One Punch Reviews #8: Much the Miller’s Son
It’s always a little jarring to encounter a webcomics online that look so gosh-darned traditional. I’m talking about the kind that look like they’re continuations of series that were conceived in the time between the 50’s and 70’s, and either the original artist has continued to illustrate the strip in his old age, or the strip has been taken over by his successors. You get that vibe from strips done in an old school style like Evil Inc., Thorn, and today’s subject, Much the Miller’s Son.
Much is written by Steve LeCouilliard, who, I have to say, has perhaps one of the world’s classiest sounding names. That’s the kind of lofty, aristocratic moniker that lets you get in to garden tea parties at Avignon, and no one would bother double checking your credentials because, honestly, with a name like LeCouiliard, why would you lie? To coin a phrase, he could trance the pants off the nobles in France.
Much the Miller’s Son is the title character. (Much, much to my surprise, is a real character in Robin Hood lore. Sometimes, legitimate folklore just hands you the perfect silly character’s name, doesn’t it?) He’s a poor peasant boy who just wants to prove his manhood. Instead, he find himself condemned to death for trespassing on the King’s land and thrust in the high stakes tug of war between Robin Hood and The Sheriff of Nottingham.
Nottingham and Sherwood forest are places where nobody is as pleasant or menacing as the old tales suggest. The Sheriff is more inept than villianous, Robin is a womanizer who goes into Nottingham to give it to the poor (link NSFW) if you know what I’m saying, the townspeople are a bunch of loathesome freeloaders, and the Merry Men are anything but. In fact, they’re a bunch of total bastards. Everyone’s in it for themselves except for the alluring yet naive Maid Marian. Much is naturally smitten by her, and who can blame him? Oo-de-lolly, indeed.
There’s nothing terribly wrong with the comic. However, to me the gags felt routine. They’re the sort that make you smile once in a while, but never make you bust a gut. Most of the time, I found myself wondering where I’d seen the same gags played out before. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a dopey, meat-headed Little John in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The whole deal where Much finds himself accidentally becoming an outlaw hero has been seen in everything from Shanghai Noon to The Three Amigos. And frankly, there’s probably one or two gags that wouldn’t look out of place in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
As I mentioned before, the art is delightfully old fashioned: very cartoony and more than a little reminiscent of two other historical humor strips: Asterix and Groo the Wanderer. I like the details Mssr. LeCouilliard invests in his backgrounds. There’s a little inconsistency with the inking in the first book, but LeCouilliard fixes his problems by the time the second book rolls out.
Overall, Much the Miller’s Son is a breezy, pleasant read. So what if it’s not terribly original … how can it be when pretty much everything has been said about the Robin Hood legend already? However, the comic is only beginning, and so far it seems to be headed in the right direction.
Rating: 3 (out of 5).
Note 2: Parents, the strip’s style might look like it’s for kids. A word of warning: male nether regions make more than one appearance in this comic.
Posted on April 2, 2008, in 3 Stars, comedy webcomic, fantasy webcomic, fractured fairytale, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged Much the Miller's Son, Robin Hood. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.