Review: Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth #5
“Charlie Rose’s Table: Public Broadcasting Satan” Part One
After picking up some cursed swag at Granby Comic-Con, Todd uncovers a satanic cabal headquartered at PBS. His dad, Gus, concocts an elaborate ruse to keep his latest financial windfall alive. Meanwhile, Police Chief Hargrave searches for his “perfect Glover”–a black partner that will boost his political popularity.
Todd is back in a brand new story featuring PBS and satanic cabal involving Charlie Rose that kicks off today. Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #5 is written by Ken Kristensen with art by M.K. Perker. Dedat Gosteriki handles colors with Patrick Brosseau handling lettering. It’s safe to say that Todd’s first arc was a surprise hit. Does Kristensen and Perker keep the momentum going with the next installment? Obviously if you haven’t read the first arc consisting of issues #1-4, there are spoilers.
The story opens with two pages showing us what everyone has been up to since the first arc. All the while “It Was A Very Good Year” plays (well it’s written out since it’s a comic) throughout. We then pick up with Todd’s home life. Things got weird when Todd’s dad, Gus, agreed to keep soap star Belinda Fairchild’s bastard daughter for the price of $10,000 annually. Sandy fits in well, doing chores and helping Todd’s mom bust Gus’ chops. She’s almost as foul-mouthed and depraved as her adopted family. Gus is getting his costume ready for the Granby Comic-Con. With his freshly shot coat ready, he grabs Todd and heads out. He gets a discount if he brings a kid, and he can’t risk Sandy being hurt by Harry Knowle’s wheelchair. There was a horrible incident the previous year. While all of this is going on, Charlie Rose is prepping for an interview about the convention. His executive producer informs him that the bus carrying some of the show’s equipment crashed and Rose’s infamous table is now in the river. The table is imbued with black magic enchantments that make it a gateway to the netherworld. It’s kind of important that Rose gets it back. When the table falls into the hands of an idiot, things take a horrible turn. Yeah, someone’s in trouble, but more importantly Todd’s dad may lose a lot of money!
Kristensen punches harder than before with this issue. Todd has always had a twisted sense of humor mixed with great satire, but the Comic-Con setting allows for some of the most scathing satire yet. You have Joe Quesadilla announcing the launch of Marvel OLD to help capitalize on the changing comics scene. You also have a good representative of your outraged internet fan. It’s hilarious stuff that proves that the Todd team just don’t care about doing the politically correct things. While Todd has some bit to it, it also gets really close to crossing some of the lines they straddled in the first arc. Sandy is a foul-mouthed, outrageous, perverse 10 year old. It starts to lean toward shock humor for shock humor’s sake in some places. There may be some who will see the final pages going a little too far with her character, but I’m willing to give some slack considering this is her first real issue. Perker’s art is fantastic as always. The two page spread introducing the comic book convention is stellar. Todd has always been a little wild, but there’s an incredible amount of great gags and big scenes to present in a single issue. It’s some of the best work of the series. Gosteriki’s colors are a departure from the bright children’s book visuals of old, but things are still cheerier than the dark, twisted story being told. That’s one of the best things about Todd.
Bottom Line: Todd comes back funnier and fiercer than ever. Everything you loved about the series is back and it’s turned up to 11. This is a funny start with a no holds barred look at comic book conventions that quickly gives way to a darker and mystical plot that will delight (and probably offend us) for five more issues. 4/5