Issue #1Issue #2Issue #3Issue #4

Issue #2 of Boom! Studios?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ Muppet Show Comic Book will be released tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29th. The publisher has already sold out the first printing and announced a second, so you might want to make sure you get to the comic book store on Wednesday if you want to grab a copy. The Muppets are the new superstars of comics! They should definitely fight Wolverine as soon as possible.

The first issue of the series got rave reviews all over the internet, and was loved by both diehard Muppet geeks and casual fans who couldn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t even tell you which one is Statler and which one is Lew Zealand. So the expectations are pretty high for the second outing, which is written and drawn once again by Roger Langridge.

As always, I abhor spoilers, so I don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t want to give too much away, but I will say that Issue #2 follows the same format as its predecessor ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s an episode of The Muppet Show in comic book form, with a combination of onstage acts and backstage story. Where last month?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s story focused on Kermit, this one is all about Fozzie.

The book kicks off with a fun Statler and Waldorf exchange?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ followed by another two-page splash that serves as the ?¢‚Ǩ?ìThis is what we call the Muppet Show!?¢‚Ǩ¬ù intro. I was pretty jazzed to see Thog?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

?¢‚Ǩ¬¶as well as a Very Brief Cameo from a post-Muppet Show character. But I never did quite figure out why the Electric Mayhem are dressed as beatniks. Then we get into the story, which involves Fozzie coming face-to-face with failure. That?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s nothing new for Fozzie, but boy, he sure would love it if he could get the approval of the Muppet Theater?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s audience.

I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m pretty sure that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s supposed to be Sweetums standing there, but it looks like he shrank in the wash.

Among the highlights of the issue are a musical number that seems just like some old, obscure British song they might have done on the TV show, a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìsketch?¢‚Ǩ¬ù that would be right at home alongside some of The Muppet Show?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s weirdest bits (and which makes very interesting use of the comic book page layout in a way that could never be reproduced on television), and some familiar segments like ?¢‚Ǩ?ìVeterinarian?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Hospital,?¢‚Ǩ¬ù which leads to my favorite panel in the whole issue:

So I guess the big question is: Is The Muppet Show Comic Book #2 as good as #1? The answer, I would say, is: Aaaaalmost. It was so exciting to see the first issue hit the bullseye so spectacularly, but it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s inevitable that the follow-up doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t seem quite so novel.

Also, this time around there were a few jokes I didn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t understand (specifically one involving Statler), although that may be my own dumbitude rather than flawed writing. There were a few moments in reading the dialogue where I found myself thinking, Waaait a minute! Would [name of Muppet character] really say that? That kind of thing is less noticeable in print, I think, but it’s still important to nail down the voice of the characters. Also, when the resolution of the backstage plot arrives, it seems a bit rushed and just isn’t as satisfying as last issue’s.

I suppose those are pretty minor complaints. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s still great to spend time with the Muppets and watch them struggle to put on a show, and Roger Langridge has given us another good ink-on-paper episode. Again I have to wonder if I would like this stuff as much if it were the script for a live-action Muppet Show redux, and again I have to think I wouldn’t, really. But it sure is a nifty comic book.

So far Langridge has done a commendable job with Kermit and Fozzie stories, and I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m curious to see what he comes up with for next month?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Gonzo-focused issue, and even moreso for the following month’s Piggy-centric issue. Miss Piggy has proven to be the most difficult character for recent Muppet writers to get right, so I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll be crossing my fingers and hoping Langridge?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Piggy can carry her own backstage plot. But no matter what, it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s just nice to have a new Muppet production that most (or all?) of the fans can agree on.

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