When I first read the news of BOOM! Studios having obtained the rights to do a Munchkin comic I was very excited for the franchise. From the first time I started playing this very popular game I could tell that this game had the potential to be a comic book. From the wacky minions you face and the hilarious named gear you obtain after killing a monster; the game felt like a comic. For those of you who are not familiar with Munchkin, the comic book is based on a popular card game were players crawl through a dungeon fighting monsters and obtaining treasures and levels after killing monsters. The kicker to the game is that players can betray each other and slow the player’s process while you try to reach to level ten before your friends do. The beauty of the game is the art of the game and its clever naming of cards and the strategy that is involved in winning.
The first issue of Munchkin divides itself into three different stories. The first two stories give you an introduction to what is Munchkin and how the world works. To be honest, the first two stories didn’t blow me away, since coming into the book I was expecting to jump into the world with Spyke running the show and revolving the story around him. While it’s nice to get an overview of what to expect in the comic and explain what Munchkin is all about, the first two stories didn’t feel very Munchkin to me. The only time the book felt like a Munchkin book in the first two stories was when a monster showed up and it was drawn like one of the monsters from the card game. It was cool to see the Wight Bros. show up in the introduction and the potted plant those instantly made me feel like I was right at home with the book, but the story just wasn’t matching the art style.
Once you get to third story titled Ready for Anything, the book really picks up and it really feels like Munchkin all the way. The artwork and the story work perfectly together and you get the charm and humor that you get from the card games. You are introduced to the face of Munchkin named Spyke and you get all the classic game items and feel. From the Sneaky Bastard Sword to the Rat on the Stick; Zub really makes you feel the Munchkin world. Even the dialogue between Spyke and the rookie adventure felt authentic to the Munchkin world. Hopefully, moving forward, the creators just move on with Spyke and build a world around him where they can meld the original game to all the other expansions that this series has. All in all, the third story was the saving grace of the comic otherwise the comic would had felt like a generic fantasy comic book.
Overall, the first comic was a bit confusing. I didn’t understand why the creators decided to give so much introduction to the series with two stories that didn’t use the elements that make Munchkin special. The first two stories really disconnected me from the book, but when they finally do use those elements which was the art from the game, the characters, and the humor in story number three it all came together and from that moment to the end of the book it felt liked Munchkin. Overall I think this book will be a mix bag. Newer readers will appreciate introduction that the creators display, but I think that fans familiar with the game will enjoy story three and onward. Hopefully issue two uses more of the Spyke character and builds on that world moving forward.
Writers: Tom Siddel & Jim Zub Artists: Mike Holmes & Rian Sygh Colorist: Fred Stresing Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Print/Digital