Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mulligan #1

George C. Romero Presents: "Mulligan" #1 from Grind House Comics -

     In the year 2136, in a maximum security prison located in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Mulligan, a man-monster waits for death. Mulligan was a sickly child, abused and tossed aside by his peers until a miracle drug not only saved his life, but gave him heightened strength, and durability as well. He trained both his body and his mind, finally becoming a scientist at a huge pharmaceutical conglomerate. He discovered a way to access the carbon in the human body for fuel; however, he also discovered that it damaged the patients, the hemotites, irreparably. Seeking to shut down the experiment, his was rejected by the maffia-like conglomerate, and this rejection cost him both his career, his sanity, and his hand. Mulligan retaliated by brutally mangling homeless people until law enforcement closed in on him. At his point of death, the government comes calling - they have opened a dimensional door that they can't close, and they need a brilliant, tough, and absolutely INSANE son of a gun to help them clean up the mess they've made. Will Mulligan fix the problem...Or just crank up the crazy to "11?"

    Robert and Ashley Mulligan write this dark little sci-fi tale published by a new player in the comics game, Grind House Comics. In concept, Mulligan is quite an interesting character with a formulaic, but effective origin story. A sickly, ostracized child gets a drug that gives him a mildly potent superpower and develops his body and mind to serve humanity, first as a scientist, and after more tragedy, as a vigilante. But Mulligan goes off the rails, and the hero - who tried to stop the conglomerate from hurting innocent people - becomes a serial murderer. It is a real head-scratcher, and sucks a bit of the life and the enjoyment out of the story from there. Even though the entire book is exposition, the fact that we never really find out why Mulligan is killing vagrants bothered me continuously. Is he insane? He doesn't seem to be. Did he have an agenda? Didn't seem like it. Were the homeless people infected in some way by his research? Any connection I had to the protagonist was gone after that, as the story moved, again formulaically, towards the old "Boxed Crook" trope. Not that I don't like the "Boxed Crook" trope - "Escape From New York" and "Escape From L.A." are my jams. Don't mess with Snake Plissken, knowhutImean? Juliya Glagol's artwork is perfect for the story - it is sketchy, kinetic and moody. I enjoyed it most times, but often the panels were so dark that I could barely make out what was happening. Overall, "Mulligan" wasn't a bad read; the plot had some real potential. It just wasn't coherent enough in some places, and the protagonist was just too inconsistent - both of which made it not stand out enough for me to continue with the series - especially not at $3.49 per issue.

RATING: 6 out of 10.

PS - George C. Romero is the SON of the legendary filmmaker, George A. Romero, creator of the American zombie cultural phenomena that started with the cult classic, "Night of the Living Dead."

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