Review - King's Road #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"'Scuse me, your highness. Emergency."

Everyone knows about worlds full of elves, orcs and wizards. Everyone knows about worlds full of newspaper routes, suburbs and figuring out dinner. Very rarely do those two worlds come together, but when they do you can expect fireworks. Dark Horse Comics has those fireworks on display in King's Road #1. The issue is written by Peter Hogan, illustrated by Phil Winslade and Staz Johnson and colored by Douglas Sirois.

This 48-page special includes all King’s Road chapters from Dark Horse Presents by Peter Hogan and Phil Winslade—and an additional issue’s worth of story drawn by the new King’s Road art team. The creators continue this tale of a family on the run from magical, other-dimensional monsters.

The premise behind King's Road #1 is pretty clever, as it subverts the typical fantasy concept by modernizing it a bit. Hogan depicts the main characters of King's Road #1 as a typical suburban family, only the father and mother have some secrets they haven't told their children about their lineage. The script introduces the reader to them in a somewhat amusing fashion, with the parents trying to raise their children without the burden of their history. Hogan's writing is very tight and successfully juggles exposition and story, giving the reader plenty to take in. Where Hogan really succeeds is blending together the realms of fact and fiction in a way that feels adventurous.

Winslade matches Hogan's script with art that's top-notch. Much of the book is essentially a chase book and Winslade handles illustrates characters chasing one another with ease. Each page is filled with action and Winslade pretty effortlessly moves from pages full of monsters fighting to a normal day in the life of the suburbs. There's an array of page and panel layouts throughout that keep the look fresh. What's most fascinating about the art is how expressive many of the characters are, mostly in the face of danger; Winslade and Johnson provide facial expressions that run the gamut and really let the reader in on what they're going through at that moment. Sirois does a great job with colors as well in filling the book with a wide range of primary colors.

King's Road #1 is a lot of fun. The delivery is handled very well and comes together in a way that lends itself to the enjoyment. Hogan engages the reader from start to finish in offering a tale that's pretty creative and successfully mixes fantasy with reality. The artwork by Winslade and Johnson is a great fit for the story and taps into the frenetic action exceptionally well. King's Road #1 is a really enjoyable read that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

King's Road #1 is in stores February 10.