Writer: Greg Pak / Artist: Mirko Colak / Dark Horse Comics
There’s always more room for Wild West fantasy comics and don’t ever let anyone tell you different. East of West is a master class in world building, genre building, and high-minded sci-fi concepts not often explored in comics. The Sixth Gun is always an ambitious, long-running exercise in storytelling. In this same vein, Greg Pak brings his own offering to the table with Kingsway West.
The book takes place in a version of America where the discovery of a substance called unobtanium….I mean vibranium…I mean spice….I mean “red gold” creates a shift and power and politics that leaves the US, China, and Mexico at war for this stuff. This makes for a world where you’re just as likely to run into dragons and magic as you are to end up in a shootout with grizzled six gun toting bad guys. It’s best not to get caught up in the details this early in the story since the book itself doesn’t seem to. The story focuses on Kingsway Law, a loner with a quick draw and a chip on his shoulder. Think in the vein of The Man With No Name if he were played by Ken Watanabe. The story gets down to business fairly quickly even though it could stand to give us a little more of Kingsway and his wife which was a nice opportunity to get to know our hero and tossed aside a little too soon.
Mirko Colak’s artwork seems to focus more on the background and environments than it does on the characters. That’s not to say the people are badly rendered, but clearly, the reader is meant to take in the gritty, chaotic world America has been turned into. That said, the character designs are nice and distinctive. Kingsway is a highly memorable looking lead that I look forward to seeing in cosplay in the near future.
Bottom Line: It could use a little fleshing out in terms of world building and character backstory, but Pak’s fun dialogue and interesting initial premise both make for a decent start that has us looking forward to next month.
8 Duels At High Noon out of 10