Written by Ben Acker & Heath Corson
Art by Dan McDaid with Bob Q
Colors by Omi Remalante with Bob Q
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Published by Dynamite Comics
Release Date: 06/08/2016
“Magic, it can be argued, is the oldest science” – Mandrake
KINGS QUEST #2 hits stands this week following last month’s premiere issue which featured a fantastic story from Acker and Corson and which as expected brought back some pretty amazing memories of these classic characters. My love of comics started from reading newspaper comic strips which featured the daily adventures of Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician. I absolutely fell in love with these stories and have been following their adventures in graphic novels ever since Marvel Comics released Defenders of the Earth many moons ago.
This most recent run of our Kings Feature Syndicate heroes (starting in 2011 with Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist) currently being published by Dynamite Comics has taken these beloved characters and their universe to an entirely new level of comic book nirvana, thanks to imaginative storytelling and incredible art.
ISSUE ONE SPOILERS AHEAD:
Okay so I’ve been waiting to write about the first issue cliffhanger/reveal for just over a month now and it’s a significant one, especially if you care and have been following these characters for decades like many have. Dale Arden (who our heroes are on mission to rescue) is now married to Ming the Merciless. Much like what Jeff Parker did in Kings Watch with Narda (Mandrake’s wife) betraying her husband and becoming The Cobra (the new head of the snake), Acker and Corson have surprised readers with this unthinkable revelation.
Our heroes have separated with Mandrake, Prince Valiant, and Zarkov facing an undead army on the planet Coralia where a catastrophic event has just taken place. Between Valiant marveling at outer space and Zarkov’s bickering with Mandrake, I really enjoyed seeing these three together. Zarkov with his cynicism and his penchant for booze was perfect comic relief and a great compliment to Mandrake and Valiant. Meanwhile, Flash Gordon, Phantom Lothar, Phantom Jen, and Jungle Jim are on their way to Mongo in an attempt to rescue Dale, and what happens at the end of this issue can only be described as a bizarre love triangle plus one. The look on Gordon’s face is priceless, but what happens next after the initial shock should snap our heroes out of it rather quickly.
McDaid and Remalante continue to impress and their style is really growing on me, as they capture the chaos of battle (on Coralia and in space bordering Mongo) brilliantly. Also credited with illustrations in this issue is Bob Q. (Bob Q. Siege) and it turns out that he should have also been credited in issue one and will be handling more of the art moving forward or at least in issue three.
The second issue brings more of the same remarkable writing we saw in the first issue, delivering a perfect mix of humor and drama to go along with all the action packed sequences. Acker and Corson are capturing the spirit of the classic Kings Syndicate comic strip characters and keeping them alive with spectacular new adventures. Even if you are not a fan or have never read any of the old comics that features these characters, Kings Quest is something all comic fans should enjoy and a book that needs to be added to your pull list immediately.
REVIEW: KINGS QUEST #2
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)