I enjoyed Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s short-lived TV show The Middleman but never got around to reading the graphic novels they were based on. Recently I rectified that oversight and I couldn’t have been more delighted.
The Middleman centers around a main character of the same name and his sidekick Wendy. Wendy is an artist picking up odd jobs to supplement her almost nonexistent income from painting. When her temp job is quite literally obliterated by a giant tentacle monster, she gets thrown unceremoniously into the world of The Middleman, a former Navy SEAL turned fighter of fantastical beings who lives by the motto, “Fighting evil so you don’t have to.”
The series is slightly campy and lighthearted, an homage to an older generation of comic books where the good guy is a dashing model citizen.
The art is black and white but highly detailed. There’s a fusion of old and new styles. The Middleman and many bit characters have that Silver Age feel to them while Wendy feels distinctly modern.
The pacing is tight and never drags nor feels rushed, and the characters all have good chemistry and play well off one another.