By Laramie Martinez
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #2 continues to stick to it’s pulpy roots, with the heroes exploring a mysterious island home to an evil sorcerer. We get to see each character have their moment in the sun while battling the insane kind of a challenges you only get to see in comics. If you’re looking for weird sights and devil-may-care adventure, pick up this issue, it’s got both in spades.
This issue reminded me of an old computer game I used to play when I was a kid. It was called 3D ULTRA PINBALL: The Lost Continent and it combined pulpy adventure hooks, mad scientists, hidden temples and dinosaurs for an experience that stuck with me for almost 20 years. Something about that strange mishmash of all the things I loved at the time made for a unique experience. I got the same feeling while reading this book. It’s just ridiculous. Heroes fighting monsters with their bare hands, magicians conjuring strange creatures out of thin air, and daring escapes aerial make for a great issue. There’s also a little cheesy humor thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t expecting much when I started reading this series but I’m glad I did, it doesn’t offer much in terms of substance or suspense, but it makes up for it with weirdness and fun.
The art continues to be enjoyable. It’s a little silly, but so is the plot so I don’t begrudge the artist for sticking with the tone of the book. There are also a lot of dramatic poses in this issue, but not in a bad way. More like their expressions have been taken to new extremes, the heroes are heroic because that’s who they are down to the very fiber of their being and you can see it in the way they move. This works for other emotions as well, one of my favorite panels in the issue is one where a character is expression fear and confusion. Loose, fun and cartoony the art makes the issue for me.
If you want a break from grimdark narratives, with brooding heroes draped in shadows, pick up this issue. You’ll probably find that special something that got you into comics as a kid. Maybe it was rip-roaring adventure, maybe it was over the top villains, or maybe it was just the art. What ever it was, this issue will have it. Or at the very least it will change the way you feel about the definition of a spider monkey.
Flash Gordon: King's Cross
Writers: Jeff Parker & Jesse Hamm
Artist: Jesse Hamm
Colorist: Grace Allison
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment