Friday, November 7, 2008

Review: Kull #1 might be the most metal thing I've ever read

OK, seriously? Kull #1 is just awesome.


Alright, now that I've gotten that out of my system, grab a flagon of your favorite beverage, put on some mood music and prepare to hold the hell on because Kull does not screw around.

Mining the Robert E. Howard library one more time, Dark Horse has now completed its sword-and-sorcery, hard-men-in-hard-worlds hat trick by adding barbarian king Kull alongside its Conan and Solomon Kane titles. And I think I can say with nearly full confidence that this new series is already shaping up to be the best of the lot.

This isn't to take away from either title — both are excellent books, and I'm especially enjoying Solomon Kane. But Kull ... holy crap! Arvid Nelson's story starts off in the middle of the siege of the Iron Fortress — where some anti-Kull holdouts have dug in — and quickly spins off into treachery, full-on battle, a demon you have to see for yourself, hints of dark secrets, and then more treachery!

This book is packed fat with action, and it all serves to move the story forward. It's not an empty plot, either, and it looks as if there will be plenty of court intrigue to go with the swordplay.

The art by Will Conrad fits in with what's been done in Solomon Kane and Conan, and helps tie in the whole Howardverse idea Dark Horse seems to be putting together. More importantly, it's just gorgeous to look at, giving as much weight to the characterization and tone as the dialogue. If there was any doubt that Kull is a bad-ass, just take a look at some of Conrad's work, especially the fantastic splash pages which include an impressively majestic two-page spread. When I went back through the issue to count the number of splash pages, I was surprised there were only two — the art (notably assisted by José Villarrubia's colors) makes that much of an impact.

Thanks to that art, and the pitch-perfect scripting, Kull #1 has already put the series high on my must-have list.


Jesse Willis said...

sounds like a getter.I'll pick it up when the first trade comes out.

Maxo said...

If the series turns out to be as good as the first issue, it will definitely be worth it. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment!

Philip Simon said...

Thanks for the kind words -- and for picking up the issues and/or trade collection!
-Philip Simon
Editor, Dark Horse Comics

Maxo said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! It's four issues in at this point and Kull is really fulfilling all the promise of the first issue. The writing is great and nicely balances action with court intrigue, characterization is steadily evolving and the art is beautiful to look at; it's seriously one of my favorite books right now.