Writer: Paul Grist
Artist: Paul Grist
Cover: Paul Grist
In a small town off the coast of England, we’re introduced to Owen Craig, who along with a friend is off vandalizing an old house. It’s here where a series of events take place that end up changing Owen right before one of the most important days in his life: The first day of school. He’s left questioning if anything that happened in the house was real or not, until he’s forced to try to save a family member later that day.
Going into Mudman and not knowing what to expect, I was pretty amazed at how much I liked the issue. Grist sets us up with a pretty light story in the beginning, and doesn’t burden you with trying to cram all the info into the first issue. He lets the mystery work the story, and at times you’re just as clueless as Owen is. Even when it takes on a more serious tone, it’s a natural progression that doesn’t take you out of the story. The supporting cast for now is just Owen’s best friend and his immediate family, which consists of his sister and father. The small amount of characters was another thing that was nice about this, because too many first issues try to slam you with so many new characters that the actual plot is lost. Grist also knocks out the art in this issue, and it’s just as fun as the story. It’s a nice and simple style that compliments everything that’s going on in his script.
We’ve seen every-man characters before, and even the geeky kid who accidentally gets powers has been done. However, Grist gives us his interpretation while making it all his own. It’s even got an all-ages appeal to it that is both quirky and cool at the same time that only a few all-ages books seem to balance. Mudman deserves a look if only for the mere fact that it’s refreshing to see a new character on the scene amidst all of the reboots and relaunches in the comic industry.