The sardonic, somewhat bad-tempered ex-wrestler, now grumpy monster fighter, King! is back in issue 2 of writer Thomas Hall and artist Daniel Bradford’s new comic series, King!, created for Blacklist Studios. It is, I’m happy to say, even better than issue one, which was itself no slouch at all. Issue 2 begins in the aftermath of the zombie- and Death God-infested confrontation of issue one (see my review and an interview with Hall and Bradf0rd on Undead Backbrain). King is regaling a skeptical barmaid with his exploits when an undead leftover from those events turns up and violent jollity ensues.
Impressed patrons admire (and as it happens recognise) King’s modus operandi and beg for help, an appeal to altruism in a matter of vampires that is given greater force by wads of cash. The scene is now set for a titanic struggle in an isolated community between King and the extremely non-sparkly bloodsucker hordes. We also meet up with an unexpected visitor from issue one, whose presence and commentary on events is indicative of the fact that these are no isolated incidents, but steps along a continuing narrative line.
The textual/visual narrative flow is even smoother than in the previous issue and the humour more finely tuned, which makes King! issue 2 loads of fun and a pleasure to read. With the introduction of some of King’s personal history as a wrestler and as the arcing storyline ramps up, there’s no reason for any comic fan not to take the series in a loving stranglehold and clutch it to their metaphorical breast.
In all its 32-page, full-colour visual glory, it’s a “Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Monsterfest” that doesn’t disappoint. King! issue 2 becomes available on December 27 for US$3.99 from Blacklist Studios. Highly recommended.
- Reviewed by Robert Hood.