Muppet Peter Pan #4
Comic Book Review
Ryan Dosier - After a delay of about a month, it's finally here. The final installment of "Muppet Peter Pan" written by Grace Randolph and illustrated by Amy Mebberson. When we last left the Neverswamp, Piggytink had been reduced to a seemingly-lifeless lump by the wicked Mr. Smee (Rizzo). Will she survive? Will Peter and Piggytink work out their height differences? Does Captain Hook ever fall in love? ...Let's find out!
As expected, part four picks up right where part three left off. Sam Eagle reminds us of the cliffhanger from last issue as the increasingly impatient narrator prods him to move along. So he does, and we reconvene with Peter (Kermit) who has just found Piggytink laying lifeless in the Lost Boy's clubhouse.
When Piggytink won't wake up, Peter thinks she just mad at him and storms off. It takes Nibbs (Pepe) to explain to the naive frog that it's love that drives Piggytink and keeps her around, and it will likewise take love to bring her back.
So, with a little love power, Peter is able to revive Piggytink--which pleases her to no end, as you can imagine. For the rest of the issue Piggy remains latched onto her beloved Peter now that he has finally made his true feelings known--and there were witnesses!
After Piggytink explains what Mr. Smee did, Captain Gonzo/Hook, Peter, the Lost Boys, Wendy, Michael, John, and the Hippen Groovy tribe team up to set things right. First, Wendy and Captain Gonzo will try the peaceful approach. Peter is convinced that won't work, so he has his own plan B that involves a lot more swordplay and a lot less peaceful harmonizing.
As Wendy and Gonzo approach the ship, and we get a hilarious joke involving the captain's log and a brief, but fantastic cameo by Lew Zealand, it's obvious that Wendy's plee for peace is not going to be abetted by Mister/Captain Smee. He soon calls to his aide every single rat on the ship to engage in mutiny against Gonzo.
So with plan A failed, Peter and the Lost Boys begin plan B against Smee's rat army. Nana (Camilla) falls from the sky, Fozzie makes a deliciously awful joke, Louis Kazagger reports for Muppet Sports, and the Hippen Groovy act as highly-colorful Pied-Pipers.
The story has an extremely satisfying end that I won't give away for those of you who haven't had the chance to read it yet. Sure, it's not a traditional way for the Peter Pan story to end, but it is an extremely Muppety way.
Usually Muppet fairy tale adaptations have a difficult time of balancing the Muppety tone while attempting to tell the story. Thankfully, that is definitely not the case with Muppet Peter Pan. Thanks to the combined work of Randolph and Mebberson, this story is totally Muppety.
It's hard for me to decide if I like the writing better than the artwork here, because they are both awesome and they work together perfectly. Grace Randolph has such a wonderful understanding of the Muppets. She knows even minor characters like Janice, Bean Bunny, and Louis Kazagger perfectly and I sincerely hope she returns to write more Muppet comics.
Likewise, if there is one artist I would love to see back with the Muppets it is definitely Amy Mebberson. Her Disney-like illustrations capture the likeness of almost every Muppet perfectly, with Pepe being the odd exception. Though Amy has stated many times that her preference is with the Jim Henson-era Muppets so this one little bump in an otherwise perfect road is easily over-looked.
I think her best work is with Gonzo, Janice, Scooter, Kermit, and, undoubtedly, Miss Piggy. Her Piggy is one of the most gorgeous and faithful interpretations of her that I've ever seen and would love to see Amy draw more. Even if it was just a Miss Piggy calendar drawn by Amy, I'd eat it up!
After the unfortunate tone of Muppet Robin Hood, it is extremely refreshing and heartening to see that not all Muppet fairy tale stories have to be less than spectacular. Muppet Peter Pan captures everything great about the Muppets. It is written in such a way that they retain their uniquely brilliant personalities and drawn in such a way that is faithful to the actual puppets and just plain gorgeous.
I highly recommend this series of comics! Pick up the single issues as soon as you can or wait for the trade paperback to come out--whatever you choose, just make sure you pick this up!
Kermit the Frog as Peter Pan, Miss Piggy as Piggytink, Gonzo the Great as Captain Hook, Janice as Wendy, Scooter as John, Bean Bunny as Michael, Sam Eagle as Mr. Darling/the Narrator, Rizzo the Rat as Mr. Smee, Sweetums as Mr. Starks, Fozzie Bear as Tootles, Rowlf the Dog as Slightly, Pepe the King Prawn as Nibs, Dr. Teeth as His High Grooviness Dr. Goldentooth, Floyd Pepper as Firecheeks Floyd, Zoot as Zoot Runningmouth, Animal as He-Who-Runs-With-Sharks/Animal, The Swedish Chef as himself, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker as gunmen, Lew Zealand as a pirate, Statler and Waldorf as themselves in the crow's nest, Camilla the Chicken as Nana, Louis Kazagger as Himself, Rats as themselves.
Thanks to ToughPigs for the pictures used in today's article!
Don't forget to come back to The Muppet Mindset tomorrow for Part 2 of our interview with Bill Barretta!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier