Review: Kings Watch #5
Final Issue!!!!! The Cobra and Ming The Merciless have dealt our world an apocalyptic blow that will change the course of the 21st century! In the 11th hour, Flash Gordon, Mandrake The Magician and The Phantom will all make the toughest decisions of their lives for the sake of Earth! Daring risks and ultimate sacrifices. The biggest adventure of the century just got bigger! It all ends–and begins–here!
Kings Watch comes to an end this month with the release of issue #5. The story is written by Jeff Parker with art by Marc Laming. Jordan Boyd handles colors with Simon Bowland tackling lettering. The series has been pretty great so far, but can it keep it up for the big finale?
Ming’s invasion of the earth is starting to be pushed back thanks to Dr. Zarkov’s weapons, but the planet’s technology is still offline. The Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, Zarkov, Dale, Lothar, and Karam have started to rally the troops and turn the tide of battle, but Ming still has a few tricks up his sleeves. With The Cobra back planet side to oversee the portals, the endgame has truly begun. While the trio of heroes have won a few battles, can they win the war? Sacrifices will have to be made if there is any hope of prevailing, but who is going to be doing the sacrificing?
Parker writes an all-out thriller of a finale. There’s action from page one and it doesn’t really let up until the finale. The characters have all been established well in the first few issues, so the ending is just throwing all the toys together and having some fun. There is still plenty of drama and emotion in the finale, but this is a fun story. Seeing Mandrake, Phantom, and Flash Gordon together is pretty fun even if the stakes are serious and the consequences are big. Parker finally gives us more Phantom. The Ghost Who Walks has had some great scenes in the previous issues, but this month really is dedicated to him, what he does, and what he stands for. Reviews are supposed to be objective, but I have to say I was pleased to see Parker’s Phantom. I’d be tickled to see Parker do more Phantom in the future. Laming’s art is great as usual. Issue four really brought the action, but number five really lets Laming let loose on all fronts. The artist has a great eye for action and presents some truly sweeping and impressive scenes. The landscapes are brilliant and the creature and character work is impressive, crisp, and clean. Boyd’s colors are in perfect step with Laming’s art. Things are bright and explosive.
Bottom Line: Kings Watch goes out on an incredibly high note. Parker has updated the cast of characters and left them in a fantastic place for future stories. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of The Phantom and Mandrake. Parker is already working with Flash Gordon, so hopefully his new compatriots aren’t far behind. 5/5
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