Friday, November 20, 2009

"Save that mumbo-jumbo for 'superstition freaks!' It means nothing to me!"

I love the splash page that opens Mister Miracle #14 so much, I'm going to go ahead and name it today's Fourth World Panel:

Man, what a great non sequitur (if you can call it that, since there's not really anything that comes before it); you just open the book, and BAM, there's a goofy-looking monster running and shouting for help. That's how you get people into a story! The plot itself is all right, although Apokolips/New Genesis/the Fourth World continue to be absent; instead, Scott and Oberon see that goblin get taken away by some other monsters, and they follow them to a haunted house to investigate some sort of cult that call themselves the Satan Club. I believe this predated the 70s occult craze, so there aren't any pentagrams or even much in the way of goat heads or devil horns; instead it's just weird-looking monsters, and a bunch of death traps:

Oh, and a leader named Madam Evil-Eyes, who has an awesomely crazed expression and a crazy beehive (or whatever you call it) of a hairdo:

It doesn't really matter though, because other than the crazy lady (who Oberon speculates is "one of those rare birds!--A true mutation!") they turn out to be regular old arms dealers (possibly affiliated with the Scavengers?) who dressed up their lair all spooky-like to scare people off. I guess this is what would happen if Kirby did Scooby-Doo. They sure are dedicated to their theme though, with neat interior decorations and instruments like this snake statue/closed circuit camera monitor:

There's a nice showdown too, as Madame Evil-Eyes freaks out about losing her money and tries to burn the hell out of our heroes:

I love those panels, from the clutching desperation, to the flaming eyeball closeup, to the way they grow to these giant burning orbs. Damn, that's some good stuff.

I'm still wondering about the direction the series has taken though; this is the third issue in a row that has dealt with some sort of mind control, with no mention at all of the Anti-Life equation. I would hope that Kirby is subtly building to some sort of Darkseid-related reveal, but I kind of doubt it. Man, if only he could have completed this series like he originally envisioned; that's one that we'll always be wondering about.

Next: "The Real Big Barda", whatever that means.