As the King of “don’t call me a” Kings nears his battle with the Rice King, he gains a powerful ally that has never lost a fight. Will Alpha be able to save his lady before it’s too late? What’s the deal with Double Man Bun? Is this book any good?
Alpha King #3 (Image Comics)
If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in a part of the country that receives shipments of Three Floyds beer, (a). you’re missing out on some pretty tasty libations (particularly Gumballhead and Zombie Dust) and (b). You may have a hard time getting into the Alpha King series of comics.
The general aesthetic of Three Floyds Brewing bears a heavy metal theme, with imagery that looks like it was scratched onto the notebooks of a bored metalhead in third period Biology. This art style is iconic of the brand and speaks to the general motif (and typically the audience) that the brewery likes to put out there . This carries over to the Alpha King series of comics, where the stylised artwork fits the agenda for the brand, but may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
In this issue we learn that the dreaded Rice King has captured Alpha’s woman, which is perhaps more menacing than may’ve been initially intended – particularly given the impaled and dessicated corpses of men and women that litter the monarch’s evil throne room. I say this because this opening scene, juxtaposed with the lighter (though at times just as violent) tone of the rest of the issue.
The rest of the issue, wherein we follow Alpha as he antagonizes the mysterious Chevalier Bertrand du Guesclin, infiltrates the enemy camp and leads a pursuing raid into some kind of trap, moves at an odd clip. To paraphrase Bart Simpson, everyone wants their action hero to have a “dry, cool wit,” and the key to comedy is timing. So when Alpha sets up a punchline on one page only to pay it off on another, it kinda whiffs the joke.
Some of the action is also lacking a bit of finality. At one point, our hero and his skull-faced sidekick snag an enemy general in a port-a-potty and drag him for a distance into a trap that flattens his pursuers, but doesn’t address the man in the crapper. Similarly, the simian smackdown that bested the pursuers sort of just ends. We can assume that the final panel is the war gorilla running away, but a clearer resolution may’ve made for a better read.
Is It Good?
All in all, Alpha King #3 is consistent with the series’ humor and art style, and should suit fans just fine. If you haven’t enjoyed previous issues, there’s not a lot here to change your mind.