In Mother F. Goose, the Three Little Pigs are slimeball casino owners, Little Miss Muffet is a cop (with arachnophobia), and the Three Blind Mice are visually impaired assassins. Writer Frank Tieri and artist Joe Eisma pick up the twisted tale from Little Red Hood and Along Came A Spider in an attempt to further ruin your childhood.
If you consider traditional fairy tales and their purpose, the concept of Mother F. Goose isn’t too far off base. Allegories that teach kids not to be lazy or dishonest, or that they should bathe regularly and listen to their parents, lest they be eaten by a wolf. They’re all loosely based in real life situations, though, and some are even based on real historical events.
Tieri plays around quite a bit with callbacks in this gritty procedural. There are the obvious parallels between characters in this story and the fairy tales that inspire each, but there are also several nods to Pulp Fiction and a few other pop culture references. It’s not terribly deep or thought provoking, but it’s exactly what it sets out to be, a good hard poke in the ribs of the entire genre.
Joe Eisma and Matt Herms developed a brilliant visual signature that takes this absolute nonsense story and demands you take it seriously. There is one (small) issue with the blood. Blood spatter and pooling are notoriously difficult to get right, and there are a couple spots where it just doesn’t work.
Coming into this review, I honestly wasn’t aware of the previous two installments in this grown up fairy tale world, and that may actually work in the book’s favor. It works well enough on its own, and foreknowledge may have spoiled it for me. As it stands, it’s all right. It’s not fantastic, but I’m not mad at it either. It feels a little rushed, even in the expanded “Prestige Format.”
Mother F. Goose treads a fine line between dark humor and bad taste. It’s clever, but hangs out in a safe space that isn’t overly inventive. Might have benefited from being stretched into a three or four chapter mini.