1 The Muppet Mindset: Muppet Comic Mondays: Muppet King Arthur #3

Mar 22, 2010

Muppet Comic Mondays: Muppet King Arthur #3

Muppet King Arthur #3 
Comic Book Review

James Gannon -  Since we’ve come to the penultimate issue of Muppet King Arthur, it’s impossible to do any parody of the legend without referencing the quest for the Holy Grail at some point.  It was the best remembered of the Monty Python movies after all (there’s just NO love for “Meaning of Life”).  Disgusted that the Octagonal Table hasn’t become the symbol of justice and equal rule in England, and is in fact used as ONLY a dinner table, King Arthur (Kermit, if you haven’t read a single issue or review by now) begs for a challenge  to show off the knights’ valor.  Enter Arthur’s nephew Mordread, played by Robin.  If you have a basic understanding of Arthurian legend, or have seen the “Sir Gyro DeGearloose” episode of Ducktales, you know why that’s strange.  If not, I’m not giving anything else away.  He, of course, suggests that they go off and find the grail, while Kermit thanks him by making him stay behind.  You know, the old, “you’re too young and small, and I don’t trust that you’ll be safe,” bit.   And directionlessly, they wander off.

Meanwhile, after a misunderstanding between Kermit and Piggy (Morgana), the sorceress swine is lead to think that King Arthur will marry Gwenevire (Camilla).  After all, Holy Grail sounds like Holy Veil… if you have mud in your ears and mishear anything but “ail.”  It gives us a nice break of the story for a Piggy being Piggy moment that throws the knights off their trail.  The quest leads the crew on a long chase, starting at the East bat Auction House (where it’s promptly out of stock- it sold JUST before they got there).  On the way, of course, there are running gags (which pay off wonderfully at the end) and the same assortment of current jokes that actually work (sorry, Muppet Wizard of Oz).  And thankfully we aren’t bombarded with obvious references to the Monty Python movie here (there was in the first issue, and it was executed very cleverly).  This issue really ramps up on the action.  And it should, since the next issue is the conclusion.  The first 2 issues of this series established the characters through a series of gags, so thankfully that’s out of the way.  And it seems to have a good flow so far.  This issue ends with the promise of a thrill a minute finale.

All and all, my only gripe is the coloring in this series just comes out too dark when printed on the newsprint stock they switched to a while back.  If it’s not the intention of the artists, it’s clearly a translation of the ink on the stock.  It’s such a shame, since it should give it a very bold comic book quality. At least it doesn’t look as muddy as some of Muppet Robin hood did. 

Now, normally, I don’t give things away, so if you didn’t read the issue by now, or don’t want spoilers in any way, stop reading here.

The Holy Grail is eventually sold to (cringe worthy pun) Pepe, the Fisher King Prawn.  The only reason why I’m bringing this up is because Pepe is drawn and written perfectly right here.  Pepe is a very hard Muppet to look right in illustration \and he isn’t all that easy to write for.  While I liked Amy’s Muppet Babies-like version of him in Muppet Peter Pan (an unfortunate side effect of not having any good references, she once said) I don’t think he was really handled quite as good as he is here.  And it feels like he was just thrown into Muppet Robin Hood, where he looked meh and none of his dialogue really seemed to be pure Pepe.  The Muppet Show Comic Book focuses only on classic Muppet Show characters, so the Fairy Tale series is the only place where you really get to see the newer Muppets Tonight and Jim Henson Hour characters shine.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

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