King/Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Nate Cosby & Ben McCool
Illustrated by Ron Salas
Coloured by Luigi Anderson
Of the King releases this is my second favorite, sorry Jungle Jim is way awesome. However the boys are giving that a run for it’s money here that’s for sure. With Mandrake taking the form a dinosaur and recruiting a teenaged Flash Gordon and the Pirate Phantom and the unexpected adventures they find themselves in make for an incredibly strong case why this shouldn’t end.
Valiant’s father was King of the Thule and went to Britannia after being deposed. That flashback was great in showcasing why he’s called Prince Valiant for new readers to the character. Also drawing upon his past to help in the present well that’s just good writing. Speaking of which seriously all of them in outer space in space suits fighting lizard people yeah it doesn’t get much better than this.
Poor Alex is having the time of his life, long before being called Flash all the time, and when he wants to remember this instead of Mandrake erasing his memories well I want that too. I mean c’mon he’s destined to be someone great and why not have that person remember his teenage years when he was taken and used as part of one of Mandrake’s plots? Maybe somewhere down the road he’ll remember and then all heck can break loose in the meantime this teenage version befriending Valiant and the two acting like best buds is one of the things I love about this story.
That Valiant is getting used to the book and his sword and is growing not only as a man but as a hugely valuable character is a great thing to see. We saw him in the beginning being this kind of snot nosed punk that didn’t get much respect but now we’re seeing a different version of him one that is learning what it’s like to earn that respect. It’s this kind of storytelling that seems to have been lost in recent years and it’s refreshing to see it come alive again here.
There is some stellar characterization going on here as well. Just the fact that they are using the entire spectrum of the King Universe to tell the story and show us that reviving characters in such unique and interesting ways is always possible. Yes this is the final issue of this arc but that doesn’t mean the story is over far from. The cliffhanger ending simply says we’ll be back so be ready.
Ron and Luigi really had their hands full this issue. I mean from the Thule’s fighting the Briton’s to outer space and lizard folks they’ve managed to make this believable and shine brightly. The attention to detail and the emotion and power they have brought to this is amazing to me. I have to say more than anything i’m super impressed with the outer space stuff it was pretty unexpected to see it so dynamically portrayed.
It’s books like this that has me a firm fan of Dynamite Entertainment. They see possibilities in characters no one else does and they get the right people to work on them. This is an amazing read and I look forward to the next chapter as they continue to surprise us with what Valiant’s capable of!