With all this talk about Kirby's DC contributions and with Mister Miracle appearing in January's All-New Batman: The Brave & the Bold, it got me reminiscing about their real first team-up.
Brave and the Bold #112 (My'74) was the first time one of Kirbys Fourth World characters appeared away from both the King and the Superman titles. The Demon preceded Mister Miracle in B&B #109 (N'73) and Kamandi followed in #120 (Jl'75). The story, "The Impossible Escape" was by the unfathomable Bob Haney and the art by the amazing Jim Aparo. It involved a hidden tomb in Egypt and the secret of immortality, a beautiful blonde archeologist with an agenda and a lot of gadgets!
Haney, as we all know, was concerned more with telling a rivetting tale than getting the facts straight. His Batman had no more bearing on the Batman in the other five books he was in than the Batman who was in The Super Friends! But if you read B&B exclusively, there was a rudimentary thread running through it and his Caped Crusader was a chameleon of sorts, capable of being in any type of story in any role. Here he is an urban warrior and a globetrotter. And he is not perfect or infallible. Quite frankly, he gets clobbered a lot!
At the beginning of the story, it is stated that events here take place after Mister Miracle #18, its last issue. It's odd that Mister Miracle would be featured after his book was cancelled but they were trying to give Batman new co-stars and Scott Free is a good match, as opposed to, say, Orion or the Forever People. I'm not sure if Haney felt the need to read Mister Miracle beforehand. He does have Big Barda and Oberon make cameo appearances. He also have Scott say that he's never "knelt before any mortal man" and swear by both Mother Box and Darkseid's Demons (though he also says "By the Great Houdini!") and that his circuitry comes from Apokolips.
Haney emphasizes Mister Miracle as the "Super Escape Artist", showing him in a death-trap on the Eiffel Tower initially and how the aforementioned blonde, Doctor Ingrid Borg, needed him to get out the elaborate tomb. Of course, Big Barda would never let Scott go with the attractive Dr. Borg but resistance is, as they say, futile! While Scott's backstory is barely mentioned, his devices are. In the story we see his anti-gravity discs, finger lasers, power beam, probe beams and helmet blaster. He also seemed to have super-speed.
As a child this issue was a favorite of mine (and my copy was missing the first few pages) and my first exposure to Kirby's Fourth World, such as it was. But I was impressed by Mister Miracle because I have a drawing of one of my first "original" super-heroes from grade school: Mystery Man, later the Protector who had a high-collared cape, energy beam glove, force ray glove and flying boots!
Mister Miracle would appear two more times in B&B in #128 and #138 and with Superman in DC Comics Presents #12.
As an aside, part of my enjoyment of this 100 Page Super Spectacular was the great reprints: Aquaman & Hawkman from B&B #51 and Batman & Green Lantern from B&B #59 plus a Silent Knight tale!