There’s an invasion from the planet Mongo taking place and three classic pulp heroes have joined forces to ensure our planet doesn’t go down without a fight. What more could you want you little fools?! Join me as I review the final climactic issue and determine the answer to the question, is it good?
Kings Watch #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Frankly if you’re just joining us you’re too late to get an understanding of the epic nature of this story. Flash Gordon, Phantom and Mandrake the Magician are the Kings Watch, a superhero(ish) team of very human heroes who must join forces when the Earth itself is under attack.
Ming the Merciless has opened portals to Earth and sent his animal-human soldiers to take over. Thankfully Kings Watch joined forces in the nick of time and have taken the fight right back to Ming. This issue caps off the struggle after months of fighting and wraps things up nicely. But will one of the heroes die?! Yes… yes one will…
The Phantom gets more character dev in this issue than the others. I wonder why…
Writer Jeff Parker does an excellent job fleshing out Phantom and giving him plenty to do, especially in regards to the other top billing heroes. In some way this is a great beginning issue of a potentially new Phantom series and done so well I’d read that hypothetical title just to see what happens next. Parker gives Mandrake some good shine in the spotlight as well as it’s his plan that helps stop the Cobra Commander (OK, so he doesn’t call himself that but he is called Cobra AND is a commander).
We do have some hero fighting villain cliches going on, but you can’t fault it too much when said heroes are the classics. Parker has successfully made this oddball team work and I can’t help but wish the series continued on. It appears Flash is getting his own series so maybe this team will show up from time to time there.
I don’t care if they’re bad guys, that’s just cruel!
The art by Marc Laming continues to deliver the gritty realistic look with heavy inks to imbue the sense of dread throughout the story. Guy knows his stuff when it comes to layouts and interesting compositions, which helps when things can look a little stiff. Think of his style as a very dramatic soap opera and you get an idea of where he comes from.
The Phantom needs more bazooka time.
Is It Good?
Mix a satisfying conclusion with some real character development and you’ve got yourself a good comic. When you finish a book and find yourself wishing the series would keep going… that’s a good sign you are satisfied. Recommended.