Summer Of Indie: The Middleman (tv series + comic)

I was introduced to The Middleman in the Spoiler Zone of SFX magazine (a section I normally avoid because (duh) Spoilers!)  Every Damned Episode was given 4 or 5 stars.  High praise indeed for a show nobody seems to have heard of.  Weirdly I never saw a proper article on it, never even heard it mentioned (let alone reviewed) on a podcast.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zippo.

I can hear you now – tv show? SFX?  Just how ‘Indie’ is this?  Stuff it, I’m shoe-horning this in under ‘Indie spirited.’  Suck it up and read on.

Checking into it online I found out there was a comic by a guy called Javier Grillo-Marxuach (published by Viper, but not very many issues) and that the TV show (inexplicably made by the ABC channel) had been cancelled leaving the finale unfilmed.  A failure then, in every respect, surely… but those stars in the Spoiler Zone were SO consistently high, and when you consider roughly used gems like Firefly it was something I just had to check it out.

The show was eventually released on dvd, so when pay-day came around I took a punt on it and imported the sucker.  I’m so glad I did 😀

Wendy Watson is an artist saved from her dead-end secretarial job by a freak genetic monster rampage and the mysterious stranger who turned up in the nick of time to end it.  He carries enormous and exotic weaponry and he calls himself The Middleman.  Impressed by how Wendy handled herself, The Middleman recruits her into O2STK – a super-secret organisation dedicated to saving the world from extra- infra- and juxta-terrestrial threats.

It sure beats temping.

With the help of Ida (an android war machine with a terrible taste in dresses) they face such threats as Chimpanzee gangsters, an Immortal tuba-player, Zombie fish, Succubi fashionistas and a dreaded Cabal of Mexican wrestlers… with a grudge.

This series is so damn funny.  It’s got great characters, snappy pacing, pulpy plots, cracking dialogue (with about 500 gags a minute), an irreverant love of sci-fi and a magnificent heart beating in the middle of it all (often to wakka wakka music).  It rewards multiple viewings and there are some fun commentaries to listen to on key episodes.

If you want an idea of the comedic and artistic style you can grab a free copy of the first issue of the comic over at Comixology – where they also currently have 7 more issues at the bargainous price of 59p each.  If you prefer your comics physical you can get the full comic series in trade at Amazon, along with the TV series and – [insert heavenly chorus here] a beautiful comic-book rendition of the unfilmed final episode The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse.

I should note for you all that the comics I’ve read (two out of the three volumes) are closely followed within the tv series (one episode per volume.)  There are differences, but if money is an issue I’d say go for the Show.  You get more bang for your buck and real life pretty people to ogle.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Go, go, go!


GS Reviewer: Dion Winton-Polak

Follow me on Twitter @Dion_Scrolls

Listen to me on Scrolls, the podcast for literary geekdom here on the Geek Syndicate Network

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One comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more! This show rocked, three years after it’s canceled and it’s STILL getting great reviews. And yet, it’s still gone…

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