“The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury” (Archaia) – Sorry I’m a day late with this, but if you run to your comic book store now, you can probably still find a copy of “Miranda Mercury,” and it would be worth the extra trip.
“MM” is a collection of what was supposed to be a miniseries a few years ago but, according to Comic Book Resources, only one issue was published.
But the book itself takes on the conceit of assuming the title has been running for decades and is now collecting issues 295-300, plus the pivotal 124 to give the backstory.
But the dustjacket does that: Miranda Mercury, one of the galaxy’s greatest science heroes, has a year to live. But instead of focusing all her energy on finding a cure for the virus that was injected into her by an old foe, she continues to do what she does best: save worlds with the help of her friend and assistant, Jack Warning.
So, there’s lots of colorful derring-do mixed in with some social commentary. It’s awesomely executed by writer Brandon Thomas (“Robin,” “Youngblood”) and artist Lee Ferguson (“Green Arrow/Black Canary: Road to the Altar”) with super assists from inker Marc Deering and several great colorists. (Yes, the colors are definitely worth mentioning.)
There are a few places where the narrative timeline was a bit hard to follow (not including the story involving time travel, which was pretty cool), but Thomas’ snappy dialogue and great action pacing made up for the few storytelling flaws and a few moments of preachiness.
At first glance, “Miranda Mercury” reminded me a lot of “Tom Strong,” about another red-clad family of science heroes, and what stories in his and his biracial daughter’s future would be like. This is going to sound weird, but I also found a bit of the all-ages book “Missile Mouse” in it, especially in the patter between Miranda and the villains. There’s plenty of humor in it, but you never forget the underlying drama.
Archaia has been churning out a lot of great hardcovers lately (“Gunnerkrig Court” releases its third volume this week, and I look forward to reading that this weekend), and they should be proud of adding “Miranda Mercury” to the lineup. GRADE: B+