In lots of ways, The Midas Flesh has been a little engine that could. It started kind of slow, not sure what it wanted to be. It chugged on along. It hit a hill. It started saying “I think I can…I think I can.” It has now entered into its prelude before the ending. And the story no longer thinks it can. It knows it can and I have found this story to be one of those surprise gems that you just aren’t looking for, but it finds you. I have really enjoyed the second half of this mini. The Midas Flesh follows the story of Joey, Cooper, and Fatima and their attempt to secure the most powerful weapon that the universe has ever known in the hopes that it can be utilized to bring defeat to the ultra-oppressive Federation and their death grip rule on surrounding systems. Where everything started off lighthearted and free spirited, things got intense and our little crew now find themselves in the cross hairs of The Carpathia, a monstrous Federation ship that is armed with a vast majority of the deadly flesh and under the control by absolute nutjob General who aims to destroy our young heroes with extreme prejudice. And when I say extreme prejudice, I mean, like throw them into a sun and watch them disintegrate extreme prejudice.
As for our team, they have guts, smarts, determination, as well as a little bit of the flesh of their own to try to gain victory from the jaws of big and brutal defeat. Can they do it? Will they do it? You just have to read it and see. But know this. Even after the fireworks that erupt in this issue, there still is one more to go. That’s great news, but the creative team will really have to pull all of the stops if they expect to outdo this little issue of explosive dynamite.
Ryan North can write, period. His style is subtle and unassuming. Then, it comes out of nowhere and packs one hell of a wallop on the reader. Each successive issue has built on the last and it has gotten better and better. It started off lightly on the better. But for about the last three issues, it has been extremely good, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, turning the page to see what will happen next. The nice thing about North’s writing is that he keeps you guessing, you really don’t see it coming the things that come. It is a true testament to his skill.
Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb's artwork has continued to improve with each successive issue as well. The too cutesy images of kids, slugs, and other people that started things have been replaced with colorful, yet unfiltered reality. We are starting to see the scars that are being rendered on our characters and they are becoming much grittier as they are now dealing with real life or death end of the galaxy kind of intensity that is portrayed quite excellently.
I have been real tentative to give this story a 5 star as I just couldn’t get over the sense that the story didn’t know if it wanted to be an adult story or a child’s story. I now realize that North wanted it to be both as the kids from the opening issue quite literally grow up as things move forward. These kids are now full-fledged adults and the whole of everything hangs in the balance as we approach the grand conclusion to what has been a fresh slice of joy in my comic reading.
Writer: Ryan North Artists: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb Publisher: Boom/Boom Box Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital