Thursday, September 12, 2013

Winner Take Metropolis! ...perhaps 'Winner' should be in quotes.


Oddly, I think the last time I looked at a Mister Miracle comic, it had Superman in it too. But Miracle shows a bit more attitude than usual this time around, in 1979's DC Comics Presents #12, "Winner Take Metropolis" Written by Steve Englehart, pencils by Richard Buckler, inks by Dick Giordano.

After a dramatic televised escape in the Nevada desert, Scott Free is more than a little pissed to hear Galaxy Broadcasting was airing a Superman documentary at the same time, and he'd be lucky to get a 15 rating. (Which, if the ratings are the same today, would be more than twice last week's highest rated show?) Which also makes him wonder why he went through all the trouble of escaping from Apokolips, to what, do three shows a day at the Flamingo in Vegas? But his complaints are interrupted when he sees recent prison escapee/Intergang boss/hot pants enthusiast Carolyn Doyle, and follows her.

Doyle is checking out Intergang's newest invention, the Mentropy Machine, which can completely control minds in a fifty-foot radius, and should take care of Superman but good. As Mr. Miracle watches, they test the machine on an FBI snitch, leaving him unable to testify--he can't make himself say the words. Doyle suspects they're being watched, and they teleport out with the machine before Miracle can stop them. Even though he's jealous of Supes, he can't let Intergang kill him; but Miracle finds he was within range of the machine's effect and can't warn Superman! Scott is stuck, until he realizes he can't tell Superman, but he can challenge him, and begins a campaign to replace the Man of Steel in Metropolis!

Superman confronts Mr. Miracle on the issue, and Scott challenges him to a duel in the Nevada desert, loser leaves town. Lois asks Superman why he's bothering: "If you win, people will only say 'of course,' and if you lose, you lose everything you've devoted your life to!" Geez, don't oversell it, Lois. Still, Superman decides that beating Miracle would be both the fastest way to get rid of him, and send a clear message to anyone else who might coming gunning for his spot. Miracle seems to have more than got Superman's goat, but after the fight turns to fisticuffs, Miracle is eventually outmatched. After Superman starts to fly back to Vegas, the Intergang thugs are in position with the Mentropy Machine, but they weren't expecting the sudden appearance of Mr. Miracle, who smashed the machine. Scott is finally able to explain his game, and why he threw his match with Superman; although he's in no hurry for a rematch.

I'm more used to JLI-era, easy-going, cheerful, occasional house-husband Scott Free; but this one's a little more hungry for the big time.

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Definitely interesting to see a more aggressive side to Scott, but yeah.I prefer the funny and soft-hearted Mr. Miracle too.

SallyP said...

I like Scott, and I like this era of books a whole lot. Nobody got their arms ripped off!