Dark Horse Comics 2016
Created & Written by Greg Pak
Illustrated by Mirko Colak
Coloured by Wil Quintana
Lettered by Simon Bowland
After spending thirteen years in a war that made him a monster, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to live in peace with his wife, Sonia. But even in a fantastical Old West crackling with magic, a man of his skills can never quite disappear. So when a woman with a red-gold sword brings bloody chaos to his doorstep, Kingsway must fight for his life, his wife, and his very soul.
I don’t know what in tarnation is going on here but I like it! The concept here is strong and interesting as Mexico has claimed the lower western parts of the North American continent (Republica De Los Californios) and China has come east to claim much of the upper coastal territory (Golden Mountain Empire). The two went to war over a substance discovered by Dr Arnold Uhrmacher (see theorized the existence of) that he called Red Gold. If that alone doesn’t pique your interest well okay then how about that the series starts people Mexican and Chinese descent nary a white man in sight. It’s nice to see other cultures rise up and take center stage in a story for a change. With that comes superstitions and practices we aren’t used to seeing so i’m all for that.
Then there’s Mirko who has been around a bit but not nearly enough for my tastes. He’s got such great attention to detail and his use of backgrounds, angles and perspective in the flow of the story visually through the pages and panels is amazing to see. Opening up you are immediately drawn into the story and then that Jackalope is fantastic! HIs rendition of these characters is so good and they have that authentic feel about them that you can’t resist.
This is a two-part introduction opening. One shows us how Kingsway meets his wife and that’s the first half. After the war and two strangers one helping the other out nursing him back to health leads to a love affair and marriage. Two cultures who are supposed to hate each other united by love yeah it’s a classic setup.
The second half of the story is where the real story begins. After having left the life he had behind to live with his wife a stranger comes looking for him. Circumstances beyond his control draw him back into the life he left behind. These events unfold and it’s great to see because you see this whole idea of the Red Gold in action and what it’s capable of and why this war was fought over it.
It has this whole combination of sword and sorcery mixed with the old western gun fighting that combine two different cultures into one cohesive interesting story. With creatures of legend, otherwise known as cryptids, alongside this gorgeous Southwestern scenery creates a new, exciting and dangerous world that you can’t wait to explore. Greg has created a wonderful world with interesting characters and strong characterization and story advancement.