The award for most bondage covers during a comic's run by a male hero would have to go Scott Free aka Jack Kirby's "Mister Miracle". On almost every cover of his 18 issue original series back in the early seventies he was strapped to some new shining example of Kirbyesque technology, facing a grisly end and having to demonstrate that he was indeed the "Super Escape Artist" the comic's subtitle claimed. However as you can see from the example above Big Barda also got into the act on occasion. At least on the cover, on the iside you get to see her pinned down by increased gravity after Kanto, one of the many colourful characters Kirby populated Apokolips with, got hold of her mega-rod. Kanto then gave Scott the choice of surrender or watching Barda get squashed under increased pressure. Hence the death trap which he escaped in a typically flamboyant fashion. Before continuing with more of the happy couple's adventures here's a brief recap of Scott Free and Big Barda's origins. Scott was born on New Genesis while Barda hailed from Apokolips, the light and dark worlds of Jack Kirby's New Gods mythos. From the names you can probably guess which world was good and which was evil. Scott was exchanged for Orion, son of Apokolips' ruler Darkseid as a sign of sincerity in a peace treaty between both worlds. For more on Darkseid and Orion I'd recommend Walter Simonson's 25 issue "Orion" which has almost concluded as of this page's writing (March '02). Growing up on Apokolips failed to break Scott's spirit and he escaped, aided near the end of his attempt by Big Barda. The name being a reference to both her size and superhuman strength. Barda was the leader of the Female Furies, an elite squad of Darkseid's Special Powers Force, a position that she had sweated blood (or at least spilt plenty of it) to earn. Why risk throwing her rank and status on Apokolips away for a New Genesian? It seems she was impressed by his independent spirit and refusal to give up despite not having powers to rely on. So much so that when assigned to hunt Scott down she turned against Darkseid and stayed by his side. As time progressed it seems that their relationship deepened during the few quiet moments their adventures allowed. So much so that in the 18th and final issue (Feb-Mar 1974) when all their enemies united against them and were hunting them down Scott took the time to propose to Barda in a hastily dug tunnel. She accepted then they broke through to the surface for their final battle. Unfortunately they lost against the combined might of Virman Vundabar, Granny Goodness, Kanto and Doctor Bedlam and faced one final deathtrap alongside Scott's assistants for his stage escape act, Oberon and Shilo.
Fortunately the cavalry had arrived in the form of a New Genesian strike force/wedding party and the explosion they had seen simulated by Lightray. Scott's dad and New Genesis's ruler Highfather officiated at a hastily organized wedding. The reason for the speed was they wanted to complete the ceremony before a disgruntled gatecracher arrived.
It was too little to late and with the wedding concluded Scott and Barda took the first Boom Tube to New Genesis before Darkseid arrived. However he took this defeat philosophically musing that while he hadn't stopped the service he had spoiled it. Or to quote DC's best bad guy, "It had deep sentiment yet little joy. But life at best is bittersweet". And of course there's also tomorrow. Or in this case the resumption of the series three years later with Mister Miracle 19 (Sept. 1977)
On to Steve Englehart's continuation of Mister Miracle
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