Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Randy Stradley
Illustrated by Douglas Wheatley
Coloured by Rain Beredo
Blood, death, and fire: The darkest kind of magic. A monstrous secret from King Tiger’s past has found the mystic warrior, but can Tiger’s skills and sorcery triumph against an unthinkable supernatural obscenity linked to his own destiny? If the Tiger falls, the Dragon will rise!
I’m more than thrilled to see this team back together again they did some of my favorite work on Star Wars Dark Times so to see them take on a character like King Tiger with his mystical nature and background not to mention being able to see them bring to life is a definitely highlight. Delving into the world ot King Tiger is going to be both fascinating and full of action and if this first issue of the arc is any indication there’s a bit of mystery as well mostly involving his past and where he comes from.
The story opens in Hoyo Granda, Nevada on Casino Row as we see a young woman leaving a casino and being abducted. Right away you notice this isn’t a normal abduction because the men doing it leave her purse and all her winnings behind so there’s something more sinister behind this kidnapping. Also I really do love Douglas’ artwork and we get to see it here in all its resplendent detail once again in the characters and the backgrounds giving the cars such distinct looks. Oh and if you’re in doubt why I love this man’s look just take a gander at the tattoo’s they have and the intricate nature involved in bringing those to the page like he does.
It doesn’t take long till we see the reasons for the kidnappings and that the men doing it while working for them are also going to be victims themselves. Karma’s a bitch and if you do bad then bad things will happen to you in return and of course they can’t afford to have any witnesses knowing who they are.
Then we switch gears and head over to Rikki’s house where the Tiger lives as we get to see more of Milo and his addition to the team. I like Milo, sure he’s rough around the edges looks more like a drifter and is a bit older than you’d expect but honestly his naivete in all this is refreshing and offers us as readers the perfect opportunity to learn about these characters and this world right alongside him. There’s something nice in knowing you are in his shoes and this is so much as being told to us as we see it unfold from his point of view.
Another thing I really liked about this issue is that this is completely new reader friendly so if you haven’t read any of his adventures to date don’t worry you won’t be lost it’s really easy to slip into the world and follow along. Now Milo’s role in all this is more akin to that of a caddy he’ll travel with Tiger and drive and do all carrying and lifting of the weapons and i’m sure he’ll fight when he has to but he’s really just a companion and helper so seeing the cast here expand like this is wonderful.
Back in the desert wow things really aren’t going to a good place for those taken and among them is an ally of the Tiger, Murtrey. He calls Tiger out to see what’s happening and while Murtrey would have made a stellar supporting cast member, working for the Bureau of Land Management, he’s just a means to an end and how this issue plays out and ends well let’s just say the boys aren’t wasting any time here and it’s pretty spectacular!
From conception to execution there isn’t anything about this book that won’t take your breath away. It’s incredibly well written with such delightful characterization and plot advancement alongside some of the industry’s best interiors around. Rain’s contribution shouldn’t go unnoticed either and you’ll see why when you read this issue.