Here’s the thing about terrible comics, they make for wonderful stress relievers. While yes, then can be infuriating to read, the amount of angst you can exorcise by writing brutal reviews of them is well worth the initial sting. You get to make up colorful metaphors to describe their failure and you can rant and rave all you want because no one is going to argue with you. Unfortunately, this is not one of those comics. From the first page you can tell that King’s Road was destined for problems. Applying some strange technique for the colors, the first artist and colorist look like they tried to use watercolors instead of ink. The result is weak, with the colors appearing drab, with the details of the characters lost in the confusing swirls of color. Thankfully, the style only lasts for the first issue before switching to what I would call “average comic art”. It isn’t horrible, but I can’t say that it’s good either.
But the problems don’t stop with the switch in artist and colorist. The book is riddled with poor transitions. There are moments between pages where the narrative just changes locations and characters. No establishing shots, not explanations of how or why the characters are there, just a seemingly random change of scene. This happens within scenes as well, a character will go from an intense action, mourning a death of a loved one for instance, to slicing through a monster with a never before seen weapon. Where did the loved one’s body go? Where did the weapon come from? These small details are important to establishing flow between dramatic actions and this comic is seriously lacking in them.
As for the story, it’s nothing special. All of the characters are ones we’ve seen before. Over the course of the comic each character gets a defining quality and moment in the sun, but most of the time you either see it coming or the moment falls flat. There is a twist in the story, something I was not expecting, but beyond that there is nothing in this comic that I found compelling. It felt as though the writer was just checking boxes.
King’s Road is a special kind of mediocre that is a plague to us reviewers. It doesn’t quite work us into a righteous anger, nor does it give us the quiet satisfaction of the average comic. It just sits there like a small turd in a malfunctioning toilet bowl. Sometimes things just don’t work, it’s nobody’s fault, but that doesn’t make them any less depressing.
[su_box title="Score: 2/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
King's Road: The Long Way Home Writer: Peter Hogan Artists: Phil Winslade (pages 5-28) and Stanz Johnson (29-94) Colorists: Phil Winslade (pages 5-28) and Douglas Sirois (29-94) Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Print: $14.99 Format: TPB; Print/Digital