Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Dead Canary Comics, frogman, Frogman Returns, John Aggs, Mark Lewis, Matt Fitch
Dead Canary Comics bring us the day-to-day life of Freddy Frog aka Frogman in these two issues that merge the mundane life of Freddy with the crime-fighting world of Frogman.
Issue one hits us with a mix of origin story along with some geek-filled in-jokes, some hard-luck in Freddy’s life and some sex that lead us into the first big challenge for Frogman as he tackles the scourge of many hard working individuals, even a Frog, the dreaded and elusive Taxman. Puns & punches are thrown around and our central hero gets his ass handed to him as the Taxman makes his escape. Without a lead all seems to be going wrong for Frogman but then that’s not how the hero game works and from the brink of giving up we see round 2 play out in our hero’s favour.
With Mark Lewis & Matt Fitch on writing duties and Matt also providing the artwork – it’s got a low budget feel to the opening issue but that’s not a negative thing as it suits the almost B-Movie feel that it’s built up. Quirky and fun with an interesting enough premise to make this worth sticking with in a comic book world that’s saturated with superheroes…..that’s no mean feat.
Issue two brings us more of the same with a murder case where the female victims breasts are torn off (you read that right) bringing us a suitably grotesque enemy for Frogman to face with a messed up back-story to the eventual discovery of the murderers origins. Again we’ve got the in-jokes, the puns and the whole sex/action mix on the go but the difference this time around is the look of Frogman and the whole issue in itself.
Mark Lewis & Matt Fitch return on writing duties and give this the same B-movie/cult feel to it but the artwork from John Aggs takes this away from that feeling slightly as the quality jumps significantly. Aggs gives us a Todd MacFarlane feel to our central character which alters the perceptions of that initial issue. Simplistic but effective artwork from issue one has evolved into some highly detailed and energetic work that brings Frogman into a new league.
Are both issues enjoyable? Yes, but the step-up in artwork verges on taking away the strong start in that opening issue and there was a brief moment when I had to check between the two to see this was the same character. Thankfully the saving grace is that the writing takes a similar step up and the subtle vein of humour and the strength of the action/sex/characters raise this up further. It almost feels like a reboot of Frogman between issues one and two but that’s progress. Hopefully we’ll see a third issue maintain that momentum and continue its success. A success that sees a character that doesn’t take it’s self too seriously, as if it ever could with a man/frog as it’s central character.
Frogman – 6/10
Frogman Returns – 8/10
Check up on these and the other releases from their website – Dead Canary Comics.
You can also catch up with them at some of this year’s Con’s:
London Film & Comic Con – 11th-13th July
MCM Manchester – 19th/20th July
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – 17th-19th October
Thought Bubble – 15th/16th November
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