Review: Kings Watch #1
Panic spreads across the world. Strange phenomena fills the skies. Millions have nightmares of wild lands filled with horrible creatures… then wake to find the monsters are real. What are three men willing to sacrifice to save us all? Superstar writer Jeff Parker (Dark Avengers, Red She-Hulk) and artist Marc Laming (Planet of the Apes) deliver the earth-crushing event of 2013, featuring Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician like you’ve never seen them!
The new multi-character crossover from Dynamite bringing together Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician kicks off today with the release of Kings Watch #1. The story is written by Jeff Parker with art by Marc Laming. Jordan Boyd provides colors with Simon Bowland handling lettering. So is Kings Watch worth tuning in?
All across the world a strange light illuminates the skies. The people of earth can’t escape the terror while they sleep either. Millions of people have the same nightmare of a savage land filled with creatures riding even weirder monsters. Three men are trying to figure out what is going on as best they can. The Phantom watches over Bangalla, East Africa. The mysterious Mandrake the Magician watches from his Northern California home. Flash Gordon takes to the skies with Dr. Zarkov to probe and see what the lights look like from space. All the while a mysterious doomsday cult is searching for the Kings Watch and a certain crystal that is alive. What is this weird and mysterious danger menacing the world? What happens that brings our three heroes together to stand as Earth’s last line of defense?
Jeff Parker writes a jam-packed and intriguing introductory issue. We get rough sketches of our three leads and each gets fairly equal page time. There are a lot of questions raised and pieces are moved into place. I would describe this issue more as a prologue than the issue that gets everything kicked up into high gear and rolling along. It’s a great issue no matter what label you want to slap on it. Laming’s art is fantastic. The character work is great and he’s able to really show the wide range of emotions in play throughout the story. He also presents some fantastical creatures and great action when we see an elephant face off against a dinosaur-like creature. Boyd’s colors are bright and vibrant. The skies during the strange phenomenon are astounding and really otherworldly (as they should be). The jungle scenes are particularly fantastic. The colors make a few of the backgrounds look near photorealistic.
Bottom Line: Kings Watch #1 is a great appetizer for the main course to come. Parker gives us a good look at our three characters, but he whets our appetites more than anything. If a first issue in a miniseries leaves you hungry for more, it did its job and did it well. Kings Watch looks to be a promising tale reintroducing us to the King Features heroes. 4/5