It’s heating up in the Grass Kingdom, and I expect the next issue to be a powder keg–but let’s take a look at the moments just before the fuse was lit in Grass Kings #4.
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins Jung
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
To start, the artwork is still phenomenal. I gush over it in every review, but it keeps outpacing itself over and over again. The initial splash page of training aircraft flying with a setting sun is just beautiful. If Tyler Jenkins ever takes commissions for watercolors, I’m sure I can find a way to pay for it. It’s that damn breathtaking at times.
Story wise, this still keeps on delivering like a Hogwarts owl on a Sunday. The basic plot remains that the Grass Kingdom, an enclave of people who do not respect local government law is dealing with some friction with the local police. This time, it’s about a missing person – someone tied to a very important gentleman back in town, and how her disappearance and subsequent hidden status in the Kingdom is going to finally spark the long simmering war between these two townships.
This is a slow issue that knows how to do slow well. The Kingdom lives in constant preparation for the government takeover of their land and way of life, so they know how to shoot, fight, and ready themselves for that day. The local police have a job to do, seemingly on orders of a VIP in town, and I don’t think they really know how much trouble they’re going to be in if this starts to unravel.
The smartest thing about issue #4 is how it knows the big payoff is coming next issue, and that a giant turning point killing was in last issue–but it can’t just lay back and be boring for 25 pages. Instead, we get more evidence, more sediment in the collection of the various subplots that are building and building. Is there a serial killer in the local area preying on people? Did that killer take Robert’s daughter years ago, or did she drown in the lake like so many expected? This issue isn’t here to clear up any of that uncertainty, but it’s giving just enough of a spoonful to keep you thinking about it, and wondering where the next piece will be revealed.
One last piece I’ll mention – the “get ready for the thing we’ve been training for” scene is excellent. We get a much better glimpse at the varied and odd subjects of the kingdom, and how they’re all willing to fight for what is theirs at all costs – something the hired police from the next town can’t possibly match on their side.
This series is just damn excellent.