Have you ever found yourself watching some movie that is just slowly putting along, with nothing much happening? You are a little bored with it and you are just about to change the channel….When Boom! Something happens that totally changes the movie around to where you get into it and want to finish it. I have been having such a moment with reading The Midas Flesh. During the last issue at the end, something big happened that just caught me off guard and totally changed how I have viewed this little independent story written by Ryan North and illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb as a part of Boom Studios “Boom Box” experiment into individually created stories with no corporate oversight. I had been curious as to why this one was the first story from that line. But I now know why. It is a bona fide winner. You just have to get there first. And the real awesome part is that there are still two issues left. This is a sweet deal now that the story has gotten deadly serious. My biggest knock throughout the whole mini has been that this comic just doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a kid’s story? Or does it want to be an adult story? Through all of the issues, it has shown elements of both. I had been real down on that. But as I have read through it, and especially now that I have read Issue #6, I realize that it is both and it can be both. The story quite simply is put together that way. The evil Federation has broken the will of the adults under their control. It is now up to a small group of really just kids…Well, two young adults, and one fully adult dinosaur, to save the entire galaxy from The Federation’s tyranny. They had a plan through the discovery of the planet of legendary King Midas whose touch tuned everything to gold. If that flesh of Midas could be utilized as a weapon….Well that just might bring The Federation to their knees. These “kids” are “kids”, but they are taking adult steps and making adult decisions in trying to save everyone. I have to say, that the adult decisions are truly adult and have some very lasting (and damaging) impact. It’s real deal kind of serious..
As if the decisions couldn’t be serious enough, a sociopathic general for The Federation has nearly full control of the deadly flesh and he is ready to tie up all loose ends utilizing all the power of the flesh that he has. This guy is absolutely sadistic and our heroes have some serious (and more) adult decisions to make if they wish to stop him. They may not be able to stop him at all however. Real, real serious stuff going on here.
Starting on Issue #4 and continuing here on #6, North’s writing just keeps getting amped up, yet he still manages to keep the “kid” feel to it too. I am beginning to view this writing style as genius, where I had once questioned it. Paroline and Lamb's art has remained consistently cutesy. But as the intensity amps up, so too has the art. Their depiction of Captain Joey epitomizes this fact. Initially, Captain Joey was drawn, smooth and easy with light tones. Here in #6, we see Joey in a whole different light with more shadow and darkness inked into her features. The girl has grown up quick and she has become the captain of this little group, but at a large physical (and mental) price. The art shows this big time.
OK, I have gotten through the initial slowness of the early issues. I am drawn in and I must, I must, I must now finish this comic. There are still two issues left and we are nowhere near an ending that is predictable. Everything is up for grabs and I am looking forward to seeing where, North, Paroline, Lamb, and company are going to take us. All I know for sure is that is going to be damn entertaining..
Writer: Ryan North Artists: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb Publisher: Boom/Boom Box Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/28/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital