Tag Archives: dead kings

Review: Dead Kings #1

Sasha never saw his younger brother…until the secret police made him disappear. Sasha Vasnetsov left Thrice-Nine-the dirty folklore world that limps along in the wreckage of a Technomagic War-thirty years ago and never looked back. But word that the secret police have sent his brother Gena to a work camp for the socially degenerate drags him back, with a promise to free Gena and return him to their mother before her fiftieth birthday. The only problem? Sasha isn’t a fraction of the tough guy he tries to be, so if he’s going to break back into Thrice-Nine…he’ll need help. Sasha’s only hope is Maria Kamenaya, a former Technomagic Warrior with hundreds of enemy kills to her name, betrayed by the country that made her when her honor conflicted with their agenda.

Thrice-Nine took Sasha’s brother, and it took Maria’s heart. This quest is how they get both of those things back, in the steaming, lawless land of decapitated states…the land of DEAD KINGS.

Worldbuilding is what the first issue of Dead Kings is all about. And, for good and for bad, we’re dropped into the center of it all. Rus, Thrice-Nine, it’s all just thrown out there by writer Steve Orlando and we the reader have to work our way through it all. Like a fleshed out roleplaying game, we put the pieces together as the issue progresses figuring what was and what is out as we move along.

The story itself is one we’ve seen before, someone wants to liberate someone special from captivity and needs help to do so. But, where it’s interesting is the world Orlando weaves, of giant robots and what feels like a bit of mysticism in there as well.

All of that is helped by the art of Matthew Dow Smith, colorist Lauren Affe, and letterer Thomas Mauer who create an atmosphere about it all that feels like the fallout of a massive war. One where giants battled and a bit of a Eastern European coldness to it all. Smith’s style along with Affe’s colors create a dirty and gritty feel, one that feels appropriate for a rusted out environment of cold steel robots. It’s what us Westerners imagined life behind the Steel Curtain was like with a bit of Robot Jox/Mad Max twist to it all. Each page, each panel, provide details that help flesh out the world crafted telling the story as much as the dialogue.

This is one were I want to know as much about what happened in the past as the current story presented. This feels like so many concepts I love put together into what’s basically a Western. There’s gangs harassing individuals and the loner has to stand up to them. But, it’s done with such style that it feels new and interesting and a world I want to explore and find out more about.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Matthew Dow Smith
Color: Lauren Affe Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Books of Magic #1 (Vertigo/DC Comics) – The latest entry into Vertigo’s new line of Sandman comics. We’ll always check out at least the first issue.

Dead Kings #1 (AfterShock Comics) – Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow Smith is described as True Grit set in the world of Final Fantasy. The creators alone have us sold. That description puts it over the top.

High Heaven #2 (AHOY Comics) – AHOY Comics is guaranteed entertainment and great value for your dollar. The first issue was twisted in all of the right ways and we want more.

Mars Attacks #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Ack. Ack. Ack. Ack. Ack.

Old Lady Harley #1 (DC Comics) – Lets see what DC can do with the concept…

Return of Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – The first issue left us with so many questions but we’re excited to find out more about how Wolverine actually returned.

Scarlet #3 (Jinxworld/DC Comics) – Brian Michael Bendis’ story about a revolutionary in America feels like it’s perfectly timed and needed in today’s world.

Spider-Geddon #2 (Marvel) – The first issue of this event was solid and based on how much fun it was we’re excited for this second issue.

Spider-Girls #1 (Marvel) – A Spider-Geddon tie-in, Mayday parker, Anya Corazon, and Annie May Parker team up and we’re totally in for the adventure.

Whispering Dark #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A soldier’s helicopter is shot down and behind enemy lines she has to deal with a supernatural horror.

AfterShock Announces The Dead Kings from Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow Smith

Thrice-Nine took Sasha’s brother, and it took Maria’s heart.

Plagued by the ramifications of a techno-magic world now thirty years gone, Thrice-Nine is a dirty folklore world that limps along, degenerating into a place filled with paranoia and poison. Sasha Vasnetsov thought he’d escaped all that, but when news comes that his younger brother has been kidnapped by the secret police, he finds himself dragged back into the madness with a simple goal—to find his brother.

But Sasha is going to need help to do this, and he enlists Maria Kamenaya, a former warrior with hundreds of enemy kills to her name, who was betrayed by the very country she served. This quest is how they get both of those things back, in the lawless land of decapitated states…the land of DEAD KINGS.

Written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Matthew Dow SmithDead Kings is an in-depth exploration of retribution, in all its dark, complex forms.

Dead Kings #1 comes to shelves October 24th featuring colors by Lauren Affe, lettering by Thomas Mauer, and covers by Matthew Dow Smith and Michael Gaydos.