Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle

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Mister Miracle
250px Mister Miracle 22 Mister Miracle
Cover to Mister Miracle #22
Art by Marshall Rogers.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Mister Miracle # 1
(April 1971)
Created by Jack Kirby (writer & artist)
In story information
Alter ego Scott Free
Species New Gods
Place of origin Earth,
but originally New Genesis,
and previously Apokalips
Team affiliations Justice League
Abilities Immortality.
Superhuman Strength, agility, Stamina, Coordination, Immunity and Reflexes.
As the god of Escaping he is the master of Escapology bar none, aided by magic-level technology,Expert martial artist, New God inventive.
Knowledge of the Anti-life Equation (and possesses the will power not to use it). He possesses the Alpha Effect.

Mister Miracle is a fictional superhero published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Mister Miracle #1 (April 1971) and was created by Jack Kirby.



  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 Thaddeus Brown
    • 2.2 Scott Free
    • 2.3 Shilo Norman
  • 3 Other versions
  • 4 Other media
  • 5 Awards
  • 6 Footnotes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Publication history

The original title featuring this character was the longest-lasting of the short-lived Fourth World tetralogy. It lasted 18 issues, but with the ending of the other Fourth World titles (New Gods, Forever People), the Fourth World elements largely disappeared. The title was briefly revived in the late 1970s for an additional seven issues written by Steve Englehart, ending with #25. A one-shot special was published with art by Steve Rude in 1988. A Doug Moench-written series in the late 1980s ran for 28 issues, in which Scott, Barda, and “Uncle” Oberon tried to live normal lives in suburbia. In 1996, a series written by Kevin Dooley showed Scott attempting to escape his destiny as a New God by setting up a charitable foundation in New York. This only ran for seven issues, before all Fourth World titles were canceled for the launch of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World.

Mister Miracle was one of four series in Kirby’s ambitious but short-lived Fourth World saga. The character was inspired by the early illusionist career of comic book artist Jim Steranko, while the character’s relationship with Big Barda is based on Kirby’s relationship with his own wife.[1]

Fictional character biography

Thaddeus Brown

Thaddeus Brown was a circus escape artist whose stage name was Mister Miracle. As the first escape artist to use the name Mister Miracle, Brown mentored both Scott Free and Shilo Norman. After Brown’s murder, Scott Free took up the Mister Miracle name, adopted Thaddeus’ young ward Shilo Norman, and hired his assistant Oberon.

Scott Free

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Cover to Mister Miracle #1 (April 1971), written and drawn by Jack Kirby

Scott Free is the son of Izaya (Highfather), the ruler of New Genesis, and his wife Avia. However, as part of a diplomatic move to stop a destructive war against the planet Apokolips, Highfather agreed to an exchange of heirs with the galactic tyrant Darkseid; the exchange of heirs guaranteed that neither side would attack the other. Scott traded places with Darkseid’s second born son Orion.

Scott grew up in one of Granny Goodness’ “Terror Orphanages” with no knowledge of his own heritage. As he matured, Scott rebelled against the totalitarian ideology of Apokolips. Hating himself for being unable to fit in, he was influenced by Metron to see a future beyond Darkseid. Scott became part of a small band of pupils who were tutored in secret by the rebel Himon, a New Genesian living as a “Hunger Dog” on Apokolips. It was at these meetings that he met fellow pupil Big Barda, who would later become his wife.

Eventually, Scott Free escaped and fled to Earth. His escape, long anticipated and planned for by Darkseid, nullified the pact between Darkseid and Highfather and gave Darkseid the excuse he needed to revive the war with New Genesis. Once on Earth, he became the protégé of a circus escape artist, Thaddeus Brown, whose stage name was Mister Miracle. Brown was impressed with Scott’s skills (especially as supplemented with various advanced devices he had taken from his previous home). Scott also befriended Brown’s assistant, a dwarf named Oberon. When Thaddeus Brown was murdered, Scott Free assumed the identity of Mister Miracle. Barda later followed Scott to Earth, and the two used their powers, equipment, and skills in the war against Darkseid, who was still interested in recapturing both of them. Eventually, tired of being chased on Earth by Darkseid’s servants, Scott returned to Apokolips and won his freedom by legal means, through trial by combat.

Scott Free later became a member of the Keith Giffen-era JLA (as did Barda and Oberon) and remains a member of Earth’s heroic fraternity.

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Shilo Norman, Mister Miracle #1
Art by Pasqual Ferry

Scott Free also has a brief cameo in the story “Passengers”, which appears in Volume I, Preludes and Nocturnes, of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. He guest-starred with Batman in issues of The Brave and the Bold and with Superman in DC Comics Presents.

In addition, the character (and wife Big Barda) was made a member of the revived Justice League and appeared regularly in the Jack Kirby’s Fourth World series by John Byrne.

His most recent appearance is in the Death of the New Gods mini-series by Jim Starlin, where he finds that Big Barda has been murdered, and is revealed to contain most of the Anti-Life Equation. He is killed along with Metron later by the reunited Source in the recent issue.

Shilo Norman

Mister Miracle (Shilo Norman)

Young Shilo Norman was the informal ward of escapologist Thaddeus Brown (Mister Miracle I), and he also served as an occasional stand-in. When Brown was murdered by a mobster named Steel Hand, Scott avenged his new friend’s death by taking on the identity of Mister Miracle and brought Steel Hand to justice. After Brown’s death, Shilo worked with Scott Free (the new Mister Miracle) and Scott’s wife Barda.

A master escape artist himself, the now-adult Shilo was appointed security chief of the Slabside Island Maximum Security prison for Metahumans also known as the Slab. He held his own during the Joker’s “Last Laugh” riot and was promoted to Warden of the Slab which had by then been relocated to Antarctica. A somewhat reconceived Shilo Norman appears in Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory crossover. In Final Crisis # 2, Shilo aproaches Sonny Sumo and tell’s him “There was a cosmic war and the powers of evil won” prompting him to form a team to fight the evil gods.

Other versions

  • A future version of Mister Miracle and Big Barda (along with their daughter), appeared in the mini-series Kingdom Come. Being an escape artist, Mister Miracle would assist Superman in creating the Gulag, an inescapable prison for meta-humans. He and Barda have a daughter, Avia, who also uses a mega-rod and wears an outfit that combines elements of those of her parents. In the Elliot S! Maggin novelization, Free is teaching the lowlies art and constantly berates Orion to inspire (unsuccessfully) individual thought (though Scott likes Orion). Scott saves his wife and Avia near the conclusion by activating a boom tube just as the nuclear weapon explodes (Avia: “How did you know?” Barda: “He always knows”).
  • Mister Miracle also appeared in the Elseworlds Superman: The Dark Side, in which he becomes Metron’s successor and Justice League: Another Nail, in which he achieves the ultimate escape by downloading his consciousness into Barda’s mother box, just before he is tortured to death by Darkseid. The Mother Box circuitry is later bonded with a Green Lantern ring, allowing Miracle to project his consciousness into an energy construct, similar to his original body.

Other media

  • Mister Miracle’s first television appearance was in the animated Superman: The Animated Series episode, Apokolips…Now! Part II. He also appeared as a background character at the end of the Justice League episode Twilight. Later, Miracle made a return in the Justice League Unlimited episode, The Ties That Bind (which, fittingly enough, was scripted from a story outline provided by Jim Steranko). Mister Miracle was voiced by Ioan Gruffudd, while his younger self was voiced by Zack Shada.


The Mister Miracle series (plus Forever People, New Gods, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) earned Jack Kirby the 1971 Shazam Award for Special Achievement by an Individual in the comic industry.


  • Note 1: Mark Evanier (screenwriter, Jack Kirby biographer, and Kirby’s assistant during the Fourth World comics):
Jack based some of his characters (not all) on people in his life or in the news…. Big Barda’s roots are not in doubt. The visual came about shortly after songstress Lainie Kazan posed for Playboy…and the characterization between Scott ‘Mr. Miracle’ Free and Barda was based largely — though with tongue-in-cheek — on the interplay betwixt Jack and his wife Roz. Of course, the whole ‘escape artist’ theme was inspired by an earlier career of writer-artist Jim Steranko.[1]


  1. ^ The JACK F.A.Q. – Page 1

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