I read Frogman & Frogman Returns back in 2014 but it was about time I caught the last part from creators Mark Lewis & Matt Fitch….in fact, time to revisit the whole thing.
The first part of the trilogy kicks off at the beginning with Freddy’s latest patrol as he brings another attack to an end……or at least what he thinks is an attack. Cue the mundane life of a Big Burger worker as The Taxman steals his money but what can a humble burger flipper do?? The origin of our central character superhero brings with it some of the answers and after a brief interlude for some x-rated action the villain is in his sights. Tongue firmly in cheek for this opener as laughs, action and some smart fanboy nods merge to introduce a new hero that acts as just the beginning for Mark & Matt’s creation. Matt also does the art for this part and the cartoony style suits the first issue well.
The second installment of Frogman sees the same sensibilities (or lack thereof) return as the same mix of laugh, sex & action blend together as Freddy’s latest crime-fighting focus is a fairly messed up affair. There’s the same brief glimpse of his mundane day-to-day life but that takes a backseat with some grotesque murders that are too insane to describe…..fair to say this is a mature title with it’s themes but that’s never a bad thing. It’s the same great story-telling from Mark & Matt but the art takes a significant step up as John Aggs throws some amazing detail at our hero. It’s not overly jarring compared to the look of the first part as it all seems to fit together well.
The third and final part of the trilogy continues with the hero stories of Freddy and the return of a familiar face from the previous issue sees the past come back to haunt our tormented hero. He literally has to go to hell and back as his enemy steals his job, his girl & his life from under his nose….all while Freddy faces off against demons and has to go above and beyond the call of duty to try and get his life back. Fighting his way out of hell and picking up a new costume on the way…….there’s a bittersweet but ultimately satisfying ending for our newly adopted hero. Matt & Mark nail it with this third and final part and with new artist Gibson Quarter capturing the anarchic, over-the-top life of Frogman with an equally dynamic level of success.
The Frogman Trilogy is a slice of pure escapism and the laughs & action are balanced well by Matt & Mark throughout the three parts. They’ve managed to maintain a high quality of art too and while the first part is far more cartoony than the others there’s still a natural progression to it as it settles into it’s stride in the following issues. Over the top for sure, crude in places too, but it all makes some sort of crazy sense and lets face it…..it’s a story about a Frog Man……so it’s probably the best direction they could have taken. The fanboy nods are another well-placed element and overall it’s a fine example of what Dead Canary Comics are capable of creating.