Updated: Jan 24, 2020
DEAD KINGS #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
AfterShock has quickly gained a reputation for delivering great stories by some top talent creators. This book is no different. This is Steve Orlando's first book from the publisher and it was one of the best debuts from the publisher and Steve as well.
This book has an awesome premise of a world ravaged from a Techno-Magic war that happened 30 years ago. The story opens with the birth of twins, Sash and Gena, during a time when giant machines were you used in war. Fast forward to present day and Sasha is searching for a woman, Stone Mary, to help him free his brother from the clutches of Thrice-Nine. Sasha has searched everywhere for her, pretending to be whoever he needs to be in order to find her. She's a skilled warrior and
seeks her out hoping she will be able to help him. Stone Mary is an interesting character, who has obviously seen a lot if death and doesn't wish to help Sasha in his quest.
Orlando has created a character in Sasha, that makes him interesting and in some ways relatable. He's just a guy trying to bring his brother home before their mother's fiftieth birthday. When he gets no help from Mary, he goes off on his own, to rescue Gena. What he encounters is a group called, Oprichniki, who look absolutely terrifying. He tells them to take him to the camp, where I assume Gena is, but they have other plans.
Matthew Dow Smith has done a fantastic job of painting this bleak world, where law and order have no place. The way he conveyed this lawless and war torn city had me captivated throughout the book. Lauren Affe's color palette gave me a feeling of, isolation and hopelessness. This is an absolutely amazing book artistically.
This book is definitely something I wasn't expecting, but I'm digging what this creative team has created. There is so much more to learn and I can't wait to see what else they have planned. I hope they plan on showing the Techno-Magic war that took place. I also can wait to learn more about Sasha's past and delving a liitle more into Stone Mary. If you're on the fence about this book, it's definitely worth picking up. Captivating story and with gritty/breathtaking art.