By Sam King
I have never read a Zenescope comic in my life, so I figured a new series would be a good place to give one a try. Jasmine: Crown of Kings #1 is the first issue in a new five-part series. It is a pretty decent starting issue and got me into the swing of things pretty quickly. This series takes Jasmine, a former Jinn, and entangles her with Ali and the Forty Thieves.
This issue starts with the legendary forty thieves. One thief has stolen from the others and seems to pay the consequences of messing with a mystical item. Based on Zenescope’s pattern of taking classic characters and putting a twist on them (based on casually seeing the other titles and reading this one), I’m thinking that the guy yelling at the thief named Ali has to be Ali Baba, leader of the forty thieves. The mystical item causes an explosion of mystic energy that Jasmine feels from Arcane Academy. She briefly talks about her past and then hops on a magic carpet to seek out the source of the mystical energy. It is a crown and the overall premise seems to be that she has to work with the forty thieves to collect the pieces.
For a first issue, this isn’t bad at all. Jasmine seems to be a character that has been introduced before, but having never read any Zenescope comics, I was very grateful for the quick synopsis about Jasmine’s past and who she is. It isn’t overly lengthy so it probably serves as a good reminder for fans who have been keeping up, while also being beneficial to new readers who may pick it up. Some of the dialogue is super generic, with overly used phrases and occasional awkwardness in terms of exchanges. Some dialogue just seems out of place for the setting. This may be a result of my lack of knowledge about the world that Arcane Academy is set in, so I’ll grain of salt that portion. Cliché dialogue is still not excusable in my book though.
Jasmine is a pretty decent character so far. Don’t know too much about her, but she seems like she would be someone I could cheer for. She has some fighting skills so that is pretty badass and I would like to see more of that. Ali Baba is not anything special right now. His dialogue is what makes up 98% of the awkwardness previously mentioned. At times he seems to be talking to a collective group and other times his dialogue appears directed towards the thieves yet feels like he is talking to an individual. It is bizarre and hard to explain, but trust me when I say it is awkward. The art is solid, I liked it quite a bit. I liked the range of color and the brightness used. I also liked the overall smooth quality of the art.
Generally, I think this is a decent start and I would read at least one more issue. I’m pretty curious about the crown and what it is capable of. The one thing that will really drive me crazy should it continue is the way that Ali speaks. He is incredibly casual and has weird phrasing, but not in a charming way that some thief characters have in other stories. If this improves then I think this series could be a pretty fun time. It isn’t the best comic ever, but it could be fun.
Jasmine: Crown of Kings #1