Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Grist & Crabtree
Mudman is a comic book written and drawn by Paul Grist that presents a very familiar teenage super hero origin story. The book is a lively and fun book that puts together some energetic artwork and a fast-paced story. Overall, I liked the book because it sets up the main characters and presents an element of mystery to the origin.
The book opens with a letter from Grist about what his book's source and motivation is and it is a great way to open up a creator owned book. Grist manages, in this note, to strip away all of the noise and hype associated with comic books in general to boil everything down to just a simple story that he wants to tell. It sets the stage perfectly.
Jack and Owen are a couple of teenagers that appear to be your average, run-of-the-mill kids. They aren't losers or punks or jocks or any other easily classified group. They are just a couple of kids that go through life occasionally getting into some trouble. Things get interesting when they check out an old house.
What's not made obvious is whether or not the main character, Owen, is dreaming (or tripping) when he seems to witness or hear things. Regardless, something happens to Owen in the house. Eventually Owen goes home, goes to school and all along the way he seems to not exactly be himself. He eventually heads back to that house and a new hero appears to be born.
The most appealing aspect of the book is how normal and regular Owen and Jack appear to be. They aren't special which makes them stand out all the more. I liked this take on the characters a lot. It helps because the Mudman origin seems so familiar to that of Spider-Man, The Flash and countless others.
Grist's art reminds me of a mix of Hellboy and Invincible. He's got a cartoon look to it but there is this creepy horror element to it that makes the book not venture into the child-like cartoon look. I liked the color palette in this issue. It was mostly dark tones which helped set a good mood. I guess with a title like Mudman you would expect a lot of shades of brown.
Mudman is the kind of comic book that brings the reader back to the dawn of the silver age kind of comic books but with a modern feel to it. This issue gives you just enough to get you started on what looks like will be a fun ride. I recommend checking this book out.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles