Review: Kings Watch #4
THE COBRA has engineered the most devastating event to hit planet Earth in millennia! The world is under siege from the forces of a nightmare land, and only FLASH GORDON, MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN and THE PHANTOM know how to battle the hordes of Mongo! But they’re spread thin and time isn’t on their side…even Cobra doesn’t realize what he’s unleashed and now faces a life of servitude…to MING THE MERCILESS!
The penultimate installment of Kings Watch, the story uniting Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, and Flash Gordon, hits this week in issue #4. The story is written by Jeff Parker with art by Marc Laming. Jordan Boyd handles colors with Simon Bowland providing lettering. No teaser question this time. This series has been great and this issue is no exception. Just read on for the review.
When last we saw our heroes, they failed in their task. Cobra was able to open the portal and Ming the Merciless, along with his minions, stepped foot on our world. The bridge that allowed the forces of Mongo to come to our world also had a devastating side effect. Every form of electronics was rendered completely useless. Earth is largely defenseless without use of computers, so now Mongo can go about colonizing the earth. The problem is the only way Mongo thinks you can colonize a world is to scorch the earth and break every form of resistance. As the foot soldiers are let loose on the world, only our three heroes have any hope of repelling the invasion. It’s a seemingly impossible job, but can Flash, Mandrake, and The Phantom pull off the impossible? Can three heroes stand against the assembled might of Mongo?
Parker writes a stellar issue. Ever since the first installment it has been a nonstop, pulse-pounding adventure, but last month’s issue and this month’s entry really ramps things up into a fever pitch. The heroes failed. Ming is on earth. Now they can only hope to mount a resistance and try to set things right. Things are explained in great detail and plans that are set into motion start to pay off. Parker finds the right balance between action and story development which isn’t always easy to do in big events like this. Laming’s art is fantastic as always. Flash, Mandrake, and Phantom have never looked better. The amount of detail and background work Laming puts into the page makes this one of the rare comics you flip back through several more times after finishing the story. There’s a lot more weird and wonderful creatures this time around, so it’s an added treat. The Phantom really steps up story wise in this issue and his hideout is a real standout for this issue. Laming’s art is elevated thanks to Boyd’s colors. There are a lot of fires and explosions, and that’s always a great thing to see when you have a good colorist.
Bottom Line: Kings Watch delivers on all fronts. There’s only one problem with Parker and Laming’s story- it’s only five issues long. Dynamite does pulp well, but these three heroes are a whole new ballgame. The wait for the finale is going to be unbearable. 4.5/5