Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Mister Miracle by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles

Mister Miracle: the Great Escape by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles
DC Comics
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781779501257

Scott Free, an orphan raised at the Goodness Academy on the abysmal world known as Apokolips, is making plans to escape to Earth. Unfortunately, he has caught the attention of Granny Goodness and her Female Furies, specifically their new leader, Big Barda. However, against all the odds, Scott and Barda find common ground and their friendship turns into a romance. This new relationship is put to the test as Scott’s escape plan becomes more urgent, and both teenagers’ secrets are revealed. To accomplish the impossible, Scott will have to live up to his nickname, Mister Miracle. 

Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles excel in adapting Jack Kirby’s Fourth World for teen audiences by focusing on the relationship between characters Mister Miracle and Big Barda. Johnson’s Scott shines with witty and realistic dialogue while also providing depth to the character by exploring his insecurities and PTSD. The supporting cast works well within the story, and the world of Apokolips is demonstrated through the social hierarchy at Goodness Academy as well as the characters’ acts of rebellion against the cruelty of the system. Daniel Isles creates unique buildings and character designs that feel otherworldly which work well in developing the world and the characters in it. 

Teens who enjoy stories of rebellion in a dystopian setting such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins will find a compelling story in this graphic novel. For teens who also like these types of stories but in a more science fiction setting such as The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer or the Rebellion Era of the Star Wars media franchise will also want to check this graphic novel out. 

—Rachel Johannigmeier

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Gareth Hinds (November 16, 2021)
  • Mamo by Sas Milledge (April 19, 2022)
  • Into the Heartlands: A Black Panther Graphic Novel by Roseanne A. Brown, Dika Araújo, Natacha Bustos and Claudia Aguirre (April 19, 2022)
  • Heartstopper, vol. 4 by Alice Oseman (January 4, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Published by

Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.