Kings Watch

kings watch cover trade paperback jeff parker marc laming
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Smart writing makes story feel real instead of an attempt to capitalize on characters

The minor question of is it Kings Watch or King's Watch

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Kings Watch

Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment

Writer:  Jeff Parker

Artist:  Marc Laming

# of Issues: 5

Release Date:  2014


Kings Watch #4

Reprints Kings Watch #1-5 (September 2013-April 2014).  Something is threatening the world.  All over people are sufferings from recurring nightmares that hint that the Apocalypse is coming.  When an organization called the Cult of the Cobra seeks to open the dimensional barriers to a world called Mongo, jock Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, and the mysterious Phantom must join together to stop Cobra before it is too late…and an invasion by Mongo’s ruler Ming could destroy Earth.

Written by Jeff Parker and illustrated Mark Laming, Kings Watch (also called Kings Watch:  Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician) is a bit of an origin series for Dynamite’s line of comics.  The series was rather well received by fans and critics.

There always was something about King Features Syndicate characters.  Flash Gordon was created to compete with Buck Rogers, Mandrake ended up influencing Zatara and countless other magician comic characters, and The Phantom is considered the first character to sport spandex and the domino mask in fighting crime.  With such a long history, I worried that Kings Watch would haphazardly join the group together to “team-up” and capitalize on their names, but I instead was treated to a fun story that made sense in the creation of Dynamite’s “King” universe.


Kings Watch #5

Jeff Parker has proven that he’s good at writing classic characters.  I loved his Agents of Atlas series (which suffered from the classic Marvel crossover syndrome which bogged down its issues).  Here he manages to really weave the three main characters together while bringing in the supporting characters that filled their books like Lothar, Cobra, Ming, Dale Arden, and Zarkov.  It really doesn’t slight the old stories and instead enhances them…plus, it sets up each title with a story that is worth seeking out even if you feel you know it.

The art for the comic is also strong.  There is no massive redesigns and the characters don’t get transformed into ’90s action heroes.  It feels and looks like your reading a modern version of the old comics with all the adventure and fun.

When I was young, Defenders of the Earth was around with a similar concept.  The cartoon was a goofy kids cartoon and not as fun as this book.  I kept having that bad taste in my mouth when I was going to read the comic but really enjoyed Kings Watch once I did sit down with it.  My one complaint about Kings Watch is the title.  The comic constantly refers to the King’s Watch within the pages, but the title isn’t possessive…it’s just Kings Watch…it is minor, but fortunately due to the writing and art, I can live with it.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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