Written by Australian magazine designer Aaron Sammut and illustrated by Jesse Hamm, who has worked for celebrated publishers Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, on titles such as Batman, Hawkeye and Flash Gordon, Maurice and the Metal has come along and fully grabbed my attention as a long time fan of metal music and comic books.
The story follows Maurice, a young metalhead in the mid 80’s and wannabe drummer for Pawn, a band that will never make it, and his journey towards discovering that through the power of his possessed walkman, Maurice has super strength when he listens to metal music.
Maurice and the Metal is well written, and it has to be said, written by a genuine metal fan. The little references to Dave Mustaine, Ride the Lightning and Black Sabbath, plus the use of phrases like “what in the name of Dio?” And “what the thrash?” are all nice touches. It even ends with a note that says “while reading this comic you should listen to Master of Puppets”.
The illustrations are exceptional. Starting with the cover art, it’s very eye catching in its use of mostly red. Inside the book, it’s a black and white affair, but it really does add to the metal vibe. Let’s not forget that the Ninja Turtles started off in black and white, and The Walking Dead is all black and white, and just might be one of the most successful titles of all time.
Issue #1 is Maurice’s origin story, and does a great job at getting it across. While I’m sure more of the backstory will be told in future issues, it certainly gets us off and racing, and ends at the perfect point to leave me wanting more as the reader.