Written by Ben Acker & Heath Corson
Art by Dan McDaid
Colored by Omi Remalante
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Published by Dynamite Comics
Release Date: 05/04/2016
This week it’s the return of the Defenders of the Earth with Dynamite Comics next King series KINGS QUEST #1. The usual suspects are back, in Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, Phantom Lothar, and the new Phantom (Jen Harris). This time though, they are bringing along some new friends, as we see Prince Valiant along for the ride.
King’s Quest is the follow-up to last year’s King event that saw solo King titles that included Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake, Prince Valiant, and Jungle Jim (who makes his appearance near the end of the first issue).
The story this time around centers on a rescue mission, as our heroes must save fearless reporter extraordinaire Dale Arden from the clutches of you guessed it, Ming the Merciless. Before you start assuming that this is just another predictable good versus evil Flash/Ming story, you must know that this is not your great grandfather’s King Features Syndicate comic strip. These stories are well written with fantastic art. Let’s review.
First the visuals from Dan McDaid (Doctor Who Magazine) were a nice surprise. I always like to see how other artists might portray some of my favorite characters, and although some of the illustrations were a bit unorthodox, others stood out brilliantly (like the giant Jungle Man-Thing). Omi Remalante (King Flash Gordon) adds a nice layer of colors that works really well here, most notably his blue and purple shades. Together McDaid and Remalante give our heroes a slightly more contemporary look, while still capturing the classic pulp feel.
The writing is the big winner here, as Ben Acker (Deadpool) and Heath Corson (Bizarro) have scripted an amazing first issue that was both funny and full of action. The story is narrated by Jen Harris (new Phantom) as she provides some comic relief along the way while never leading readers to believe that the situation is not dire. There is an unsuspecting twist at the end, which seriously complicates the quest that our heroes have embarked on. From Kings Watch in 2013, to the King Crossover event last year, that has led us to Kings Quest. It’s these types of stories that have made the King Feature Syndicate series some of the most enjoyable comics I’ve read over the last few years.
REVIEW: KINGS QUEST #1
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)