After 13 years in a war that transformed him into a monster, Kingsway Law is ready to become human again, and live a peaceful life with his wife, Sonia. But a man with his gun slinging skills can’t disappear that easily. When a woman wielding a red gold-encrusted sword brings havoc to his life, Kingsway must fight to protect his life, wife, and soul.
Writer Greg Pak is best known for his Marvel comics, featuring X-Treme X-Men and several Hulk titles, like the last year’s Totally Awesome Hulk. Recently, he wrote the script for Civil War II: The Fallen #1. To say he’s an effective writer is a gross understatement of his abilities. This man is able to pull emotions out of readers that they didn’t even know were there. Kingsway West is Pak’s first creator-owned series in over 11 years of comic book writing.
There are a few things that Pak does to create structure within this script. One technique is to create binaries. This can be seen with the perpetual Chinese vs. Mexican quarrel as well as in the genre itself: Western meets fantasy.
The beginning of the issue is an introduction to the story. Once the story starts, we’re in a flashback as to how Kingsway and Sonia met. Then we jump forward five years to Kingsway looking for Sonia. We then see two men speaking of the glory of the United States of New York. Plus, we learn something about Sonia that is quite a surprise.
Jumping around to make a nonlinear storyline is a risky move for any book. Luckily, although we do skip years, we move forward in time—not backwards. So, the storyline is really easy to understand. The characterization is done very well, too. It’s only the first issue, and we are already on Kingsway’s side. He’s a good man, non-judgmental, and is only concerned with living a happy life. He repeatedly says that “the war is over,” so the Chinese and Mexican sides should not be fighting anymore. He’s a bit ahead of his time in that way of thinking, which is an admirable trait that I’m sure we can all take a lesson from.
Artist Mirko Colak illustrates this issue with an eye for detail and emotional expression. We don’t see much of the Mexican side here, but the few people we do see are rather calm, and don’t hold too much of a grudge. The Chinese side, however, is filled with hostile people who have no problem showing their hatred for the “other side.”
When the Caucasians are shown, Colak’s illustrations perfectly show the general stereotype of colonization: the Caucasian men look like they’re better than everyone else. They stand tall and proud with suspicious smiles on their faces and furrowed brows so as to look down on everyone else—especially the person they have working for them (if you read the book, this is actually punny).
Wil Quintana’s colors help bring out the concept of the wild in the book, which is brought up on several occasions. Whether in barren land or pink/purple forests, home to bearfoot (bigfoot but with a bear face, essentially), the colors really make the artwork pop to enhance to tone of the story.
Greg Pak is a creative writer with a beautiful talent for storytelling. For his first creator-owned series, he splices the fantasy and western genres together to create a strange yet satisfying story of a man simply trying to be a regular human being again. Will he ever find his wife? Will the Chinese ever let him live peacefully? Will the bounty on his head ever go away? Keep reading to find out!
Written by: Greg Pak
Illustrated by: Mirko Colak