By Laramie Martinez
Flash Gordon: King’s Cross #1 is a great introduction to a team up series. More often than not you’ll find team up books falling into the same traps. They bog themselves down by going to all kinds of lengths to show us how and why each of the team members decided to join forces. Often there will be some kind of misunderstanding that must be brought to a head and then resolved before the team can actually focus on the true problem. King’s Cross skips all that, instead the issue focuses on showing the readers who the heroes are as individuals, giving us glimpses into their personalities and styles.
I have to applaud Jeff Parker for the pacing in this issue. It wastes no time introducing the characters and unlike other team up books, it doesn’t try to cram a conflict into a story that doesn’t need one. Parker uses the space in the issue as a highlight reel of sorts, showing us what makes each character unique. The Phantoms are a no nonsense bunch to dish out justice, Mandrake is a crafty magician with a little humor, and Flash is of course the good looking show off of the group. The only character who I felt didn’t get a proper introduction was Dale, her only unique trait seems to be her beef with the younger phantom. But for the most part this book is a smooth story that provides great action that serves a purpose.
Jesse Hamm’s work is another great aspect of this book. While some of his work borders on being too cartoony, for the most part he mixes the humor and the action well. His scenes have great comedic panels and fluid action sequences. The colorist, Grace Alliston, also does a great job here. Her color to shadow ratio is spot on for this series. It invokes a sense of fun and mystery that calls back to what made those pupls great in the first place.
You’re going to have fun with this book. Even if you are not a fan of the series, you won’t regret picking this one up. It is shaping up to be a classic adventure story with grand schemes and daring heroes.
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Jesse Hamm
Colorist: Grace Alliston
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment