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Review: Kings Watch #2

It is hard to top some of the classic team-ups Spidey had in Marvel Team-up in its heyday, but Dynamite Entertainment is giving it a go with its mini-series, Kings Watch.

This week, issue #2 hit the stands as always-fun scribe Jeff Parker takes the three primaries (legendary heroes Flash Gordon, the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician – wow!) through their paces in a common, modern world.

Seems that someone is trying to open a portal to another reality and all signs point to Africa where Lothar and the Phantom have both encountered nightmarish creatures. And speaking of nightmares, seems there is a global epidemic of dreamscape monster mash going on as strange fire shows are hitting the skies around the planet.

Enter Mandrake and Flash (ahh-ahhh), who are heading right for the heart of the matter and discover that the strange doings indeed have something to do with a stone carving in Tanzania called Ka’teh K’mor, “the Kings Watch.” Not a royal time piece, according to the Phantom’s info, but something “… a demon lord spies on us all through …”

Mandrake has a plan. Unfortunately, so does a person who has one of two keys that will open the Ka’teh K’mor: the villainous Cobra!

This second issue really builds well off the first for this one-of-a-kind team-up Parker is bringing us, and the fun that he is experiencing writing it literally can be felt from page to page of this pulp-pounding comic.

Marc Laming’s visuals have a great modern appeal but do not miss that subtle salute to the old pulp world that makes each of these three proponents so intriguing and long-lasting. Besides Flash looking just a tad more Clutch Cargo-ish than I would like, the art flows freely and has some great action scenes and panel arrangements. It carries Parker’s story well.

I cannot wait for more of Kings Watch. If you pick up #2, neither will you!

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