The Midas Flesh, written by Ryan North with art and colors from husband/wife team Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, is the first offering from BOOM! imprint BOOM! Box. According to EiC Matt Gagnon the imprint was created to offer opportunities to creators that BOOM! had come in contact with through their licensed comics (Adventure Time, Regular Show) under the Kaboom! Imprint. North created the long running Dinosaur Comics webcomic and has worked with Paroline/Lamb on Adventure Time.
Let me be honest, I’ve seen maybe 5 minutes of an Adventure Time episode, and I’ve never read a word of the comics. I am here based solely on the promo image/variant cover of a velociraptor in a spacesuit helmet. Is it possible for a comic to deliver on such a bold promise? A promise of space dinosaurs?
Midas Flesh opens with our intrepid spaceship crew; Joey, Fatima and Cooper (a Utahraptor according to solicitations), making a final approach on a mystery planet. The planet is revealed to be (future) Earth and the narrative shifts back in time to tell the story of King Midas meeting a drinking buddy, King Silenus from Lydia City. Then back to the future as the crew attempts to avoid a “Federation” satellite defense grid in place around Earth. Back to the past where a thing happens involving King Midas that you probably expect which seems to give the crew a reason for seeking out Earth in the future.
Midas Flesh is funny and fast-moving. There’s good banter between both the crew and the Kings. North does that thing where he gives you just enough information to understand what’s happening but you don’t really understand what’s happening? But it’s ok because there’s a Utahraptor in a spacesuit and jokes about robot satellites enticing you to come closer so they can kill you. The Midas/Silenus stuff is great too, North manages a lot of good character work in a few pages. Also Midas might be inventing hard boiled eggs?
Paroline/Lamb are a skilled cartooning team. Paroline has a nice simple line that creates open, expressive faces. Panels are detailed but not cluttered, the layouts are interesting and easily readable. The spaceship is cool looking and Cooper, when not in a spacesuit, wears a tie. What’s not to love? The colors by Lamb are “Saturday morning cartoon” bright and fun with a lot of attention paid to light sources and shadows.
The Midas Flesh is a fun, sci-fi adventure with a light-hearted tone despite some high stakes. The characters are cool and the illustration is excellent. If you’re a fan of the many different types of stories coming out of Image Comics you’d do well to pick Midas up and keep an eye on BOOM! Box in the future.