Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review - King's Watch #1

"On final approach to...my backyard."

Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician walk into a bar. Wait, that's not it. Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician join up in a new book from Dynamite Entertainment called King's Watch #1 and it's got all the craziness you would expect from the three of them teaming up.

The first issue is written by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Marc Laming, colored by Jordan Boyd and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Flash Gordon has partnered with Dr. Zarkov to create a jet that can travel in space, giving him a firsthand look at a series of lights making their way toward the planet. The Phantom is dealing with a new species of predator in the jungle and Mandrake the Magician seems to think that something majorly evil is on its way towards humanity. Meanwhile, Arden is one of many who is having a shared nightmare portending death and destruction. Naturally, the three "kings" are going to be called upon to save the world.

Parker's been tasked with a pretty hefty order in writing King's Watch and he does a great job with the first issue. The three main characters are given plenty of introduction to help new readers catch on, as Parker places them in their natural settings to handle the woes of the world. The overarching story isn't exactly new with the end of the world on the horizon, but it does provide a sufficient adversary for the heroes of the day. The first issue also moves along at a great pace and doesn't feel too disjointed, despite having to juggle "origins" of three major characters.

Laming's art is very formal. Characters are depicted with effective facial expressions and well-defined lines, coming together for a clean presentation. He does a great job with the main characters, offering readers the familiar looks of each one that helps put the book in context. The Phantom's scenes are probably the best done and most action-packed, primarily because of what he's dealing with. That's not to say the other panels and pages are bad; just a lot less slower on the action front.

King's Watch #1 is a great first issue that revisits some historically major characters. It'll be very exciting to watch them find their ways to one another and team up against the impending evil. Dynamite trusts Parker with the duties and he handles them very deftly, offering readers an adventurous story packed with intrigue. Fans of the characters will definitely want to check it out, but it also gives other readers something else that's worth checking out if they're looking for something new to read.

King's Watch #1 is available now with interiors below.


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