The Middleman

GN 21. The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability by Javier Grillo-marxuach. Illustrated by Les Mcclaine. 336 p. Published July 2008.

I will admit, I never heard of this series until the television adaptation began. With wacky characters and zany antics, the TV show hooked my roomates and I. So when I saw this at one of my local comic shops I just had to pick it up.

Wendy Watson is an artist living in an illegally subletted apartment with her rather attractive roomate, Lacy. Wendy temps to pay the bills. As it happens, one day while answering phones A.N.D. Laboratories, one of their experiments goes wrong and Wendy is attacked by a giant nuclear-vomit spewing butt cheek. While Wendy seems to have the situation in hand, she is soon rescued by The Middleman, an independant contractor specializing in special problems.

Wendy loses her job as a result of the attack, but is soon hired by The Middleman’s cover organization as a Middlewoman-in-training. Together, Wendy and The Middleman battle gangster gorillas, luch libre villians, and  assorted evil hellbent on destroying/ruling the world.

With over-the-top cult references, a penchant for cheesy schemes, and enough hair-ball science to melt MIT into slag,  The Middleman reads like some teenage boy’s wetdream. This graphic novel is the satirical thriller of the comic book world, rife with shoddy plots, inexplicably complex characters, and plenty of vein-pulsing action. Grillo’s ability for wit and satire are truly extraordinary, developing a world so convoluted that it just might work.

On a side note, the first episode of the TV series is an almost word-for-word adaptation of the first piece of the graphic novel. The entire first season is available free on the official website, or for pay on iTunes.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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