By Sammie Rice
This week I wanted to dive into the strange and glorious world of graphic novels for my review. I wasn’t sure where to start since there were a few that caught my eye but then I read on Boom! Studio’s website that the first four issues of The Midas Flesh by creator and writer Ryan North and illustrators Shelli Paroline & Bradon Lamb were being collected into a trade paperback and being released this week. I almost exploded from excitement.
I read the first issue of Midas Flesh back in December of last year and knew I had stumbled upon something really special. I have pretty much been waiting for the collected trade paperback of this series ever since. Now that it is finally in my hands I am just in awe of how much I love this little book. Now that I have read the first volume, I have a great need for the second one. It looks like I will just have to wait and use this column as an outlet for my love of this series.
Let’s talk about it! Initiating review sequence…NOW!
The premise of this comic is pretty simple with a fun sci-fi twist; King Midas from legend was a completely real dude that definitely turned everything he touched into gold, which resulted in Earth being an entirely untouchable, secret, solid, gold planet. Hundreds of years later, a small group of space explorers decide to try to figure out the secret to this magical, golden curse but the dangers that lurk there could be more than they can handle…
Meet Joey, Fatima and Cooper! One of my favorite things about this colorful cast of characters is just that; they are super diverse in their appearances, races, personalities and even species. It hasn’t exactly been explained why there is a talking dinosaur on their crew but I dig it.
The first issue gives us some insight into Midas’ life right before he would make the tragic wish that changes everything. I remember reading the first issue and being so tickled at the way Midas speaks. I didn’t know people hundreds of years ago said words like “totally” and “blitzed”. Isn’t he, like, supposed to sound like Shakespeare? Why does he sound like a character from Teen Dog? However historically inaccurate, I felt like it made the book more accessible to younger readers which is always a fantastic bonus.
One of the things I wasn’t expecting when I started reading was having conflicting feelings, just like the characters, about hard decisions they have to make. I am avoiding spoilers so I will just ask you this: do the ends ever justify the means? Can you get away with a clear conscience because you know you are helping people, even if it means hurting a handful of innocents? The characters grapple with this just like people (and dinosaurs?) in real life. Between the lines of the gorgeous art we are given another treasure entirely; characters with emotional backstories. Learn more about this often silly, always honest group of space explorers who really know their stuff.
If you are still scrambling to grab that great holiday gift for the mythology-lover in your life, head straight to your local comic book store and pick up Midas Flesh volume one! You know what, tell your dinosaur-loving friends to get this book, too. Also buy one for all your friends, family, strangers on the street and grab yourself a copy as well.
Thanks for reading! See you next week, you crazy cats.
Sammie Rice is a Florida comic book store employee and proud Valkyrie. She enjoys long strolls through the park in pterodactyl-free zones. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @SammieReads