The Muppet Show Comic Book
It’s Muppet Comic Mondays again! For the first Monday, we welcome a guest reviewer, James Gannon (Drtooth at Muppet Central Forum) who brings us his review of The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4
Issue #4, “Be it Ever So Humble…” was released in November 2009.
James Gannon (Drtooth at Muppet Central Forum) – As soon as we open up “The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson” issue 4 see the damage the events of the last 3 issues have done. The theater has been torn asunder by the greed of Rizzo, his rat brethren, a shifty Kermit the Frog impersonator named Kismet the Toad, and an odd bunch of fairy tale folk that grew in numbers since the last couple of issues. However, the show must go on. Our plot is interspersed with the on stage escapades, as it has been the past 7 issues.
The show opens with little Robin, calmly speaking his quiet, dignified hobby: Stamp Collecting. While telling the story of the rare Splotvian Blue (featuring the hideous King Humphrey), Sweetums stumbles into the scene in a daze. He then precedes to eat Robins book of stamps, the sheet of stamps he was just talking about, and anything else that isn’t nailed down. Not only does Langridge include the famous recurring Muppet sketches, but he also adds in sketches that could have been. If I didn’t know that I was reading a comic book, I could swear I’m watching an old episode of the Muppet Show right now. As there is so much going on backstage, we see shorter skits (and less of them) than previous issues. But there’s just enough time for Muppet Labs and Vet’s Hospital.
In the previous three issues, I’ve seen the Electric Mayhem painfully watch on as Animal got meeker and meeker. Who wouldn’t? The drummer was the soul of the band, and with his feral, uncivilized tendencies suppressed by experimental medication, so too is his talent. Here, the Mayhem seems to have come to terms with his new life choice, replacing Animal with a very obscure character that appeared in only one issue. I will not reveal it, but I’ll give you a hint. It was an accessory in the Palisades line, and it was a source of pain for the Mayhem Band (all the more reason why this was a painful choice by the members involved). This leads to a very powerful scene, with an ambient rainstorm, where Animal finally chooses the life he really wants. Meanwhile, Piggy confronts Kismet, Kermit tries to appeal to Rizzo’s soul over Rizzo’s avarice, and the theater’s property value rapidly deteriorates, along with its structure. Even Gonzo gets in on the act, pounding the rubble to the tune of the 1812 Overture. And Statler and Waldorf… FALL ALSEEP!
Everything gets revealed with the treasure, and we get a nice little moral (a bit corny and a little predictable, but fitting and satisfying nonetheless)… all before our heroes drive off for their next epic. The action on stage even ends with a closing number. After all, this is a dead on adaption of the Muppet Show, and you can’t have the Muppet Show without their wild musical numbers. A lesser adaption would cringe at the very idea of music in a medium that doesn’t quite support it, but Roger takes on this challenge with a smile. Most importantly, he makes it work.
I have to admit, my comic book collection is mostly comprised of adaptations of various cartoons and TV shows, and I’ve seen them range from spot on to generic storylines with interchangeable dialogue. Not only does Langridge get it dead on, he makes the chaos his own. This saga doesn’t just feel like the Muppet Show, it has the depth of a Muppet Movie. As for the artwork, I have always been a fan of his stylization of characters, but he found the perfect balance of self style and character likeness, making them his own. My only little gripe with the ending of this epic is that I was hoping to see Ninja Rogers and Creepy McBoo have something to do with the plot. But there is just so much else going on, there wouldn’t be enough room. And I would have preferred it if they kept printing these comics in all glossy pages.
BOOM! Studios has awoken the comic book fan in me with their line of Muppet comics (even Robin Hood), effectively pulling me away from the Franco-Belgium Cowboys and Japanese wrestlers I’ve been reading as of late. And I give The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson 5 Wows! WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!
Special thanks to James Gannon for the review! Pick up your copy of The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4 today!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.