Miranda isn’t exactly a new character. Archaia released the first and only issue of The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury a few years ago, but there were a number of unfortunate events and obstacles that temporarily shelved it.
In an interview, the creator was asked if he knew in the beginning if this character would be black. His response:
Brandon Thomas: Oh, absolutely, she was always black, and part of the reason I created the character was to challenge me as a writer, and really to challenge the industry I was working in. At the time I was feeling a little stifled and that I wasn’t getting the opportunities I wanted, so there came a time when I just had to go out and create the kind of comic that I would enjoy writing, and hopefully, that others would enjoy reading. The mission statement is that Miranda Mercury would never stop moving, never stop trying to improve the world she lived in, and that if I was going to keep up, I had to embrace something similar.
And as a black writer, the portrayal of characters of color, the advancement of creators of color and even the advancement of female creators, is all something I have a very personal stake in. Sci-fi and comics have become a bit notorious for having a lack of true representation, and maybe making Miranda a third-generation science hero, the product of a long line of black adventurers, was over correcting a bit, but it felt right in this case. In the universe Miranda lives in, no one cares that she’s black; it doesn’t come up. There is prejudice and intolerance, but it’s not always about skin color, and there’s no such thing as “black superheroes,” and I thought that was perfect.
Miranda Mercury is about celebrating and achieving the impossible, and I knew with that mandate, it was something I could write forever, and a project whose only limits were my own.
The fact that the heroine is dying from an incurable virus also hooks you right away.
Miranda is the personification of drive, determination, and selflessness, which came from what her family instilled in her at a very young age.
Miranda is at the young age of ten as she saves a planet with the help of the Mercury family. Then we jump years ahead where she and her right-hand man Jack Warning are attempting to keep a cosmic genie that is trapped in a very complex Rubik’s cube-like device from hitting the black market. Here is where we find out that Miranda is actually on borrowed time, and that Jack is determined to see that she gets more of it. Ferguson also uses this story to lay out some great character building with Miranda and Jack that puts this story over the top. I also like the way he writes Jack who we know is her sidekick, but he’s given a very prominent role and is just as entertaining to read. From here on, Miranda is betrayed by a lifelong friend, fights Time Raiders, is framed for murder, tortured, and has to deal with the death of her grandfather, the great James Mercury. His origin is probably one of the strongest written parts of the book as it’s more character driven and culminates in a great finale.