Comic Stack 08/19/15 – King #1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Bernard Chang (Illustrator)
Publisher: Jet City Comics (August 19, 2015)
Author Information: Website
Tiara’s Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me via Netgalley. I would like to thank the publisher for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed from here forward are my own.
King is the last human on earth. At least, we think he is during the course of this book. Humanity had been living on an apocalyptic earth for the last 300 or so years they’d existed until all humans eventually died with the exception of King. Now, King survives in a terrifying landscape along side various mutated creatures that now roam the earth. These creatures are both intelligent and barbaric, seeming almost human in their day to day endeavors, even if daily life is tinged with weirdness. Despite being the only human left, King has a job working for a reclamation agency which has him scouring the land in search of something called the “Seed of Life,” which will purportedly make life better for everyone on earth.
I try to take it easy on first issues that I read because it’s hard to say where a story might (or might not go) in the future. This is one of those books that could turn out amazing or it could fall off the cliff and tumble over into the deep end. I want to get this out of the way first. The art was amazing. I can’t say that I’ve ever read anything that Bernard Chang illustrated, but this book was an excellent mash-up of the beautiful and the ugly. It’s very vivid with most of the colors, but these colors are used to paint this decaying, exotic earth that King belongs to.
This was an interesting start to King’s story, if nothing else, and the ending of this issue piqued my interest with the introduction of a new character. This may be a little too weird for some people depending on tastes. We learn a little about what happened to humanity and meet the various oddities that King faces in his day to day life. Some part of this story is written with so much finesse and some parts of this story feel like Fialkov is trying a bit too hard, especially with some of the slang, which felt too much like “cool kid” talk. (However, I tried to be forgiving because King’s world is upside down.)
I did expect a little more diversity in character behavior being as there are no humans aside from King, and we’re treated to anecdotes about how intelligent these creatures are but they’re still very, very violent. Most of these creatures just felt human and a little on the trope-y side, such as the hybrid duck creature in a motorcycle gang who confronts King and makes derogatory remarks about him only being one species. However, this series has potential. I can see it in the book. I’m interested enough to keep cautiously going with this series, and honestly, it’s still better than 90% of the mainstream comics I’ve been reading lately. Fingers crossed that this turns into something special.
Despite what I’ve been told, there are no cheetah ladies trying to mate with King in this particular issue, but there are tentacles and that makes it all worthwhile. Tentacles always factor into my final rating.