Monday, September 5, 2016
Kingsway West #1 Review
"Kingsway West" #1 from Dark Horse Comics -
Kingsway Law is a wanted man. Law was once a brutal soldier for the Queen of the Golden City during the wars of the coveted red gold, a war that raged for thirteen long years between the Chinese under the Queen of the Golden City, and the Mexicans of La República de los Californios. Law now lives in The Wild, lands full of monstrous beasts outside of the Queen's rule, and a dwelling place for Freelanders - people who wish to live free of the power of The Golden Queen and the La República de los Californios. However, he cannot escape his past. When the Queen sends deadly bounty hunters to find him, Law is wounded in the fight, and is nursed back to health by a Mexican woman, Sonia, ex-soldier for La República, and the woman who would become the love of his life. Law was a man who became a monster for a cause he believed in. Do monsters get happy endings? It doesn't seem so - when Law's home is burned, and his wife goes missing, Kingsway Law sets out to find her, and God help anyone who gets in his way.
Greg Pak is back with this fast-paced piece of historical fiction set in what we recognize as the American old west. Taking place in what we now know as California and Nevada, Pak changes history considerably to create a new, but familiar, world in which to locate his story and characters. He gives us a quick, but effective, backstory using caption boxes, and then explodes right into the action moved along by the art and dialogue. While the world that Kingsway Law inhabits is very intriguing, the characters are a bit bland. I like Pak's work, but here, I just couldn't find enough to make me care about the characters enough to want to journey with them. I very much like the feel of the world that Pak has created, but the characters just do not make me want to emotionally invest in them at all. Mirko Colak's art is gorgeous - detailed pencils with busy panels - there is love in the art of this book. Colak's artwork is a great boon to this comic, and helped draw me in to this world that Pak made, keeping me glued page after page, hoping to find something in these characters that would want to make me stay. "Kingsway West" #1 is by no means a terrible book; it has an interesting plot, and beautiful art - it has a LOT of potential - but the first outing just didn't grab me firmly enough to make me want to buy another issue...But I will. Just to see. Pak is a good writer, and this world is an interesting work of fantasy. Maybe issue #2 will what I need to fall in love with "Kingsway West."
RATING: 7 out of 10.
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