James Gannon – Back in October of 2010, the last issue of The Muppet Show Comic Book‘s “Muppet Mash” arc was released. During a delay in the production of the last arc, “The Four Seasons,” BOOM! lost the license, and the rights disappeared into Disney owned Marvel in February of last year. Months later, they pledged to reprint everything that was already released in magazine form, leaving “The Four Seasons” once again lost in Marvel’s hands. Almost two years from the last issue, Marvel has FINALLY given us the last story arc. Without any fanfare, Issue 1, “Spring” was released on July 4. Marvel started with the second issue written, “Spring,” for some reason. Hopefully nothing gets hurt (running gags, or some big payoff at the end) by it being out of order.
Tonight, the Muppet Theater welcomes their special guests Colonel Marmaduke Bunch and Meredith, the Mountain Mama of Mgahinga, the greatest primate-based song and dance act in showbiz. Meredith is a gorilla, to the surprise of Pops and the delight of Animal. You see, Animal becomes quite smitten with her. Rizzo has a conniption because of the interspecies relationship (until he realizes Kermit and Piggy are standing right behind him, that is). But he’s not the only one unhappy about this revelation; Meredith’s longtime admirer, Bruce (another gorilla) isn’t pleased. Once again, we’re treated to special segments intercutting the plotline, including Pigs in Space.
I really can’t think of say anything to say that I haven’t said about these comics in the past. They’re still phenomenal, and while I think Jason Segel and his movie writing team brought in a new, classic energetic feel with The Muppets, Roger Langridge brought twice that much to The Muppet Show Comic Book. He’s moved on to the equally amazing IDW “Popeye” and BOOM! “Snarked,” which I still goad you to all check out. He disappears as flawlessly into the spinach eating sailor as he does with frogs, pigs, and weirdos.
I’m completely grateful Marvel is taking the time to publish these last four issues, rather than losing them to eternity. However, there are a couple problems I have with this release. First off, there are advertisements interspersed into the issue, while it ruins the aesthetic BOOM! had when they published it (the credits are now on the first page instead of the inside front cover, but thankfully the two page spread isn’t monkeyed with), that’s just a reality of moving from a smaller company to a mainstream one. Hopefully that doesn’t mean anything was edited out to make room.
Secondly, the new coloring company managed to be inconsistent and make some mistakes. While there was the occasional yellow beak on Sam or something, Colonel Bunch is colored differently in his number than he is the rest of the issue, and a simple internet search would show the Pigs in Space uniforms are not red. Also, we have new covers for these comics by Elisabeth Melaranci and Silvano Scolari, which have a wonderful sense of movement on them, but it makes me miss Amy Mebberson, James Silvani, et al. Those are just mild nitpicks, I assure you. If anything, at least the Marvel name will equal better distribution.
If this means Marvel will publish more Muppet comics, I’d be happy if they did. However, I’m just happy to see the last of Langridge’s work finally coming out for fans who have been rabidly waiting longer than they needed to.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org