Saturday, March 11, 2017

Grass Kings #1 Review

Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Tyler Jenkins
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover by: Tyler Jenkins
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 8, 2017

There’s Something Strange In The Neighborhood

I’ve enjoyed Matt Kindt’s work over the past few years. I’ve followed most of his fantasy/ sci-fi comics over at Valiant. So when I heard he had something fresh outside his norm I was committed to make sure I give it a chance. No need to give me a pitch, just his name and the cool cover sold me alone.

The issues opens showing us life before the present day. Set in the time period where Native Americans ruled the land. This transitional scene helps set up the fact that overtime a piece of land can be conquered a lot over time. From there we’re shown a timelapse as the land evolve's setting us into present day.

Here’s where we get an introduction to our first main character Bruce. Although he seems to be part of law enforcement in Grass Kingdom, he’s only playing dress up. He’s dispatched to pick up a trespasser named Lo and escort him back to his town of Cargill. Now we finally start to pick things up and learn more about this town as the two make their way. This off the grid town is it’s own secluded community and aren’t a fan of outsiders coming in. Grass Kingdom has survived by setting their own rules the town abides by. Bruce makes several stops along the way to speak with some of the residents. Giving the reader more insight into the community and introducing to us several residents. One is particular is Bruce’s second brother Ashur, who he sends to check in on their other brother Robert who's been drinking again.

We depart from Bruce and Lo to move our focus on Ashur visiting their brother. Robert seems to be the “sheriff” of the town. Even though he looks to have not left the same spot for decades and doesn’t get much rest. It’s obvious that Robert is going through rough times and using alcohol to cope. After two exchange words, Ashur leaves his brother who is staring off into the distance. Which fades into a flashback and gives us an explanation why Robert is suffering so much. But his lengthy stoop session pays off when his flashback only feels as if it was a nightmare.

The issue ends in Cargill where Lo has found his way to the police station to speak with the Sheriff Hubert. It’s just a quick scene of Hubert asking Lo what he was able to find out while in Grass Kingdom.

This was the perfect issue with the right amount of world building and overall mystery. You get a sense you’ve known these characters for a long time now and it’s just another day in the life with them. After finishing this issue, I felt like I just watched a great pilot episode to a tv show. There’s still so much to learn about what’s going in this world. I’m in this for the long haul. The watercolor illustrations help place the reader in Grass Kingdom and the perfect fit for what we’re being told. Plus it’s not often you see a Vox guitar amp drawn so beautifully in a comic. I can add this to the list of titles I look forward to every month now.

Bits and Pieces:

We’re given a tour of Grass Kingdom to familiarize us with the lay of the land. Great first issue to introduce you to the characters you’ll be seeing more of. There’s something weird going on we know that much. The overall mystery of this town and the things that occur we’ll have me sticking around to see where this first arc goes.


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