We're seven issues into Mister Miracle, which means we're officially over halfway through! Of course, that also probably means you've got a pretty decent grasp on just who Scott and Barda actually are by now. However, if this is your first ever encounter with the New Gods, there might be a couple things—especially in this issue—you don’t have a ton of context for.
I know I normally skew a bit more technical for these posts, but this week I figured it might be better to gear things a little more historically. After all, we've got some introductions to make here.
MISTER MIRACLE #7 brings the Female Furies into Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ ongoing opus. If this is your first ever foray into the Fourth World, it's best to think of the Female Furies as something like an elite-strike-force-slash-special-ops team on Apokolips. Darkseid has plenty of foot soldiers and generals, he only has a select number of Female Furies.
Historically, the roster of active Furies has been pretty variable, but for this book, we're sticking with the originals: Lashina, Mad Harriet, Stompa and Bernadeth. These four serve under the command of Granny Goodness who, if you remember all the way back to the earlier issues of this particular story, met a pretty grisly end by way of Scott and Barda. That, of course, is still a source of some bad blood, which is to be expected considering that Barda used to be a Fury herself before she and Scott defected.
If there's one thing Mister Miracle has no shortage of, it's family drama.
Mad Harriet is the easiest Fury to pick out of a lineup, with her giant green hair and predilection towards nonsense rhyming. You won't be at all surprised to learn that she tends to be positioned as the Furies' "berserker"—what she lacks in overall size she makes up for in flat out reckless insanity.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Stompa is a woman of very few words. The most physically imposing of the lot and wearing bright orange, she's not exactly a subtle presence, but it's best to not read her silence as disengagement. She's one of the most deeply loyal Furies Granny was able to produce, and she's more than strong enough to go toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful heroes in the DC Universe.
Lashina wears a black bodysuit covered in white straps. Despite her incredibly quick temper (or maybe because of it) she's actually been named the official "leader" of the Furies more than once, though it's pretty unlikely that's where she stands in this particular story. She's conniving and power hungry, but prone to fall to infighting and backstabbing before she actually gets her way, much to the annoyance of her teammates.
Finally, there's Bernadeth, arguably the most put together of the crew, especially here. Generally, Bernadeth is the de facto leader, or at least, the one with her head on straight enough to keep things (sort of) under control, which certainly comes across here. Interestingly enough, Bernadeth is also the sister of Desaad, one of Darkseid's most loyal minions. Cruelty is definitely genetic for this branch of the family tree.
The Furies aren't the only introduction (and callback) to the original Fourth World saga in this issue, however. But the last one might be a little unexpected, even if you're up to date on your Jack Kirby mythology.
Jacob, the newborn son of Scott and Barda, is obviously making his first appearance here. He's not based on anything and he doesn't have any previous incarnations, but that isn't the case for the Lump. Now, obviously, Scott isn't intending to make the connection when he jokingly, affectionately calls his brand-new baby a "lump," but, well, that's a word with some baggage here. Originally the Lump wasn't just a random noun but the name of a creature designed by Granny Goodness to trap Scott for good. It was a psychic, immobile monster capable of mentally linking to its victims and projecting a sort of dreamscape from which they couldn't escape. (Grant Morrison put him to good use against Batman in FINAL CRISIS.)
Now, obviously, Jacob isn't a giant monster, and obviously, seeing as how he was literally just born, he's probably not a last ditch effort at sabotage by Granny from beyond the grave...but…
That doesn't mean that everything is normal with this child. After all, as we've seen time and time again in this book, sometimes the most insidious traps are the ones that don't look like anything at all. And just because something isn't literally reaching out with locks and chains doesn't mean it's not seconds away from tying you down.
Also, is it just me, or did Jacob come into the world with a distinctly gray pallor to his skin? Birth may be the opposite of death, but even when new life is coming into the world, Darkseid always is.