Review - 3 Floyds: Alpha King #1 (@ImageComics)

"We taste revenge."

The life of a small brewer is anything but glamorous at first. You have to contend with finding the right mix for your recipe, getting your beer into people's glasses and hordes of barbarians who want your girl. The latter is definitely the exception to the rule, but Image Comics proves to enjoy the exception in 3 Floyds: Alpha King #1. The issue is created by Nick Floyd and Brian Azzarello, written by Azzarello, illustrated by Simon Bisley, colored by Ryan Brown and lettered by Jared K. Fletcher.

Set a long time ago in a suburb far, far away (Munster, Indiana), Brewer and CiCi are producing a home-brew so distinct that it attracts a monstrous king and his horrid minions from another dimension. Swords are unsheathed, lines are crossed and sieges are laid for the rise of the Alpha King!

Brewers think very highly of their brews and with good reason--they reflect their hard work and creativity. It only makes sense that Floyd and Azzarello team up on a script that blends together the more routine aspect of brewing with a completely insane fantasy aspect. The barbarians in 3 Floyds: Alpha King #1 are hellbent on pillaging and looting above all else and they don't care if a small brewer stands in their path. The dialogue is rife with plenty of coarse language throughout that reflects the savage attitude of the barbarians, but it also blends in plenty of humor in terms of the characters coming to terms with the reality of one another. Azzarello doesn't take it easy at all with presenting the action, throwing the reader right into the thick of a world full of anger and demanding barbarians.

The coarse personalities of the characters are mirrored perfectly by Bisley's illustrations. The barbarians are drawn in a way that distorts their physiques in an effort to exaggerate their stature and reinforce the notion that they're not very pleasant individuals. There's definitely a heavy fantasy influence drawn on by Bisley in that the barbarians are extremely muscular and violent. The panels are laid out in a pretty straightforward way, with clean square and rectangles accurately framing each scene of the action. Brown's colors emphasize yellows and greens for the barbarians and more subtle blacks for the humans, helping to underscore the great differences between the two groups.

3 Floyds: Alpha King #1 sits comfortably at the intersection of brewmaster and beastmaster. The arrival of the barbarians in Indiana lends the book an Evil Dead feel of sorts with the unsuspecting brewer forced to find a new strength to save his girlfriend. Azzarello's script is really entertaining and moves along very quickly. The artwork by Bisley is pretty messy in a positive way and breathes life into the barbarians as they traipse their way across the pages. 3 Floyds: Alpha King #1 is a very enjoyable book that doesn't take itself very seriously and knows what makes it tick.

3 Floyds: Alpha King #1 is in stores May 4.