So close to the end folks, and the plot continues to get darker and denser. I genuinely have no idea where this comic is going from month to month, and I love it. “Midas Flesh” is a unique storytelling experience that keeps on getting better. The events of this issue will be kicking around in my head for days to come.
I’m not ruining anything for you when I say that the theme of this issue is betrayal. The status quo changes, people get hurt, but that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to spoil anything for you. “Midas Flesh” #5 is not the adrenaline rush of action and suspense that #4 was; this issue is subtler, quieter. Instead of giant space ships shooting each other in warp drive, we get a smart character drama where people are forced to make tough decisions and sacrifices. At this point each individual has been fleshed out and fully realized on the page. They sound real, they feel real, and I really sympathize with them.
At the start of “Midas Flesh,” the tone of the book and the voices of the characters reminded me of Ryan North’s other popular comic series, “Adventure Time.” But something’s happened over the course of five issues; while the jokes are still there, this comic feels much more serious and adult. This book has never really felt like an all-ages kind of story, but for a while it was hard to categorize this comic. Cute and funny science adventure or serious space drama? By the end of #5, “Midas Flesh” definitely feels like it’s chosen the later over the former.
The interior art by Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline is good. I can’t say it’s amazing; I’ve never been truly swept off my feet or surprised by their illustrations. The art suits the book, doesn’t detract from the story, and really that’s all you need. One aspect I do like a lot are the colors, but they don’t list a specific colorist on the inside cover. Whoever you are, mystery color wizard, keep on making those great choices. They’ve found the perfect shade of gold, and I rarely see books with as many yellows and oranges inside. Very beautiful, very pleasant to put my eyes on.
At one point we see the face of old King Midas again, and I was shocked by how far we’ve come. Not just how far the story has moved from the unknown and playful potential of that first issue, but also how far Midas himself has come. Thousands of years ago he was a peaceful king; now he’s the center of an intergalactic battle with the fate of whole worlds on the line. And in a very meta moment, I’m struck by how far the classic tales of the historical King Midas have traveled, from their ancient beginnings and then out, through the ages to this fantastical sci-fi comic. Three more books between us and the end of this story. I think they’re going to be good ones.
Curtis’ Score: 4 severed golden fingers out of 5
“The Midas Flesh” #5
Written by: Ryan North
Interior Art by: Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline
Published by: BOOM!
Available on: 4/23/14
Follow Curtis on Twitter: @CurtisHines42