The Midas Flesh is the first released title through the Boom Box line of Boom Studios. Boom Box is a comic line that will allow talented folks to release original material with no supervision outside of its own creative team, allowing writers and artists to explore original thoughts and ideas not seen in the traditional comic lines before. Basically, Boom Box is an independent title with a major comic distributor who has no editorial authority. The Midas Flesh is a planned eight issue series by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics and Adventure Time fame. Illustrations for the story are rendered by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. Following the story of Joey, Cooper, and Fatima, this diverse team of two human females and one male dinosaur are exploring a strange planet not listed on any maps or even recognized by The Federation, an evil galactic empire who rule their part of the universe with a draconian hand. It is believed by the team that on this planet lies the potential for a weapon that would put The Federation on its knees and allow for freedom and peace to occur. They have spent the previous two issues exploring this planet in which everything has been turned to gold. Everything that is, but one person. A king with the name of "Midas" on his crown who is not only not turned into gold, but he is perfectly preserved. Even though it is believed that the golding event occurred hundreds, maybe even thousands of years ago, Midas simply looks phenomenal. This issue begins with the study of the King as well as an attack from Federation bad guys who actually have some back story with another team member.
I must admit that the more I have read of The Midas Flesh,the more I am beginning to like it. Ryan North as a writer has always been solid. He writes in smooth flowing tones that are easygoing and never rushed. His dialogue is playful, but can be serious when he needs it to be. My biggest complaint with this title has been that it is part "Goonies" type kid adventure with a "Star Wars" sense of melodrama. I had trouble relating as I typically want one or the other. I felt that North was trying to have it both ways. I am beginning to believe however that North had that design in mind all along. He wants to write this as a coming of age tale on the backdrop of a true life or death struggle for victory or defeat. I am beginning to see some complexity to the writing that is leading us to explain why such young "kid" types were sent on such an intense an important adventure. It's getting deep.
Paroline and Lamb's art has blended nicely with North's story, but it likewise suffered from the same problem of being part kiddie tale and part adult drama. But just like the writing, here in Issue #3, the maturing process of the art is beginning to occur. The features are getting a little darker and the "cuteness" that has been liberally spread throughout is getting a little rougher around the edges. The jokes are still there and the team, minus Cooper the Dinosaur,are still just kids, but they are beginning to grow up fast both in story and art. And it looks like they are going to have to be growing up fast, as things are getting serious.
I have liked The Midas Flesh, but not really falling fully on board with the first two issues. Something had been missing for me. That something it would seem was Issue #3. It is beginning to show the method behind the mayhem and things are beginning to become clearer. I am fully on board now and am ready to see these kids become adults as the struggle against the Federation.
Writer: Ryan North Artists: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb Publisher: Boom Box/Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/19/14