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Kings Quest #2 Review

4 min read

Kings Quest Issue 2 CoverNew dangers, new betrayals.

Creative Staff:
Story: Ben Acker, Heath Corson
Art: Dan McDaid
Colors: Omi Remalante

What They Say:
Bazillions of light years from Earth, our heroes split up! Mandrake the Magician and Prince Valiant face a barren planet of undead soldiers, as Flash Gordon, The Phantoms, and Jungle Jim plunge into the heart of Mongo to save damsel-in-distress Dale Arden! …Or, at least they think that’s what they’re doing!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Going into Kings Quest was a strange experience to be sure with the opening installment since I hadn’t read most of these characters in years and, to be honest, never had much affection for them. I like the concepts of them but updating them for the present always just feels a little bit off and weird. With a solid enough story and quick enough introductions to hit the ground running with a passing familiarity with it all, what really won me over was that of Jen, the new and younger female Phantom. She was a great way to take in this world through fresher sensibilities, a little more modern and accessible. While she isn’t as dominant here this time around she definitely has some great scenes with a really fun little twist.

With Dale captured, the group is spread into two actions in order to deal with the new threat. Spinning Zarkov off with Valiant and Mandrake certainly makes for some amusing conversation along the way, though I’ll admit some of the dialogue between man of science and man of magic gets to be a bit much – you almost wish Valiant would slice Zarkov and his condescending ways. Their trip to Corialia definitely makes for a great time as they seek the Gatestone only to learn Ming has utterly destroyed the planet in a significant way. An underwater world with no water left makes for some striking material. While there is a bit of action here and Zarkov takes a really bad hit, it’s the character moments that make it fun, from Zarkov and Mandrake sharing a drink to the temptation Zarkov is given toward being drawn into the afterlife by the spirit of the queen that died here, since he and Dale along with Flash have a history here.

The more amusing story for me is the push made by Flash, Jungle Jim and the Phantoms as they go to rescue Dale. A lot of this is older Phantom based as he comments on the way Flash and Jen are, too much emotion and not enough substance in a way, but there’s a really good flow to the action here with how they do manage to work together with their own strengths and weaknesses. The Phantom is certainly judgmental, especially considering his experience level, but it provides some good insights into his companions. The real fun is when he discovers why Jen is so emotional as they get to Dale and it turns out the two women are lovers. Will that upset fans? Or delight them? It’s an interesting update and one that works, especially since Dale through Flash was dead. And it’s a welcome change instead of things staying the same for so many decades.

In Summary:
With a range of character types in the mix, Dan McDaid continues to do a solid job of trying to make them all feel like they exist in the same world. Some are easier than others, with Mandrake always looking a touch out of place and Valiant being, well, Valiant. But McDaid is bringing the book to life well here and I really like the flow of action we get in several of the panels and some of the larger shots, especially the work with Coralia in its before and after side of it. There is a largely straightforward story push here to be sure but the characters are giving it some nice little twists and nudges to update it without, for the most part, going too radical. A Jen & Dale spin-off would be divine, however.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 8th, 2016
MSRP: $3.99