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Braden Lamb , Ryan North , Shelli Paroline

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States of America

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2015

First Edition Details

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume Two, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2015, 128 pp.

ISBN

9781608867271

Genre

Comics (Graphic works)
Science fiction
Science fiction comics

Target Audience

Crossover (young adults, adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Male portrait

Braden Lamb (Author, Illustrator)

Braden Lamb is the husband and artistic partner of Shelli Paroline, together forming an Eisner Award-winning duo who have collaborated on numerous series together. This includes Adventure Time (2012-2018, KaBOOM!), Garfield Homecoming (2018, KaBOOM!), and One Day a Dot (2018, First Second Books) with the writer Ian Lendler. He is a colourist for numerous New York Times bestselling novels, including Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (2014, Graphix), Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (2016, Graphix), and Guts by Raina Telgemeier (2019, Graphix).


Source:

Illustrator website (accessed: September 2, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Ryan North and his dog Chompsky by Connie Tsang. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (accessed: February 8, 2022).

Ryan North (Author)

Ryan North was born in Ontario, Canada, and has an undergraduate degree in computer science from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Masters in computer science at the University of Toronto. While completing his undergraduate degree in 2003, he created the fixed-art webcomic Dinosaur Comics. He has since accomplished commercial and critical success for his comics writing, including being a writer for Adventure Time (2012-2015, KaBOOM!), Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (2016, Riverhead Books), and most notably, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2014-2019, Marvel).


Sources:

Official website (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Choose Your Own Profile - Ryan North available at The Globe and Mail (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Mitchel Bill, IN-DEPTH: Ryan North available at the CBR.com (accessed: September 2, 2021).


Female portrait

Shelli Paroline (Author, Illustrator)

Shelli Paroline is the wife and artistic partner of Braden Lamb, together forming an Eisner Award-winning duo who have collaborated on numerous series together. This includes Adventure Time (2012-2018, KaBOOM!), Garfield Homecoming (2018, KaBOOM!), and One Day a Dot (2018, First Second Books) with the writer Ian Lendler. Shelli is co-director of The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), a local arts festival.


Source:

Official website (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: September 2, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume One, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2014, 128 pp.

Summary

The Midas Flesh follows a trio of friends who have formed a spaceship crew to battle an intergalactic authority known as The Federation. The friends include Captain Joey, a snarky and impulsive woman; Fatima, a compassionate woman who is the ship’s navigator and a hijabi; and Cooper, an anthropomorphic male dinosaur. Other notable characters include Sluggo, a slug-like creature who works for The Federation and is Fatima’s ex-boyfriend, and General Russ of The Federation, the primary antagonist.

After the events of The Midas Flesh: Volume One, Joey, her crew, and the imprisoned Sluggo collect the body and blood of Midas from the Golden Planet, placing it in stasis. Because anything that comes into contact with something that is in contact with Midas’ corpse turns to gold, they intend to use Midas as a superweapon that will eliminate the Federation. Fatima, concerned that Midas’ corpse is too powerful a weapon, secretly plots with Sluggo to dump the body in a nearby black hole. However, Sluggo betrays her, stealing the body and returning to General Russo’s ship. Sluggo fires the severed Midas finger at them and Joey hits it into space with a baseball bat—but she is too slow to release the bat. Her entire right arm turns to gold, and tears itself away from her body.

General Russo travels to the planet Titan, where Joey is from and where her family and friends reside. Using the decapitated head of Midas, he turns the entire planet to gold, killing all life on it as an act of revenge for the inconvenience she has caused him. Joey wakes up, her crew having placed a mental bandage on the stump on her shoulder to seal the wound. Sluggo secretly informs Joey’s team of the slaughter on her home planet, but he is caught mid-transmission by General Russo, and killed using Midas’ head. General Russo informs them he intends to use Midas’ corpse as a personal superweapon, and speaks to Midas’ head as though it is a friend. General Russo launches a series of attacks on Joey and her crew, but they evade them and reach the base planet of The Federation. They toss Midas’ finger on the planet to turn it to gold, and the planet explodes mid-transformation.

Joey and her crew don spacesuits as their ship explodes too, and launch Midas’ blood at General Russo’s new ship, turning everyone else to gold as he escapes. In his fury and mental instability, he flings himself and Midas’ head into the sun, causing the sun to explode. As Joey and her crew try to gather up the remaining pieces of Midas’ corpse and blood, countless other spaceships descend on them, with everyone wanting their own piece of the superweapon. As chaos erupts, Dionysus appears in a spacesuit with wine for them to share, and time stops.

Joey and Dionysus argue over the chaos his wish and her ambition unintentionally unleashed, until the arrival of Ananke: Dionysus’ mother, co-creator of the universe, and the god of natural law. They learn the curse on Midas’ body will eventually consume the universe, ending all life and causing another “big bang”. However, Joey and her crew convince Ananke to undo the curse on Midas’ body at the moment of that explosion, which will allow a new universe to be born—albeit, one with a lot of gold in it. Joey and her crew return to the present to continue fighting for their universe for the rest of their lives.

The universe ends. However, another “big bang” occurs, and the miracle of life is able to emerge again. A new King Midas comes into existence, befriends Silenus, and is offered a wish by Dionysus. However, because the universe has so much gold, this time, Midas wishes for knowledge—about how their world came to be. Dionysus, relieved, says he will tell him. He passes Midas a cup of wine, and on the side is an ancient illustration of the makers of their world—who bear a striking resemblance to Joey, Fatima, and Cooper.

Analysis

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two increases the danger the protagonists faced in Volume One. The myth of King Midas and the ‘‘Midas Touch”—originally a personal curse on one man, but granted as a well-intended miracle by a happy-go-lucky Dionysus in The Midas Flesh—now becomes a force powerful enough to extinguish all life in the known universe. The appearance of the goddess Ananke further emphasises these heightened stakes. In Greek myth, she is one of the primordial gods, personifying necessity and inevitability. Her appearance to Joey and her crew at the moment when all hope is lost underscores that the curse on King Midas’ body was always going to destroy life. Ananke herself is golden, suggesting a link between her embodiment of inevitability, and the inevitability of Joey’s universe being swallowed up by gold.

In contrast to Ananke’s serious character and alien form, Dionysus appears human, and has the personality of a “lush” party boy. Joey and Fatima are both human in appearance, and unlike the dinosaur Cooper, make errors of judgement that cause death and catastrophe. However, it should be noted that Joey is specifically noted to be from the planet Titan (Fatima’s home planet is not mentioned) rather than from earth, so she may not be the exact same kind of human as those who lived on earth. That Joey harkens from a planet that shares a name with the children of the primordial deities in Greek mythology aligns her with Dionysus, who is the child of Ananke in The Midas Flesh. Both he and Joey played a significant role in triggering the universe’s eventual end, and their similar human appearances and associations with primordial lineage suggest that their naivete about consequences is a human quality.

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two, in its depiction of the rebirth of the universe, borrows features from the two panels that indicated the occurrence of a “miracle” in Volume One. Both “miracles” featured blue-grey colour palates and a bolt of white lightening that struck the earth; the first miracle notably featured the lightening striking a primordial sea. In Volume Two, this first panel is recreated, however, the panel is saturated in yellow, brown, and gold, indicating that the new iteration of the universe will contain a large amount of gold. The bolt of lightning is the only white in the panel, making it the embodiment of the divine influence or “miracle” that has caused the universe to gain a second chance.

In the subsequent, final pages of the volume, the same panels depicting the days up until King Midas’ fateful wish are depicted yet again, identical except for the presence of golden furniture and his silver crown. These near-identical repetitions suggest that humans are, to some extent, destined to recreate history. However, Midas’ new wish for knowledge, rather than gold, provides some hope that perhaps this time, humanity will avoid catastrophe. 


Further Reading

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds, Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds., Classical Traditions in Science Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds, Once and Future Antiquities in Science Fiction and Fantasy, London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

Gwen Athene Tarbox, Children’s and Young Adult Comics. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.

Addenda

Edition used for entry: 

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume Two, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2015, 128 pages. 9781608867271

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2015

First Edition Details

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume Two, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2015, 128 pp.

ISBN

9781608867271

Genre

Comics (Graphic works)
Science fiction
Science fiction comics

Target Audience

Crossover (young adults, adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Male portrait

Braden Lamb (Author, Illustrator)

Braden Lamb is the husband and artistic partner of Shelli Paroline, together forming an Eisner Award-winning duo who have collaborated on numerous series together. This includes Adventure Time (2012-2018, KaBOOM!), Garfield Homecoming (2018, KaBOOM!), and One Day a Dot (2018, First Second Books) with the writer Ian Lendler. He is a colourist for numerous New York Times bestselling novels, including Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (2014, Graphix), Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (2016, Graphix), and Guts by Raina Telgemeier (2019, Graphix).


Source:

Illustrator website (accessed: September 2, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Ryan North and his dog Chompsky by Connie Tsang. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (accessed: February 8, 2022).

Ryan North (Author)

Ryan North was born in Ontario, Canada, and has an undergraduate degree in computer science from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Masters in computer science at the University of Toronto. While completing his undergraduate degree in 2003, he created the fixed-art webcomic Dinosaur Comics. He has since accomplished commercial and critical success for his comics writing, including being a writer for Adventure Time (2012-2015, KaBOOM!), Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (2016, Riverhead Books), and most notably, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2014-2019, Marvel).


Sources:

Official website (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Choose Your Own Profile - Ryan North available at The Globe and Mail (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Mitchel Bill, IN-DEPTH: Ryan North available at the CBR.com (accessed: September 2, 2021).


Female portrait

Shelli Paroline (Author, Illustrator)

Shelli Paroline is the wife and artistic partner of Braden Lamb, together forming an Eisner Award-winning duo who have collaborated on numerous series together. This includes Adventure Time (2012-2018, KaBOOM!), Garfield Homecoming (2018, KaBOOM!), and One Day a Dot (2018, First Second Books) with the writer Ian Lendler. Shelli is co-director of The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), a local arts festival.


Source:

Official website (accessed: September 2, 2021);

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: September 2, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume One, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2014, 128 pp.

Summary

The Midas Flesh follows a trio of friends who have formed a spaceship crew to battle an intergalactic authority known as The Federation. The friends include Captain Joey, a snarky and impulsive woman; Fatima, a compassionate woman who is the ship’s navigator and a hijabi; and Cooper, an anthropomorphic male dinosaur. Other notable characters include Sluggo, a slug-like creature who works for The Federation and is Fatima’s ex-boyfriend, and General Russ of The Federation, the primary antagonist.

After the events of The Midas Flesh: Volume One, Joey, her crew, and the imprisoned Sluggo collect the body and blood of Midas from the Golden Planet, placing it in stasis. Because anything that comes into contact with something that is in contact with Midas’ corpse turns to gold, they intend to use Midas as a superweapon that will eliminate the Federation. Fatima, concerned that Midas’ corpse is too powerful a weapon, secretly plots with Sluggo to dump the body in a nearby black hole. However, Sluggo betrays her, stealing the body and returning to General Russo’s ship. Sluggo fires the severed Midas finger at them and Joey hits it into space with a baseball bat—but she is too slow to release the bat. Her entire right arm turns to gold, and tears itself away from her body.

General Russo travels to the planet Titan, where Joey is from and where her family and friends reside. Using the decapitated head of Midas, he turns the entire planet to gold, killing all life on it as an act of revenge for the inconvenience she has caused him. Joey wakes up, her crew having placed a mental bandage on the stump on her shoulder to seal the wound. Sluggo secretly informs Joey’s team of the slaughter on her home planet, but he is caught mid-transmission by General Russo, and killed using Midas’ head. General Russo informs them he intends to use Midas’ corpse as a personal superweapon, and speaks to Midas’ head as though it is a friend. General Russo launches a series of attacks on Joey and her crew, but they evade them and reach the base planet of The Federation. They toss Midas’ finger on the planet to turn it to gold, and the planet explodes mid-transformation.

Joey and her crew don spacesuits as their ship explodes too, and launch Midas’ blood at General Russo’s new ship, turning everyone else to gold as he escapes. In his fury and mental instability, he flings himself and Midas’ head into the sun, causing the sun to explode. As Joey and her crew try to gather up the remaining pieces of Midas’ corpse and blood, countless other spaceships descend on them, with everyone wanting their own piece of the superweapon. As chaos erupts, Dionysus appears in a spacesuit with wine for them to share, and time stops.

Joey and Dionysus argue over the chaos his wish and her ambition unintentionally unleashed, until the arrival of Ananke: Dionysus’ mother, co-creator of the universe, and the god of natural law. They learn the curse on Midas’ body will eventually consume the universe, ending all life and causing another “big bang”. However, Joey and her crew convince Ananke to undo the curse on Midas’ body at the moment of that explosion, which will allow a new universe to be born—albeit, one with a lot of gold in it. Joey and her crew return to the present to continue fighting for their universe for the rest of their lives.

The universe ends. However, another “big bang” occurs, and the miracle of life is able to emerge again. A new King Midas comes into existence, befriends Silenus, and is offered a wish by Dionysus. However, because the universe has so much gold, this time, Midas wishes for knowledge—about how their world came to be. Dionysus, relieved, says he will tell him. He passes Midas a cup of wine, and on the side is an ancient illustration of the makers of their world—who bear a striking resemblance to Joey, Fatima, and Cooper.

Analysis

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two increases the danger the protagonists faced in Volume One. The myth of King Midas and the ‘‘Midas Touch”—originally a personal curse on one man, but granted as a well-intended miracle by a happy-go-lucky Dionysus in The Midas Flesh—now becomes a force powerful enough to extinguish all life in the known universe. The appearance of the goddess Ananke further emphasises these heightened stakes. In Greek myth, she is one of the primordial gods, personifying necessity and inevitability. Her appearance to Joey and her crew at the moment when all hope is lost underscores that the curse on King Midas’ body was always going to destroy life. Ananke herself is golden, suggesting a link between her embodiment of inevitability, and the inevitability of Joey’s universe being swallowed up by gold.

In contrast to Ananke’s serious character and alien form, Dionysus appears human, and has the personality of a “lush” party boy. Joey and Fatima are both human in appearance, and unlike the dinosaur Cooper, make errors of judgement that cause death and catastrophe. However, it should be noted that Joey is specifically noted to be from the planet Titan (Fatima’s home planet is not mentioned) rather than from earth, so she may not be the exact same kind of human as those who lived on earth. That Joey harkens from a planet that shares a name with the children of the primordial deities in Greek mythology aligns her with Dionysus, who is the child of Ananke in The Midas Flesh. Both he and Joey played a significant role in triggering the universe’s eventual end, and their similar human appearances and associations with primordial lineage suggest that their naivete about consequences is a human quality.

The Midas Flesh: Volume Two, in its depiction of the rebirth of the universe, borrows features from the two panels that indicated the occurrence of a “miracle” in Volume One. Both “miracles” featured blue-grey colour palates and a bolt of white lightening that struck the earth; the first miracle notably featured the lightening striking a primordial sea. In Volume Two, this first panel is recreated, however, the panel is saturated in yellow, brown, and gold, indicating that the new iteration of the universe will contain a large amount of gold. The bolt of lightning is the only white in the panel, making it the embodiment of the divine influence or “miracle” that has caused the universe to gain a second chance.

In the subsequent, final pages of the volume, the same panels depicting the days up until King Midas’ fateful wish are depicted yet again, identical except for the presence of golden furniture and his silver crown. These near-identical repetitions suggest that humans are, to some extent, destined to recreate history. However, Midas’ new wish for knowledge, rather than gold, provides some hope that perhaps this time, humanity will avoid catastrophe. 


Further Reading

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds, Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds., Classical Traditions in Science Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Eds, Once and Future Antiquities in Science Fiction and Fantasy, London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

Gwen Athene Tarbox, Children’s and Young Adult Comics. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.

Addenda

Edition used for entry: 

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, The Midas Flesh Volume Two, BOOM! Box, Los Angeles, 2015, 128 pages. 9781608867271

Yellow cloud