This Review Originally Ran on Comics Bulletin
Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth #3
(Ken Kristensen, M.K. Perker; Image)
So, here we are in the home stretch in this four-issue miniseries, and I'm starting to wonder if Kristensen and Perker have the stamina to keep the pace they set for themselves in issues one and two. Are they starting to get a little winded? Did they break too hard out of the gate?
I don't know, but issue three seems to point in that direction. Everything's getting pushed forward in this book, all the subplots are playing out, and there seems to be a rush to tie it all together. Gone is the pacing of the earlier two books and ease with which they played with their humor (although the Pervez Musharraf joke in this book almost made me pee a little in my pants -- not something I usually admit, by the way). Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth has started to smell a little like an old Mad Magazine, and I don't mean that particularly as a compliment (Yes, Me Worry!). The promise of the earlier issues seems to have been left between their pages.
Maybe that's because Todd himself is hardly in this issue. For me, this character set so much of the tone of the whole book -- I mean, cripes, they did name the series after him. As he fades into the background, the other characters' bombast shines just a little too brightly. The plasticity of the construct becomes too apparent. The jokes become a little too forced. The heart of the book diminishes as does my enthusiasm for it.
But you know what? I'm an optimist. I like to see a sandwich half-eaten at lunch as tonight's delicious opportunity for dinner. And I'm willing to bet that sandwich that Kristensen and Perker DO have what it takes to reach the finish line with their arms upraised, not wheezing and coughing up blood. There is so much on the plate at this point in this book, that this shit can go any which way.
And I'm pretty sure that way is going to be awesome. Todd is going to be the clown who stands in the middle of the circus ring laughing at all of us.
I'm thinking Kristensen and Perker have been training for this race for some time. Damn right I'm going to be there clapping wildly as they ascend the podium to receive their gold medals. Issue four? Issue four is going to be AMAZING!
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