Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mudman, Volume 1

Teenage superheroes have been a successful enterprise since the days of Robin and Spider-Man, but here they are given a quirky twist. Owen Craig is a young man living in the small town of Burnbridge on Sea. One night whole he is out gallivanting in an abandoned building he encounters a ghostly girl, gets shot, falls in some mud, and gains super powers. The only catch is that his body appears to be turning to mud. Complicating matters, his dad is a detective investigating some instances of vandalism and when he confronts a band of robbers, Owen jumps into action to use his new muddy powers to save him.

In the meanwhile, Owen also has typical teenage issues, such as dealing with bullies, trying to date girls, and dealing with sometimes turbulent friendships. There are many mysteries to be dealt with, including who the ghost was, where his powers came from, and also the identity of a stranger who has blown into town and knows way too much about Owen's plight and abilities. He does not quite know who is his friend or foe.

Writer/artist Paul Grist is a Brit comics creator known for his unusual superhero series Jack Staff as well as the police drama Kane. He has been making comics professionally since 1986 and is known for his creative layouts, clean lines, and clever use of shadows. He speaks extensively about his work on this book in this interview.

Reviews I have read online have been very positive. Mick Martin gushed, "Paul Grist breathes fresh air into the teenage superhero story with Mudman." Chris Sims wrote that the series has "a ton of potential to bring his signature style, masterful technique and bold new ideas to the kind of story that most comics readers already love." Colin Lalley added, "It's fun.  It tells a good story with good characters and doesn't get caught up in how it will be perceived.  It's funny and action-packed and captivating and accessible."

This book collects issues 1-5 of the comic book series published by Image Comics. Some preview pages are available here from iFanboy.

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