Heavy Metal Comic Hit!
Writer Aaron Sammut has successfully left us with a heavy metal comic book that taps into the idiosyncrasies and tone of what it’s like to be a struggling musician living in a city that no one wants to be in.
Maurice and the Metal #1, written by Aaron Sammut and Art by Jesse Hamm (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios), is a clever narration on the life and time of a struggling Metal-head. Which is interesting as earlier today I was drawn into a discussion about the life and struggles of heavy metal band Anvil (who found 15 minutes of fame after their documentary).
Unending Hilarity and Metal References
Unlike the band Anvil, the protagonist Maurice has started to realise that his time as drummer for local band PAWN might soon be coming to an end. Not because it’s another Dave Mustaine scenario of being kicked out. More because Maurice has realised Pawn just aren’t that good.
He begins to recount the various no-name garage bands he’s drummed for which adds another layer of hilarity to this book. Names like The Apostles, Arcane Justice and BashedBloodied are just a few band names that Maurice recounts as he trudges through the back alleys of his home town.
A mix of a person being robbed at knife point, drunks in the streets and a cop car with its sirens on gives an air of insecurity. While Maurice having his prized cymbal stolen and punched in the face leaves you thinking “maybe it’s time to head home?”
No spite with the Black and White
The black and white is the right decision for this style of comic book. While one can argue the black and white may add a certain degree of street cred to a book about underground metal bands. The other can argue that Jesse Hamm’s distinct style, adds a feeling of grittiness and struggling low class to the tone of the book.
The real humour in this story is when Maurice finally gets home and enters into a verbal sparring session with his mother. Ultimately resulting in her throwing his “walkman” into the water filled kitchen sink. Somehow resulting in Maurice rescuing it from the drink to turn it on and realise his walkman gives him super powers. Didn’t think I’d ever write that in a comic book review.
Aaron Sammut has managed to write a comic book story is nonstop nostalgia, period specific writing and adds a humorous narrative to the struggling metalhead teenager dynamic. We talk about fan service all the time on this website. I can think of no better metalhead fan service than by what Sammut and Hamm have achieved through this book.
For me this Heavy Metal Comic hits every note and has unending metal references that will put a smile on metalheads young and old. Which is surprising because metalheads don’t smile, right? 😛