Advance Review: Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth #4
“CANDY WITH STRANGERS,” Conclusion
When his best friend and mentor gets thrown in solitary confinement, Todd becomes an easy target for an Aryan Nation assassin. Meanwhile, his father accepts a marriage proposal that was never given, and his mom comes face-to-face with the Maniac Killer.
Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth sees its fourth issue released this week. The final installment in the Candy with Strangers arc sees one story ending and another beginning. If you thought this was it for Todd, you were so wrong. The issue is written by Ken Kristensen with art, letters, and logo from M.K. Perker. Cemal Soyleyen provides colors. So is issue 4 a fitting conclusion, or does it get uglier than Todd?
The story opens up with Todd going to the “party” with his new prison friends we saw him invited to at the end of the previous issue. Todd thinks it’s a tickle party with cake, since there’s a knife there and all. The prison guards arrive just a little too late as the man they had tied down is sporting a new head carving showing everyone he’s a snitch. Todd escapes unscathed yet again, only to be taken to his cell where he meets some new cockroach friends. We then check in with our three other stories. Todd’s mom, going by “Blanche” at the bars has finally had a moment of realization. After her quick fling, she’s had a moment of clarity. With a freshly stolen Rolex, she finally decides it is time to help Todd. Gus, Todd’s dad, is in the hotel room of daytime-TV actress Belinda Fairchild. Things are moving in the direction he was hoping. Not even Belinda’s overly aggressive bodyguard Gordo can put a damper on things. Belinda makes Gus an offer that will change his life, and that of his family’s, for better or worse. The money is on the table, but can he do what she’s asking? There’s also Chief Hargrave’s business with the real axe killer to finish. It goes exactly as you’d expect. Hargrave is a media hound after all. With the real killer at the station and Todd on his out, things are going back to what passes as normal for Todd. That is until we see who Todd’s new classmate is.
Kristensen writes another fantastic issue. He pushes the line of decency just a little bit further with each scene. This issue has Todd at his most naïve and escaping trouble in a style that would impress Bugs Bunny. Kristensen has also done a fantastic job of fleshing out Todd’s parents and making them, not likeable, but more multi-dimensional at the least. Perker’s art has been consistent and spectacular over the entire run. It’s like a children’s book for really, really messed up kids. Kristensen writes the dark humor but Perker brings it to life. Soyleyen’s colors are a little more subdued since most of the scenes are inside, but he still makes everything pop.
Bottom Line: Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is one of the most impressive new comics out there. Like I’ve said many time, it takes a special twisted sense of humor to get into it but if that’s in your wheelhouse it is perfect. We have to wait until September for the next installment, but I think it will be worth it 5/5