Welcome All- A Few Things to Know

Welcome All- A Few Things to Keep In Mind:

1. Hi all. I'm Storyteller Knight. You can find me on Fictionpress where I write novels about King Arthur, Superheroes and Vampires (but not at the same time) and at Pardon My Sarcasm where I rage about how the republicans are ruining all things.

2. Here is the Master List of books read, books owned and books needed to complete a series. Superscripts next to title links to reviews on this site. Or you can search using the lables.

3. I'm approaching this blog with the assumption that everyone reading already knows the ultimate spoiler of the King Arthur Legend: Everyone Dies. Those who read King Arthur books do so to see different interpretations of the characters and the stories. My goal here is to analyze the effectiveness of those interpretations. Thus, all my reviews will include spoilers.

4. This is not an Arthurian 101 blog. As I said above, I'm assuming that everyone reading already knows the legend and is looking for different interpretations of that legend. Therefore, I'm not going to take time to explain who the characters are and what roles they traditionally play. Links to Arthurian Encyclopedias at the bottom of the page.

5. These reviews are my opinions of the books. I may hate a book you love or I may love a book you hate. If you have a different opinion, write it up. I'd be more than happy to have some guest posts.

6. Please don't ask me (or any of the guest bloggers) to do your homework for you. As I said above, this is a blog dedicated at looking at these books from an Arthurian perspective. If you comment on posts asking us what the theme is or such, we're just going to screw with you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Muppet King Arthur Chapter Two Review

Title: Muppet King Arthur, Chapter Two
Written By: Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck
Artist: James Silvani
Colors: Eric Cobain
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Assistant Editor: Jason Long
Editor: Aaron Sparrow
Designer: Erika Terriquez
Cover: David Petersen
Publisher: Boom Kids!
Pages: 22
Synopsis: (from the publisher trade) A Tale of Chivalry, adventure, chickens, and magic!  The tale of King Arthur has been told many times over the centuries, but never before has it included robots, knock-knock jokes, and boomerang fish!  The Muppets bring you this beloved classic in their signature style, adding twists and turns to the quest for the Holy Grail that would make a sane driver pull over and ask for directions!  Will the Frog King save his beloved England from the curmudgeonly Sam of Eagle?  Will the Lady of the Lake get back on the festival circuit?  Will they find a carpenter capable of making a round table?  Find out in MUPPET KING ARTHUR!

Been a while, hasn't it?  You know the drill-- it's Muppets, so everything goes out the window.

Warning For Spoilers and General Silliness

Kermit: It's the Muppet Show with our very special rendition of King Arthur!  YAAAAY!

It's time to play the music,
It's time to light the lights,
It's time meet the Muppets
On the Muppet Show Tonight!

It's time to put on makeup
It's time to dress up right
It's time to get things started
Why don't you get things started

 Kermit the Frog as King Arthur
Miss Piggy as Morgana Le Fay
Gonzo the Great as Sir Lancelot Du Lac
Camilla the Chicken as Lady Guinevere
Animal as Sir Gawain
Robin the Frog as Sir Mordred
Fozzie Bear as Sir Percival
Rowlf the Dog as Merlin the Magician, PHD (Prestidigitating Hound Dog)
Sam Eagle as Sir Sam of Eagle
Statler and Waldorf as Ye Olde People Who Heckle from the Balcony that's always there
Rizzo as The Owner of Rizzo's Plaques 
Sweetums as Sir Sweetums
Honeydew and Beaker as Sir Honeydew and Squire Beaker
Link Hogthrob as Sir Hogthrob
Swedish Chef as, um, Swedish Chef
Mahna Mahna and the Snouths as Ye Olde Running Gag

It's time to get things started
On the most sensational, 
inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we call the Muppet Show!

Last time on Muppet King Arthur, Kermit!Arthur drew Excalibur from the stone at the prompting of Janice!Lady of the Lake.  Sir Sam of Eagle was not impressed and demanded a recount.  Kermit!Arthur dueled Sweetums and won the Muppet onto his side.  Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay suggested Kermit!Arthur gather the greatest knights in the realm to protect him.  I got heckled out of my own review by Statler and Waldorf!

Waldorf: You must be a glutton for punishment to show your face back here.

Statler: If she's a glutton for punishment, what does that make us? ::guffaw guffaw::

We begin in Camelot where Kermit!Arthur is hosting Camelot's Got Talent to find the four greatest knights in the realm to join himself, Fozzie!Percival and Sir Sweetums at the Septagonal Table (I have no idea either, just go with it).  There's just one problem as far as Fozzie!Percival can see.

The contest opens with Sir Honeydew and his Squire Beaker showing off Sir Honeydew's microwave campfire.  I don't think the invention does what Sir Honeydew intended it to, but it turns the turkey into a cannon ball that manages to take out Squire Beaker.  Fozzie!Percival and Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay are impressed.

Next is a mysterious--

Mahna Mahna: Mysterious!

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!

Oh!  The running gag.  Sorry guys, I'd forgotten about that.  It started here:

And it looks like it's still going.  I will try to be more careful with my word choices so we can avoid that in the future.  

So next is a mys-- cloaked.  A cloaked figure.  Not a contestant, but Camilla!Guinevere.  Rolf!Merlin invited her to the ceremonies as a possible arranged marriage.  Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay is not pleased by this development.  But you know who is pleased by this development?  The Great Gonzo!Lancelot!  He budges in line and demands his chance to show off to the beautiful Camilla!Guinevere prove his worthiness as a knight to the great Kermit!Arthur.  Kermit!Arthur doesn't think it's fair to let Gonzo!Lancelot budge in line, but Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay insists that Gonzo!Lancelot proceed with the showing off.  

Gonzo!Lancelot jumps into his catapult and proceeds to prove himself the ultimate wingman!  Unfortunately, the poorly thought through decision of having the one-eyed cat Gaffer launch him and to wear heavy armor does not lead to Gonzo!Lancelot impressing the masses.

Waldorf: Bravo!

Statler: Encore!  Encore!

We then move on to the staring contest between Sir Hogthrob and Zoot.  Sir Hogthrob is unanimously declared the winner when it's discovered that Zoot has fallen asleep mid-contest.

Mahna Mahna: Mid-Contest!

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!

Oh!  Darn it!  I'm so sorry, readers.  I swear, from here on out I'm going to be super-careful with my word choice so we can avoid this.  

Waldorf: You know what would help with your word choices?     

Statler: Stop choosing them.  ::guffaw guffaw::

Next is the intermission where Kermit!Arthur takes a moment to get to know Camilla!Guinevere.  But, she only speaks in clucks and he's having trouble understanding her.  So he asks Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay to cast a spell so he can understand Camilla!Guinevere.  Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay turns him into a chicken, causing Gonzo!Lancelot to believe that he just got really lucky.  Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay turns Kermit!Arthur back before things get uncomfortable.

Mahna Mahna: Uncomfortable!

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!

Right... ah, let's move on to Sir Sam of Eagle.  He hasn't given up on his quest to usurp Arthur.  Now he is hosting a propaganda driven news show, Camelot U.S.A. (Unseat Silly Arthur).  He does his best to slander Camelot's Got Talent, but the only Muppets listing are Waldorf and Statler (because they're always there) and they're not impressed.

Waldorf: When are we ever impressed?

Statler: When we hear the word 'canceled'.  ::guffaw guffaw::

Back in Camelot, Kermit!Arthur and crew continue through several auditions which makes you realize that their task of finding four more knights to join them at the Septagonal Table is a lot more daunting than they first anticipated.  That is until the appearance of another mys... appearance of another knight concealing his identity.

Wait, is that...?  No, it can't be.  It's far to early for him to appear in this story, isn't it?  But that build and stature.  The way he holds himself.  It can only be...

It is!  It's Robin!Mordred!  Look at him!  Isn't he just so precious!  And tiny!  Isn't this just the cutest portrayal of Mordred you've ever seen!  It's perfect!  How adorable--

Mahna Mahna: Adorable!

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!

Um, ::cough:: Anyways, Robin!Mordred wants to be a knight of the Septagonal table.  But Kermit!Arthur insists that his nephew is far too young to join the knights.  Robin!Mordred pouts, but the running gag interrupts before they can really complete the conversation.  And Kermit!Arthur needs to get back judging Camelot's Got Talent.

Next up is Susan Boil singing 'I Dreamed a Dream'.  She is devastated to learn the Camelot's Got Talent is looking for knights, not singers.  Her plight becomes even more dire when Animal!Gawain shows up to show off his talent-- eating anything.  Assisting him is the Swedish Chef, who tries to cook up Susan Boil for the challenge.  Kermit!Arthur orders him to stop and Susan Boil manages to escape.  So Animal!Gawain eats the cauldron instead.

So that's it, folks.  The contest is compete and Kermit!Arthur presents his knights of the Septagonal Table: Sir Sweetums, Sir Fozzie!Percival, Sir Gonzo!Lancelot, Sir Hogthrob, Sir Honeydew, and Sir Animal!Gawain.  Each one is presented a plaque by Rizzo to place at their spot at the table.  

Unfortunately, the good citizens of Camelot aren't the brightest crayons in the box and mistake Rizzo's plaques for the plague and try to flee the city.  To bad the gates are closed and they're all locked in.  But wait!  The brave Rizzo races across the people and chews apart the rope causing the gate to fly up (I don't know) and the people are able to escape.  Impressed by Rizzo's show of skill and bravery, Kermit!Arthur knights him.  Which means that Kermit!Arthur now has eight knights for his seven sided table.  Someone is going to have to share.

Statler: Put him next to the one who eat everything!

Waldorf: That story can only end in happiness.

Statler: Yeah.  Ours!  ::guffaw guffaw::

In Kermit!Arthur's great moment of triumph, his greatest enemy makes a sudden and surprise appearance!  Sir Sam of Eagle has arrived and he demands the... you know.  Sir Sam of Eagle refuses to be a part of the running gag and is much better at avoiding certain words than I am.  Kermit!Arthur nudges him to it by promising its the last one.  Sir Sam of Eagle says the word 'nomination'--

Mahna Mahna: Nomination!

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!

-- amongst much griping, which proves to be a fatal distraction on his part.  Sir Sam of Eagle suddenly finds himself surrounded by the Knights of the Septagonal Table.  He is quickly tied up and loaded in Gonzo!Lancelot's catapult.  This time Gaffer's aim is perfect and Sir Same of Eagle finds himself exiled from Camelot.  Kermit!Arthur, the Knights of the Septagonal Table, Rolf!Merlin and Miss Piggy!Morgana Le Fay all settle down at the new table and toast their accomplishments.

Waldorf: So how long is it going to take you to review the next one of these?

Statler: Remember, we're not as young as we used to be.

Waldorf: She shouldn't have to wait that long to spare us, then.  ::guffaw guffaw::

Well, there might not be a next one.

Statler: Don't get our hopes up like this.

I'm serious.  Remember Fozzie!Percival's question about why the castle is called Camelot from the beginning?  Turns out it's because Rizzo screwed up on one of his last plaque orders.  Kermit!Arthur got Camelot and the camel lot got Excalibur Castle.  The editor wasn't amused and fired everyone.  For all I know, the rest of the trade is blank pages.

Waldorf: Well, we certainly hope so.

I loved this issue.  The beginning was a little slow with all the contestants who who were just there as cameos.  But I loved seeing how all the Muppets connected with the knights they were matched with.  Fozzie Bear as Percival was already perfect because of Percival's reputation as the 'fool' and the rest of the knights were just as good.  Gonzo was wonderfully matched as Lancelot because of his daredevil personality along with the joke of matching perfect Lancelot who never screws up with Gonzo who is great because he always screws up.  And using Animal as Gawain-- my heart!  It's a good mix of the later Gawain legends where he's unruly and a bit of an ass with the earlier legends with Animal's one track mind and desire to do what he loves with enthusiasm and passion.  And Robin as Mordred!  I was so excited, I did not expect him to show up until the last book.  But you can already see why Robin!Mordred might turn on his uncle which adds some coherency to the text that I really wasn't expecting.  

The art and coloring is top notch with Silvani and Cobain really getting not only the textural feeling of the Muppets but the facial expressions of all the characters are perfect and really convey a sense of character that the first issue was missing.  With everything coming together like this, I'm so excited for the remaining two chapters of this book. 

So stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Kermit!Arthur and the Knights of the Septagonal--

Mahna Mahna: Septagonal!

Seriously?  I've been saying that the whole damn review and you choose now to jump all over it?

Snouths: Doo Dooo Doo Doo Doo!  Doo Doo Doo!  Doo Doo Doo!  Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Dooo Doo!

Disclaimer: I do not own the Muppets.  Especially not Waldorf and Statler.  Their heckling bits were only included because it seemed like the thing to do in a Muppet review.  Credit for the Mahna Mahna running gag goes to the creators of the Muppet King Arthur comic and it was brilliant.  I make no money off this blog.

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