Be sure to read our review of The Muppet Show Comic Book #5, posted mere hours ago!
The fourth and final chapter of the Muppet King Arthur saga is released into stores this week, marking the end of the golden age of Muppet comic books which happen to take place during the times of Arthurian legend. (It was a very short age.) But how does the final issue measure up to the three that came before it?
In this issue, King Arthur (spoiler: it’s Kermit) challenges his nephew Mordred (who happens to look a lot like Robin) to a duel. But rather than show puppet frogs hacking at each other with knives, they have a duel of puns. Yep, you read that right. Puns. As if this comic wasn’t already rife with them.
And that’s pretty much the description of the entire issue, which fits with the theme of this series. The first issue dealt with Arthur getting his sword, the second was about the search for new knights, and the third involved the search for the Holy Grail. Each one was a pretty simple concept stretched out to a full issue, but in this case, that’s not a bad thing. The thematic changes made for good stopping points, which lets each issue stand on its own. Plus it keeps the situations and jokes a little fresher month-to-month. And yet I’m torn as to how I feel about the duel of puns, which seems to either completely overdo the comedic device to annoyance, or it stands as the end result of the yellow brick road built out of puns throughout the series. I can’t guarantee you’ll be laughing out loud while reading this comic, but you’ll at least appreciate the punny journey.
James Silvani’s artwork is still strong, though I can’t get used to some of his character models. Kermit, for example, looks like he has a little too much felt in his face. But on the other hand, I liked his Miss Piggy more and more as the series went on. And comparing the last three issues to the first, which was illustrated by Dave ?É¬Ålvarez, is impossible, and it’s jarring when you try and read it all in one sitting. But hopefully BOOM! will give Dave his day in the sun and let him illustrate four issues in a row.
And how does Muppet King Arthur work as a completed miniseries? I think it’s pretty good, though not quite up to Muppet Peter Pan’s quality. The jokes are funny, and the bad jokes are appropriately groan-inducing. The story moves at a leisurely pace, the characters are spot-on, and it has the overall feel of a Muppet production. Muppet King Arthur isn’t quite perfect, but it’s still a pretty fun read.
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com