New comic companies are never a bad thing, even if they’re owned by Amazon who has a monopoly on the digital comic market. Jet City Comics’ King #1 looked interesting. I really only had the cover and creative team to go off of, but I like new comics as much as the next comic reader so I wanted to give King a shot. I should start by saying that Joshua Hale Fialkov is not a creator that I enjoy. Usually he produces a great first issue and then he loses me from there. That said, I don’t usually pick up his books because of this. I just know that he’s not a creator for me and hey that’s okay. We all have those creators. Bernard Chang though is for me. I dig his art so I at least had that going for me.
This issue though… was pretty bad. There are stories that are so good that they don’t have to try to be good and then there are stories like King in which they’re trying to be good. They’re trying to be cool and all that effort just ends up feeling like effort rather than a good story. I don’t want to read effort. I want to be entertained and enjoy the story.
The tough thing about comics is you never know how long the idea has been around for. Because of that, it’s hard to say that this idea predated Sunset Overdrive the video game. Because of that, this kind of feels like Sunset Overdrive. We’re in a futuristic world that’s pretty dystopian and our main character is getting around by sliding on electrical wires and such. The biggest difference is that he’s the last known human and the rest of the world is monsters, dinosaurs and disenfranchised Gods possessed by parasites.
This story is heavily influenced by L.A. and as a resident of the city it’s a bunch of pointless factoids that no one really cares about and doesn’t add anything to the story… especially if you don’t know anything about L.A.
The writing is pretty average. The narration is overkill and the first issue focuses on setting up the world and has a heightened focus on it. There’s a lot of sub characters introduced and nothing more is done with them. The cliffhanger at the end wasn’t too exciting and frankly gave an incest-y vibe.
The art is good. It’s the best part, but working with this story it couldn’t do much. The world has a lot going on visually and at times it’s almost too much, but even then I still kind of liked it. The character designs were interesting and in the case of everyone other than King, they were pretty cool and unique looking.
Overall I wanted to like the story more than I did. I found it to be pretty average and maybe even a little below that. While the art was a bright part of the comic, the story had too many obvious references and annoyances to really enjoy and get into. I would be curious about the second issue, but I would have very low expectations for it. If you want to support a new comic series, I can’t really recommend this one.