REVIEW: Mudman #5

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Mudman is a love letter to all things cape comics. Dropping references to Superman, Spider-Man, and 2000 A.D., it should be a geek’s wet dream comic. Does the rest of the comic make for something interesting, or is just filler till the next reference? Read on to find out!

MUDMAN #5
Writer: Paul Grist
Artist: Paul Grist
Colors: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Paul Grist
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in Mudman: 15 year old Owen Craig was a normal boy. That is, until he got shot, and died in some mud, only to awake in bed the next day with mud based superpowers. After finding a costume (while attempting to foil some robbers), he has donned the persona of Mudman!

A BEAUTIFUL MESS

I’ll be straight with you true believers, so far Mudman has been kind of a mess plot wise. Introducing a handful of plot lines that have yet to go anywhere has been disorienting to say the least. This issue does nothing to help the trend. Paul Grist also likes to jump around in his narrative, which only adds to the confusing nature of the comic. But from the chaos there is beauty; through the dropping of little hints to grander plots I feel compelled to pick up issue after issue just to see what is really going on, because the story nuggets dropped are just so cool. It’s like if you saw a single page of a comic online, and in that page Superman was fighting Ragman and Xena, you would want to go find that comic just to know what the hell was going on. Mudman embodies the Spider-Man ethos; the story of “Average Boy McNormal” suddenly gaining extraordinary powers and getting in well over his head has been done time and again, but something about just how sincere the comic is in its classic boy-turned-hero cliche just works.

CRUDELY CHARMING

I find the art a bit rough overall. Things look like what they are meant to look like, but often times the action is confusing and the character design can feel a bit dull at times. The color palette is bright and colorful at times, in stark contrast to the pages and pages of, literally, just different shades of brown that are found in this issue, as Mudman fights mud rats in a pool of mud. That is the most impressive thing though, how Paul Grist is able to have pages of brown on brown action, without it ever looking too disorienting.

BOTTOM LINE: PICK IT UP!

Definitely worth picking up, just not at the $3.50 price point. Wait for the month after release, when the price drops down to $1.99 (disclaimer: all my knowledge on comic pricing comes from Comixology). Mudman, despite its problems, is shaping up to be one hell of a story, if the plot points hinted at pan out. Above everything else though, Mudman is charming, really charming. Its like the Forrest Gump of comics, a bit silly, not the smartest thing out there, clumsy, but overwhelming charming and it always means well.

Rating: ★★★½☆