At a time when the syndicated newspaper strip was one of the biggest sources of entertainment in the world, Harold "Hal" Foster was its reluctant, undisputed king. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on August 16th, 1892, Foster's work on Tarzan and Prince Valiant narrowed the gap between fine art and cartooning, and paved the way for generations of artists to follow.
As much as Dynamite might be known for picking up a few unusual licenses, the upcoming Kings Quest series is not actually a comic book adaptation of the classic Sierra adventure game about wandering around, picking up everything you can, and then banging them together to see what happens. Instead, believe it or not, it's actually something better.
Coming in May, Kings Quest is Ben Acker, Heath Corson and Dan McDaid's sequel to Jeff Parker and Marc Laming's Kings Watch that finds the classic King Features adventure characters --- Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Jungle Jim and a time-tossed Prince Valiant --- reuniting to take on an entire army. In space.
This week marks the release of Prince Valiant #1, and with it, the final building block in the foundation of Dynamite's increasingly weird "King" universe. Built around the King Features characters that are best known as newspaper strips --- and in the case of The Phantom, a Billy Zane movie that invited viewers to 'slam evil!' --- the line got its start in the Kings Watch crossover in 2013. While Flash Gordon has stuck around and been pretty fantastic, it's only in the last month that the rest of the characters have rolled out into their own books to flesh out the world.
Now, with everything in place, the King line has pulpy sci-fi, mystic adventure, superhero action and swords and sorcery from the days of King Arthur all jockeying for position and trying to come together as a cohesive unit. And to be honest, it's actually pretty awesome to see.
If you've been keeping up with Superman lately, then you've seen writer Chris Roberson make a few references to the idea that Superman himself is a comic book reader. To be fair, I don't think we've ever seen Clark Kent duck out of the Daily Planet on Wednesday to get the new books, but the idea of Superman as a fan of sequential art isn't a new one...
* Trad goth
^ Perky goth
% Medieval goth
* BATMAN INC. #3
The schedule for Grant Morrison's current Batman serial seems to have gone totally off the rails, but now might be getting back on them: #4 is due in two weeks...
With this week's release of Marvel's "Black Knight" #1 -- not to be confused with DC's similarly named space zombie epic -- creators Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz are revisiting the age of Camelot to reveal the long-lost origin of the Black Knight and the the sword that's basically Excalibur in one of those Evil Mirror Universe Goatees from "Star Trek," Chaos the Doombringer...