is an interesting point, as I do believe this is the only figure of Barda to tower appropriately over Scott. Barda’s sculpt is more detailed than Scott’s, but not really any less simplistic. The proportions are also on the strange side. She had very broad shoulders and big hands. I’m not sure what shape her hips are supposed to be, but it’s not the right one, that’s for sure. The removable helmet is good in theory, but not so great in implementation. It ends up being really bulky, and it sits up too high on the head, which makes the whole thing look a bit goofy. Like the other two figures in the set, she has basic paint apps, but they’re still cleanly applied. Barda includes a set of hover discs, and a staff (which I lost. Sorry!)

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I received this set as a birthday present from my friends Renfield and June. I had mentioned to them that I had seen it marked down at their local comicbook store, and if it was still there, I’d like to have it. I later found out that the store didn’t have the set and Renfield had spent a fair bit of time calling around to various comic stores asking if they had the set. I certainly appreciate it. While they may not be the greatest figures, or even the best versions of the characters available, it was a good set for the time, and it’s still a pretty great set over all.