King: The Graphic Novel Review by Eugene Alejandro

Created by Joshua Hale Fialkov (the writer), Bernard Chang (the penciler and inker), and Marcelo Maiolo (the colorist), and published by Amazon’s comic book publishing imprint Jet City Comics, King is about a character literally named King who believes that he is the last human on Earth as the world he is currently living in is a post-apocalyptic mess inhabited by many strange animal-human hybrids, a religious robot cult, and many other weird looking people and animals. He is given a mission to look for and retrieve “The Life Seed”, only to discover there is much more to his mission than expected and realized.

In my opinion, King is the comic book equivalent of the 2015 short film Kung Fury in regards to its tone because King’s story is very fun with a lot of good humor, ridiculous ideas that work, and a good balance of comedy, fantasy, and sci-fi for a post-apocalyptic story that are all mixed together well thanks to Joshua Hale Fialkov’s awesome writing. For the story that is only 5 issues long (the King Graphic Novel is a collection of the 5 issues of the same name), all the characters major and minor are all very likeable and memorable, and each one has a very unique and creative design to them (another thanks to that goes to the great writing by Joshua Hale Fialkov).

Bernard Chang’s artwork is a joy to the eyes because all the characters and backgrounds are illustrated with huge amounts of great detail, they all appear very creative, unique, and original, and a lot of the scenes that involve action are also fun to look at as Bernard Chang’s artwork is the perfect fit for a story like this. The animals are also impressive to look at thanks to his art.

The coloring by Marcelo Maiolo is some of the greatest comic book coloring I have ever seen. The colors are very vibrant, clear, and match perfectly with Bernard Chang’s pencils and inks. Marcelo Mailo’s coloring is also a very good example of how colors can affect the artwork (and make it look good).

The only nitpick that I have with King (and I do mean the only nitpick) is that it’s too short of a story (with it only being 5 issues). I really loved the universe that it presented, and I hope more stories set in it happen as it’s very creative, new, and unique for comic book storytelling that also has a good sense of humor.

Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo have accomplished what a comic book creative team should always do and that is create a new story set in a very fascinating universe with awesome characters, awesome writing, awesome artwork, and awesome colors that not only grace the post-apocalyptic genre, but the rest of the genres it has, and I’ll even go as far as to say that because of all that, it deserves all the Eisner Awards it can possibly earn.

I give King 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

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Warcraft Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

After many years, an official major motion picture adaptation of the popular Warcraft franchise from Blizzard Entertainment has been made this year that is directed and co-written by Duncan Jones (of MOON and Source Code fame).

I will admit that I have never played any of the Warcraft games, and also read any of its lore, but from seeing the trailers for the movie adaptation of it, it did get me interested in wanting to watch it. Even though I was hearing some negative reviews for the film before it hit theaters, I was still interested in seeing it, and to my surprise (against the negative reviews I heard), the movie is a very enjoyable and entertaining fantasy action movie.

I’m not going to say that this movie is a masterpiece in the fantasy genre like the Lord of The Rings movies, The Dark Crystal, the first Neverending Story film, and even the fantasy films that Studio Ghibli has made and released, but I will say that the movie is very miss-understood by some critics as the Warcraft movie is a good example of how to make a very good movie based on a video game property (no offense to those critic’s opinions on it).

The biggest and noticeable achievement the Warcraft movie has is its special effects, and its production values. This movie really does look like a 160 Million Dollar budgeted film as it looks very well-made with the setting truly feeling like a typical fantasy world, and the buildings and landscapes are also really well-done. The practical and computer effects are also really amazing as the Orcs look very real, and the graphics used to make them move and speak is of professional quality (one Orc character is an actress in make-up, and the make-up for her is great as well). The armor that some of the characters wear, and other computer made effects are also another accomplishment the film has done.

The story and writing in this movie has a lot of surprising parallels to already existing stories, but they are incorporated very well and work thus making the movie’s story fun.

The acting is also solid. My favorite performance is the voice acting by Daniel Yu as Gul’dan (an Orc mage, and the antagonist in the Warcraft film). His voice fits the character because he did a fantastic job at portraying the character’s sinister personality with a deep accent, and it also works well as an Ork accent in general. The rest of the cast also turned in good performances.

Ramin Djawadi’s music is some of the best music I’ve ever heard. The music has an epic and triumphant tone to it that works well with the movie’s story.

Since I saw this movie in IMAX 3D, I can totally say that the 3D is great in this film as it does work a lot and helps the movie feel like something even better (the special effects also look good to look at in 3D as well).

The only flaw I have with this movie is that to me, it felt way too simple of a fantasy story with some parts being predictable, and while the movie has a decent ending, it’s pretty much a desperate sequel set-up (hopefully a sequel does get made).

If you are a fan of the Warcraft franchise, I recommend giving the Warcraft movie a watch as the makers of the movie obviously cared about adapting the property into an entertaining movie, and it’s nice to see the property finally get made into a movie.

I give the Warcraft movie 2 Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Review by Eugene Alejandro

For Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters to be the first Godzilla comic IDW Publishing has made, it’s a very weak start to their line of Godzilla comics. I don’t absolutely hate Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, but there is just a lot of flaws that keep it from being a good series to me.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters is a 12 issue series with issues #1-8 written by Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh, while issues #9-12 are written by Jason Ciaramella. The artwork for issues #1-4 are by Phil Hester, while issues #5-12 are drawn by Victor Santos.

To start off, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters has a very good premise in which Godzilla and other Kaiju are causing the world to go through an apocalypse. What ruins the concept though is the use of satire in it. The story makes fun of real life figures most famously Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, and the Jeresy Shore, and it tries to make fun of (sometimes) the governments failed attempts at stopping the Kaiju, and while some of the jokes do work in the way they allow chuckles to happen, it detracts greatly from the dark tone that the series is suppose to have, and feels completely out of place in a Godzilla story.

The writing also has some problems with out of place comedy, and parts of the story that foreshadow something, but never get fulfilled once the series ends. The character development is also poor as there is no explanation for why Godzilla (and the other Kaiju) appear, and the villians of this story who are twin sisters with psychic powers who want to control and the Kaiju and rule the world is never given a good reason to be there.

The dialogue, actions scenes, and the times the story tries to be serious to work, but are overshadowed by the rest of the writing flaws. The comedy isn’t bad, it just feels out of place for this series.

The artwork by both Phil Hester and Victor Santos is another huge flaw with this series as the way the Kaiju and human characters look, it feels way too cartoonish and looks rushed sometimes. There is also an inconsistency with the art as the Kaiju’s eyes in some panels are completely pale, while in other panels their irises can be seen. I don’t want to make it sound like both Phil Hester and Victor Santos are bad artists because they are not. I have seen good work from them. It’s just that their art in Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters just looked very rushed and poor with even the backgrounds looking dull (the coloring and inking are very solid though).

One thing that I was really upset with his story is the origin they give to Godzilla. Instead of being a giant reptilian monster that was created by nuclear weapons, he is instead a giant monster that randomly appears in the world causing destruction for no reason and explanation, that only gets his nuclear powers because a nuclear missile was launched at him with the hopes of killing him (only for him to absorb the radiation and get more powers from it). This is an insult as it goes against Godzilla’s metaphor of being the consequences of using nuclear weapons, and is bound to offend any true and hardcore Godzilla fan.

Even though I said that this series has way too many storytelling and artwork flaws, I won’t say it’s awful because it had a good concept, good giant monster fighting action, and good lettering. It’s just that if if hadn’t felt so rushed, it would’ve been a much better story for sure, and a better start for IDW Publishing’s Godzilla line.

I give Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters 2/5 Stars.