Boom! Box. May 2019. 240p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781684153596.
Gr 6 Up–King Midas’s golden touch instantly doomed him and Earth to a shiny, lifeless legacy. Thousands of years later, a space crew consisting of the plucky captain Joey, exuberant navigator “Fatty” Fatima, and engineer Cooper (a raptor) investigate our planet. Confrontations between the crew and an all-controlling Federation lead to spaceship battles often resolved by slinging bits of Midas’s dead body at one another. The crew’s interactions, packed with quips and self-aware remarks, will appeal to readers who don’t mind sticking with dense speech bubbles. Paroline and Lamb’s artwork is most effective when given room to breathe away from North’s constantly expository, though funny, dialogue. Bright spaceship cabins contrast against the void of space, and, true to the golden highlights on the cover, there are plenty of gold motifs. The creative team lets the visuals speak for themselves during scenes requiring greater gravitas. Fatima, a brown woman who wears a hijab, is an expert pilot and integral to the story. Occasionally, adults consume wine, and one scene includes a “passed-out drunk dude.” The premise of Midas’s corpse as a superweapon remains an irresistible hook throughout the story, from sci-fi curiosity to an ethics exercise to a miniature treatise on the gods who place such mythological power into being. A collection of covers of the serialized issues that comprise the book shows off guest artists’ various takes on the cast and setting.
VERDICT This fascinating, humorous sci-fi twist on the King Midas myth will attract many readers.

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