Even if I wasn’t already reading and loving “The Muppet Show” comic from Boom! Studios, I would’ve had to buy this issue based on the cover. (What with being a long-distance runner myself.) And if I hadn’t been reading “The Muppet Show” but randomly given this issue a try, I think it’s safe to say that I would’ve instantly become hooked. Roger Langridge’s take on “The Muppet Show” is, quite frankly, just as good as the original source material.
This issue concludes the characters being on the road (after the theatre was almost entirely destroyed in the “Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson” mini-series), finally coming back to their home base. With Gonzo and Fozzie still en route back, though, the show is slightly off-kilter. Having Statler and Waldorf secretly missing Fozzie (with their favorite source of heckling gone) was a nice touch, even as the two of them dust off their insults and try to get back to the rhythm of the show.
There’s a lot of wit in this issue; younger kids might not exactly get the reference to the Schroedinger’s Cat experiment, but the idea of showing Beaker into a box to create multiple Beakers (one with the red tie, one with the green tie) until it’s opened back up again will still be funny, even as older readers get it. In other words, it’s the spirit of the original television show. Langridge even brings back old routines like the dancing couples with one- and two-liners, to go alongside old favorites like Veterinarian’s Hospital and Pigs in Space. And of course, the whole way through, we get to see the Gonzo Marathon. I’ve run ten regular marathons myself, but I have to say that Gonzo has taken the sport to a whole new level. (If it wasn’t for the leg involving the human cannon, I might be half-tempted myself. Rowing in a bathtub sounds good to me.)
Langridge draws the characters here in a way that is instantly recognizable even as it also maintains his own style of art. It’s light and humorous; the way he draws a character’s eyes widening out of surprise is hysterical, and the opening two-page splash of the character zooming back to the theatre in the bus is worthy of a poster. Peppered with sight gags in the backgrounds even as he continues to bring the world of the Muppets to life, this is a fine looking book. If you’ve ever been a fan of “The Muppet Show” you owe it to yourself to give this comic a try. And if you’ve never experienced “The Muppet Show,” well, this is a great way to find out for yourself why it has such a strong following. It’s hard to find a funnier comic on the market than “The Muppet Show.”