Our Story Thus Far features a comic series that hasn’t completed its current story-arc, but we couldn’t wait to write about it because it’s so good.
Written By: Greg Pak
Art By: Mirko Colak
Published: November 23, 2016 by Dark Horse
First off today, I wanted to point out that I am not, in fact, talking about a sci-fi book. It may come as a shock to many of you, but I do enjoy other genres including, but not limited to, western. However, to call our series today, “a western,” would be like calling, In & Out, fast food. Sure, it can be classified like that, but it doesn’t do it justice. The way it delivers on everything you need, dare I say want. It satisfies in such a way that you’re left complete, but still wanting more. Am I talking about food still, or have I switched back to our comic? The answer is yes. Kingsway West is far more than a simple western. It’s far more than a simple comic, and if you haven’t started reading it, fix that problem in your life and do it. This book is crazy good.
For those that have made poor decisions on your comic buying, and have no clue what Kingsway West is about, allow me to fill you in. Way back in 1837 a new mineral was discovered, a mineral that seemingly changed the world. A substance that was believed to only existed as theory: red gold. This red gold had the ability to do things that were frankly unexplainable by science. It created, if harness and used correctly, a sort of magical field that could be manipulated and used to a great many things. As it would be expected, war broke out as different populations struggled to claim different pockets of red gold.
During this war, “The Red War,” it was said that “…men were turned into soldiers…and soldiers were turned into monsters.” We follow the story, after the war, of one such monster who desired to become a man once more: Kingsway Law.
What follows that introduction are three books (as of now) filled with amazing character development, and an awesome, action filled world with depth and feeling. As I said earlier, to call this a simple western story completely diminishes what it is. Yes, the entire theme of the book is western in genre, but the addition of a western-esque magical substance creates this whimsical, but gruff world for the peoples of this book to exist in.
The world of Kingsway West is as much of a character in the story as Kingsway Law. The past war that’s ravaged the desert landscape, the people groups who are trying to live in a world surrounded by those who can’t let the war go, it all plays such a major role that to leave any part out would diminish everything greatly. Yet, here it all is, wrapped wonderfully around the pages of these three issues, and I’m hooked so badly.
As we learned about Kingsway Law in the first issue, he was a monster of monsters. His reputation during the war has left him as sort of a legend and terrorist, depending on which side you are on. He slaughtered hundreds for the Queen of the Golden City, the ruler of the Chinese. On the opposing side were the Republica de los Californios, the mexican-ruled territory. However, after thirteen years of slaughtering the people of the Republica, Kingsway was done. Ready to let the monster inside inside, the cold blooded killer, die. Unfortunately, with a substance such as red gold being so valuable, the war would never be over.
Fast forward to the current issue and what’s taken place is some of the wildest, most interesting plots I’ve read, and although I wasn’t familiar with Mirko Colak’s work prior, I am definitely not going to forget that name…and will also be purchasing anything his pencil cranks out. I’m not sure which is greater in this case, the story and characters, or the artwork that brings it all to life. What I do know, Colak’s work absolutely breathes wonderment into this awesome story. You can almost feel the beating sun, and whips of dust brushed across your skin by the desert wind as you read this. His characters and design are stellar, and having that combined with Pak’s phenomenal storytelling we the readers are given one of the most, possibly the best, western/fantasy story of the year.
I haven’t even gone into exactly what happens in this thrid issue, and that’s because this story is so good I’m finding it hard to limit myself to specifically this newest issue. This world, in which the story exists, is just so intriguing and interesting, and the fact that it’s culturally diverse, with standout characters, and clever use of it all…ahhhh…I. Love. This. Series.
Basically, go read this series. If I haven’t motivated you to do so, that’s my fault and certainly not the book’s, but allow me to inject that in the third issue (MEDIUM SPOILERS AHEAD) we see an alliance between our gunslinger, Kingsway law, and a flying scout/assassin, as they hunt down Law’s now missing wife. Unfortunately, at the moment, they’re surrounded by wendigos, these huge, almost undead-like monsters that guard the red gold veins. If that isn’t bad enough, an engineer from New York has arrived on the scene and using what red gold he’s found so far, has crafted a massive flying ship of destruction, which he intends to use against both the Chinese empire and the Republica in order to secure all the red gold for himself.