by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo
What if all of the myths were real? The different gods, creatures and all of the other mythical beings are not simply stories and fables, but tales of real creatures that would one day come to Earth and attempt to take over? In Joshua Hale Fialkov’s new series, King, the lead character is the last remaining human in a world infested by such creatures along with many, many others to follow. The opening issue of this brand new series is completely original and a ton of fun.
In an attempt to restore balance and attempt to keep the world habitable, King works with a group interested in seeking out “the life seed” which is said to be the key to fixing the way the world is, possibly setting it back to the way it once was. Fialkov writes the lead character with a real levity and his banter and overall attitude as conveyed through narration sets a tone for the story. King is a very strange book that fuses dozens of unrecognizable creatures together in a future, post-apocalyptic version of this world. Fialkov is an excellent writer who is able to capture and convey tone and personality through his character with certain immediacy. Within pages, readers can fully understand the approach Fialkov is taking with this book and it is impressive just how efficiently he can reach such a point. King is a ton of fun to follow, and while it is not exactly clear who he is and what is going on, his personality is enjoyable enough to follow.
A large piece of the book, including the tone set and the enjoyment of the issue, is the art by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo. ‘Vibrant’ is the best way to describe the artwork on display in King. The book feels like it is actually glowing a bit as Maiolo’s colors shine and pop. For a world in shambles following a devastating apocalypse and the fall of mankind, Chang and Maiolo have come to a very different conclusion about just how that place should look than most would. Early on, King finds himself facing down three gods from Olympus and has to battle them on a rainbow road on his way to work. Described as a story influenced by Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, Chang’s kinetic art style, mixed with Maiolo’s colors certainly capture the energy and tone of Raimi’s work. King ends up being a book that is wholly different but incredibly enjoyable to experience.
Despite the book introducing a number of new creatures and a brand new world order, Fialkov and the creative team on King keep the first issue from feeling overwhelming. With a curious premise and a decent ending teaser, it will certainly be fun to follow this series as it progresses.