Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors: Frank Martin
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
Lemire! Deodato Jr.! The warrior known as the Mongrel King, trapped in a modern world with no one but a sympathetic homeless man to keep him company, finds himself confronted by new dangers and old threats from his homeland.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Jeff Lemire continues to tantalize and frustrate here as the third installment of the series brings us closer to things really coming together while also still moving at its slow pace. Which is fine, I like the slow pace and the way we’re easing into things, but I also crave more, which makes it all frustrating. It’s worth it just for the gorgeous layouts that Mike Deodato Jr. puts together as they’re wonderfully creative and feel incredibly appropriate to the moments as well. His work with the Mongrel King definitely stands out here and I love just seeing the differences between him and Joe because they are so significant, and not in the usual big guy/little girl dynamic. The Mongrel King really does feel like from an entirely different world because of his physique alone.
The language barrier continues to be the main thing that in some ways is slowing things down but it also makes for some entertaining moments as neither of them are really trying hard to break some of it either. With booze in hand, the two have a good evening and are definitely on the same wavelength a few times, which makes for some amusement. You can see Joe warming up to him a bit, though he denies it’s purely about the coinage, and I can basically agree with that assessment. The coins don’t hurt, however, but there’s a different kind of balance that Joe is finding in spending time with him because of the language barrier. But when they have those small moments of understanding, such as the “Buddy!” moment or the picture, it helps to humanize both of them more and smooths out the minor ruffles.
The Mongrel King is still struggling with everything as you’d expect and the small montage style flashbacks to some of his life fill in a few more blanks a bit in a sweeping sense, the whole slave to king arc and some of what he faced. It works well across the board, especially as he’s back in the cave where things went so terribly wrong for him. But it’s not long after that where things change and the series is going to start moving forward in a new way as someone else is coming through from his time/dimension/world. That’s a sound that he knows all too well and sets him on edge but it’s also one that sends Joe into a panic, already on a heightened level after dealing with some punks rifling through his stuff.
I’m continuing to enjoy the heck out of this series with what it’s doing and I can envision it in this large oversized hardcover collection where it’ll shine even more with a full reading. Everything feels larger than life here with how Deodato presents the story and the scale of the scenes which just drives an interesting warmth to it all. His take on the title character is fantastic and I’m excited to see what else he’s got up his sleeve with what’s coming next, both in story and just the gorgeous layouts and framing. Lemire’s story is moving at a good slow pace that’s appropriate for it and each issue leaves me wanting more, which is a very good thing. This one is no exception.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: October 2nd, 2019