I’ve been reading comics for a long time now. It’s likely that I’ve seen a lot of things portrayed through the books, some maybe others haven’t.
But a mash-up with the Old West and Ancient Far Eastern Magic, well, that’s something I have NOT read before. So I was anxious to read this title!
KINGSWAY WEST #1 is written by Greg Pak, with art by Mirko Colak, colors from Wil Quintana. It’s published by Dark Horse Comics and has a cover price of $3.99.
Here’s the description of KINGSWAY WEST: After spending thirteen years in a war that made him a monster, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to live in peace with his wife, Sonia. But even in a fantastical Old West crackling with magic, a man of his skills can never quite disappear. So when a woman with a red-gold sword brings bloody chaos to his doorstep, Kingsway must fight for his life, his wife, and his very soul. Greg Pak and Mirko Colak team up for a magical western! Once upon a Time in the West meets Princess Mononoke.
I’ve rediscovered Westerns in the last several years. You know, gunslingers. Deserted locations. No Internet (gasp!). People calling each other, “pardners.” As dangerous as it was, it was still alive, still fun!
When I came across Kingsway Law, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve enjoyed Mr. Pak’s writing in the past, and I expected the unexpected from him again. What I got to see was something I hadn’t seen him do much before – world building!
The book starts out as brutal as the Old West could be. Shootings and death were all around, but there were new elements involved, such as magical creatures and a variety of nationalities not known for being in that time and location.
Still, Kingway Law was everything a hard-living, not-much-for-words, rootin’, tootin’, fast-shootin’ kind of guy should be. So I liked him right away.
He gets in trouble very quickly, and help comes from an unexpected source. One of the best sequences in the title happens when Kingsway is talking with Sonia, a girl he comes across. “Lotta monsters in the wild,” she says. “Ain’t you scared?” “Nah,” Kingsway replies. “It’s the people who bother me.” All we need is a spittoon, and we’re good!
Then there’s Red Gold, a substance that ratchets up the energy ability of the Old West, making possible technology never seen in that place before. It interests me a lot! At first glance, it’s reminiscent of “Red Matter” in the Star Trek movies, but I can already tell Mr. Pak is going in a very different direction with it.
There’s action galore, and we don’t exactly know everything that’s happening, which was common in those days before TV covered our lives and all activity around us.
On the other hand, there’s a queen involved (who I’m sure we’ll meet eventually), and she’s got loyal troops trying to make sure her will is law. Now that’s different as far as Westerns go!
I also like the strong women characters who can defend themselves and get into trouble on their very own, thank you. And every few pages, you’ll find eye-popping (literally!), hand-removing, rough-and-tumble happenings that will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can!
One of the things that sells this mash-up so well is the art. For example, Kingsway’s eyes are emotionless much of the time, much like an actor on Gunsmoke might have been. The women are pretty, and the action is well-portrayed. Very strong!
I also was taken by the choices of colors as the comic progressed. The selection of blues at night as well as the browns, purples and yellows out in the desert-like regions really transported us into the story.
This title got me into the characters and the situation right away, so I’m sold! I’m looking forward to seeing what the creative team has in mind for us in future issues.
As always, it’s good to jump on board with the first issue rather than wait for the trade in a fun title like this one. These days, you can check with your local shop or look into digital sites like comixology if you can’t find a paper copy nearby.
If you like your action with lotsa fightin’ and tusslin’ and shootin’, and your magic only limited by your imagination, you’ll enjoy Kingsway Law! I garontee it!