The Middleman #1
Imagine that the world isn’t what you know. Imagine that bad things happen, monsters and aliens appear at whim. Who are you going to call to handle it? Well the Middleman of course! And that’s the premise of this off beat, entertaining series. And that premise is what led me to pick up this issue and give it a try. I mean how can you not enjoy a story about one guy battling aliens and all the scary crap out there?
Our story starts on a mild mannered day at A.N.D. Laboratories, rescrambling your DNA any day. Wendy, our young heroine of the story is answering the phones, talking to her mom…and generally just bored out of her skull. But what’s this? An explosion in the background and some new life form banging around? Wendy’s in trouble as A.N.D.’s containment unit is ummm….vaporized by this new alien form. Who will save the day? Why the Middleman of course! He quickly neutralizes the situation and then vanishes into the night. Wendy meanwhile has lost her tempjob and is rejected at countless others…until a mysterious temp agency gives her a call and after she passes some tests, she finds out that her new boss is the Middleman.
I like the storyline in this issue, it feels a bit like the Men in Black and that type of genre, but it’s got its own twist to it, at least in this first issue. The writer does a good job of setting up the world and does a good job of introducing who Wendy is and makes her feel like that person that we know. She’s a snarky, somewhat smart ass, confident young woman. The Middleman…we don’t see too much of, but I get the impression that we find out more about him in the next issue (and what his job really is.) One of my favorite scenes in the issue is how Wendy is a bit oblivious to what’s going on behind her as the lab explodes, it’s just entertaining. The writing is a bit rough in a couple of areas, such as where the Middleman points his gun at Wendy after she reveals what happens…and she ends up back home? I’m just not sure what really happened there and it feels like we’re missing a page or something. Overall thought it’s an entertaining read and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The artwork isn’t bad, but there’s are a couple things that bug me. It feels more like what you see out of a newspaper comic, with publisher added dots for shading versus another method such as using colors or cross hatching. It isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t add a lot to the artwork. But I will say that the line work is excellent and the artist has a confident hand in capturing the expressions of the characters and their movement, especially the alien. And to be honest…it really does fit well with the story and I’m not sure I could see a different style working better with it. It’s just the shading bugs the heck out of me.
I’d give the series a try, it’s a fairly entertaining/interesting story and a good start to a new series. I do hope that the writing flows a little bit better in future issues, but…I look forward to finding out the future adventures of the Middleman and Wedny.