Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov / Artist: Bernard Chang / Jet City Comics
The future is weird. Set in an dytopic future Los Angeles with dinosaurs, robots, and anthropomorphic talking animals, King follows the last human alive as he tries to find the Life-Seed – the one thing that can possibly bring the Earth back to some semblance of harmony. The premiere issue of King wastes no time trying to explain the imaginative new world, using ongoing narration captions as we follow King’s commute to work, fighting random beasts along the way.
As you try to piece together what happened to LA, one thing you do know is that death is so prevalent you learn not to bat an eye. The body count will be high in this one, and unless we have a particular reason to believe otherwise, each random character is subject to die rather casually. Everyone except King obviously, and maybe one other character who need remain nameless. So far this is practically a 1-man cast, which works in the short term but can’t last forever. Eventually we’ll need someone to care for him, or for him to care for someone else, and I’m interested to see that connection add dynamics to the book.
Chang’s artwork does a great job with landscapes, capturing fun angles as King swings, jumps, and climbs across the ruins of LA. He also flexes some creative muscle imaging all types of hybrid species in such a fantastical world. Oh, and there’s something called Karate Robot Bear. There’s nothing to say about that that isn’t already said in its name, so we can just let that one speak for itself.
Overall, this isn’t the type of title I would typically pull from the shelves, but that would be my own mistake because King has the potential to be really fun. It has a lot to juggle between immense world building, character development, and plot exposition, but if it can pull it off this should be a great series. Not to mention it has a Person of Color leading as the last human alive. That alone deserves my cash.
7.5 out of 10