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Kings Watch #4

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by Jeff Parker, Marc Laming & Jordan Boyd

With this week’s release of the fourth issue of Kings Watch, we now have one more issue till the conclusion of this hard hitting mini-series from Dynamite. Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom along with their small band of friends are trying to stop Ming the Merciless and his invading hordes of monsters to earth. The beginning of this issue seems like a bleak time for the people of earth but when our heroes put their minds together, the tides begin to change by the end of this issue.

Even though there was a gap between this issue and the last one, the way Parker writes these characters and plots this story make it incredibly easy to get back into enjoying Kings Watch. Lately, there has been a revival of past heroes to compete in a market already flooded with current modern heroes. The ones that stand out our series by writers who know and actually care about the characters they’re writing. In the case of Jeff Parker and Kings Watch, you really feel he has a grasp on what makes each of these heroes unique and still stays true to their pulp roots while updating them just enough to make them interesting to modern readers. Even with a more elaborate look at the evil Ming the Merciless this issue, Parker still is able to nail all of the familiar key elements one might remember from old Flash Gordon stories.

All previous issues of Kings Watch have looked great and this issue is no exception. The art team of Laming and Boyd seemed to have quite a good time with this latest issue. With Ming’s forces invading earth, gave these artists the perfect opportunity to make some great looking monsters and beastmen who ride them.  This issue’s art is the most intense, because there is not only the great pulp art with a detailed modern twist that is familiar with Kings Watch but with all of the supernatural themes at play makes this whole issue a crazy amount of fun. A personal favorite moment is when Mandrake used his powers to disguise our group of heroes as some sort spiked, razor toothed hell worm to scare the Mongo troops. Heck, even the design of The Phantom’s cave looked great both on the inside and out.

So far this has been a fun little mini-series that came out swinging from issue one and has yet to let up. Only one issue remains, it’ll be interesting to see how this story wraps up. As long as this creative team goes out with as much vigor as it started, Kings Watch will be an incredibly successful series that people should check out either now or when it’s collected.

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