Thursday, 16 June 2016

King Review (Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang)


Los Angeles, sometime in the future. Humanity is extinct except for one dude: King, who works for the LA Department of Reclamation as a Hero/Adventurer. His mission? Find the Life Seed and save the world.

It’s easy to summarise the book like that but once you start looking closely at the detail you’ll notice the piss-poor job Joshua Hale Fialkov has done with basic things like establishing character motivation and world-building. How did the world end and why is it populated by mythical gods, humanoid animal mutants, dinosaurs, and sentient robots? No idea, it just is. What exactly will the Life Seed do and what does “saving the world” entail? No idea. Who established the Department of Reclamation and what’s up with these fantasy-themed job titles - “Hero/Adventurer”? Pass. Plain incompetent storytelling. 

What Fialkov does well is make jokes about LA traffic that LA residents might get but anyone else won’t. I did like that the “LAPD” are a robotic religious cult of Terminator-types who attack with the chant, “It has a gun!”. It adds up to very little though.

The only positive about this comic is artist Bernard Chang whose recent run on Green Lantern Corps pays off with King. Both titles require him to draw dozens of imaginative otherworldly characters and whether he’s drawing karate robot bears, dinosaurs, gods or monsters, he’s doing good work. 

But Chang’s art isn’t enough to save this mess of a comic. Fialkov flubs what could’ve been a fun series, instead creating a badly-written and clumsy storyline out of a generic “saving the world” setup - like much of his work King reads very poorly. Avoid this and anything else with this guy’s name on!

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