Review – The Midas Flesh #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Braden Lamb, Shelli Paroline
Release Date: 18th December 2013
“What time is it?”
Well, actually, no. Serving as the first release from BOOM! Studios’ new Boom! Box imprint, The Midas Flesh is the pet project of Adventure Time writer Ryan North, featuring artwork from fellow AT alumni Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. And while some of the sense of humour at the heart of the popular series is on full display here, this new series is a long way removed from merely being ‘Adventure Time in Space’.
The pitch for this one is a little unusual, so bear with me. The story is based around a somewhat literal interpretation of the tale of King Midas from Greek Mythology. Y’know, the whole “everything I touch turns to gold” thing. And first issue of this eight-part series does a great job of setting up the premise, and showing us the catastrophic effects of Midas’ gift (curse?) from around four and a half thousand years in the future, as a motley crew of space adventurers (one of whom is, inexplicably, a talking dinosaur) tentatively creep their way towards what remains of earth.
I promise that it’s simpler than I’m making it sound, with the narrative shifting back and forth between the space crew of the future (or present, I guess) and the finals moments of Midas in ancient Greece prior to him receiving his ‘gift’. And for the most part, this works fairly well. The one thing that bothered me slightly however was the dialogue, which was very much in Adventure Time mould, and I found it more than a little jarring having this ancient Greek King using words like “dude”. That said, once I you get used to the tone of the book, it actually flows fairly well, and the banter between the crew of the spaceship is top notch.
This issue plays out more or less like a prologue, establishing the basis of the story and introducing our key players, even if there’s not much in the way of characterization so far (other than one of them being a dinosaur in a space suit!). It’s a fun, accessible read, and while it’s neither laugh-out-loud funny or powerfully dramatic, the strength of the premise is such that it’s difficult not to be drawn into the world and find yourself wanting to know what happens next. The artwork is also a step up from Adventure Time, at least in terms of realism, although there is still a definitely ‘cartoony’ vibe here that works well with the humourous tone of the book.
Overall, The Midas Flesh is an intriguing opening chapter to what should be an interesting tale, and I’m definitely going to be sticking around to see what happens next. And with this new Boom! Box imprint seemingly dedicating itself to allowing established creator to cut loose and have some fun with somewhat ‘out there’ ideas, I’m excited to find out what they have in store in the future. Well worth a look.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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