by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo
After a very exciting and very unique first issue, Joshua Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo are back with the second issue of King. After the fall of mankind and the influx of strange creatures, myths and anything else that could be conjured, King is left fighting the good fight. With a fun tempo and a solid teaser, this creative team set readers up for the second chapter and it comes in with the same spirit and entertainment as the first.
King is an interesting lead character and he makes for a very enjoyable narrator to this bizarre universe that the creators has crafted. After briefly meeting King’s sister at the conclusion of issue one, Fialkov brings readers up to speed quite quickly on Queen and what the youth of these two was like. The opening sequence that highlights a typical morning for the two as kids is truly a blast. Chang’s panels and Maiolo’s color palette through the sequence are spot on and it is a wonderful starting point for the second chapter. Fialkov is able to capture so much about the two, their upbringing and their relationship in just a matter of panels. As the story cuts back and moves forward with the feud, the book’s sense of fun is abundant. Not only are the narration boxes and bits of dialogue on point, but Chang and Maiolo also bring forth such vibrancy in the art.
While it may be just the way things seemed and King may have completely had things under control, the book takes a swerve when the titular character is nearly killed. Instead, he is rescued by a hooded archer, and the two escape through a portal she conjures in the ground. The sequences that follow are a great balance of intrigue and world building as Fialkov introduces readers to the heroine who seems to have no reliable source of origin. Her existence is nearly as strange as the discovery she makes about King. Meanwhile, Chang and Maiolo have placed the interactions in a jungle setting that feels almost dreamlike in its depiction and contrast to the previous setting. Each of the characters depicted thus far in the story have been wholly their own design, and this new individual carries a similar charm of originality. And, just as the first issue left readers with a solid tease, so to do the second as Fialkov drops a very interesting piece as the final page turns.
The world that has been created so far is really quite fun. While the plot progression has been rather simplistic thus far, Fialkov’s script and the art talents of Chang and Maiolo really deliver a quality story. The costuming and choices for characters like Queen or even her high-tech bear guards all fascinate so greatly about the state of the world and how these things came to be. The creators have managed to make this very strange universe feel natural and lived-in and in these two issues, they have certainly delivered.