Each Free Comic Book Day, something catches my attention and I find a read I never expected. This year, "The Intrepid EscapeGoat" is that title.
For those of you who missed it, fret not; this issue does a great job introducing you to Thomas Fleet, escape artist extraordinaire. Accompanied by his "assistant," Isis, who is a version of the goddess reincarnated in the body of a young girl, Fleet splits his time between performing feats of daring escapes and solving mysteries of marginal mystical origins.
Following a performance that showcases his ability to escape from any trap, the EscapeGoat accepts the challenge to debunk a seance. That challenge is issued by a reporter and sets the adventure in motion for this issue.
Brian Smith pulls double-duty in this issue, writing and drawing the adventures of the EscapeGoat and Isis. The art is fun, simple, and straightforward, and the characters remind me quite a bit of the work of Chris Houghton in "Reed Gunther." There's a definite Bruce Timm influence at work here, but Smith takes the influence far enough to make his own of it. Smith's anthropomorphic characters walk beside humans, both adult and child. Smith's children are unmistakable as such, but lack the range of features that Smith gives to the adult characters.
This is a fine all ages read that does a very good job of being an "all ages" read. There are levels of appreciation to be found in this story, and I'm certain younger readers will be entertained by Thomas Fleet's head-butting his way out of a conflict just as much as more experienced comic fans will enjoy the subtleties of the mentor-sidekick relationship that Fleet shares with Isis. Not only does this issue deliver an all ages read with enjoyable art, but also it contains a story that appears done-in-one, despite the fact that there are definitely two more issues in this tale.
Free Comic Book Day introduced me to "The Intrepid EscapeGoat," and stories like this issue will have me coming back for more.