I honestly wanted to have this review up yesterday, but Image sent the book out late on Tuesday and I’m technically on vacation until the end of the week. I know you probably don’t care, but from a personal stand point from someone who promoted the first issue so much due to my excitement and joy for it, it’s frustrating to then have to wait to promote the second issue. This issue is what I call a “flip of the coin” type story, in which we replay the major events from the first issue and see them from another set of eyes connecting the dots. Same coin just a different side. We begin in that same abandoned house by the beach, but this time we find our bank robbers are just moving in as they try to keep a low profile from the police. They’re in the house for a few minutes when they hear a crash from upstairs. That crash being Owen discovering the “Bat Cave”, they chase him away until they reach the mud and one of them fires two shots at him. We know what happens from there. The story continues in a montage of scenes with the crooks hanging out in town bidding their time. They return to the house to find Owen’s dad (the Policeman) checking out the spray paint, they jump the gun and hit him over the head taking him hostage.
Personally I’m not big on this style of storytelling (flip of the coin that is); it always feels like it's short-changing the reader. That’s why in movies they save it for the last five minutes of the flick. Even still I found it to be rather enjoyable with the two idiot crooks at the center of their own mistakes. It didn’t do a lot in the way of building Owen's character, but it was fun and set the stage for future events. It was good because it didn’t feel like it was following a formula, but rather continuing to ease readers into this world. This is the start of a new superhero and he doesn’t have a goal, an arch-enemy or even a clear understanding to how he’s still alive. The best he can do is throw mud in people’s faces and run away and frankly there is something cool about that.
Grist does a great job with this issues art and story. The panels set up for several of the pages were in the vein of The Spirit and made simple scenes interesting to look at. Grist is in harmony with both the story and the art and that makes for a fun read.
The thing about Mud Man is that it isn’t perfect, it has room to grow and really it’s still something very special. It’s a comic that I want to see mature from issue to issue. I want to find out where it will be in twenty plus issues because it’s strangely unique. This issue may not have grabbed me as much as the first did, but it was still a heck of a read. Again, this is something special in the comic industry today and you want to get in on it before its everywhere and you're left in the mud.
Writer/Artist: Paul Grist Colorist: Bill Crabtree Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/4/12