King: Mandrake the Magician #1 is the latest installment of Dynamite Entertainment’s miniseries starring all of King Features’ characters on their 100th anniversary. Previously, we’ve seen Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and even Jungle Jim! This time, the spotlight falls on Mandrake, and his turn in defending the Earth against the forces of evil. Will he succeed? Let’s find out!
Dynamite gets legendary comic talent Roger Langridge to write this issue, and what a great job he does. In my opinion, Mandrake has always been a tough character to write. He’s a magician, and it’s really hard to write something that you have to see to believe in a medium where an artist can literally draw anything on the page. So, you’re all ready behind that eight ball there. But, Langridge pulls off a great story here, giving us a brief introduction to Mandrake and his world, all the while working in the goings-on in the Dynamite King event. He tells a fantastic story of Mandrake taking on a rival magician, trying to protect an ancient artifact, and just when you think the story is over, it basically starts over on the last page. VERY intriguing story in this issue.
Artist Jeremy Treece is a very interesting choice for this book. He’s not your standard comic book artist. He’s got a very unique style, and at first, I wasn’t sure it was going to work on this book. But, thankfully, it really does. It’s got a different look to it, but the spirit of the story is excellently conveyed through Treece’s art. His page layouts and storytelling are fantastic, and by the second page, you’re totally immersed in the world of Mandrake, not to mention his awesome portrayal of magic spells and the other fantastic feats that Mandrake and the other magician in the story pull off.
If you haven’t been reading the other King books from Dynamite, you don’t have to worry about that if you want to pick this one up. It’s very new-reader friendly and is 99 percent a self-contained story. But, if you have read the previous issues, you’re going to get a lot more out of it. Either way, I say give this one a shot. I really think you’re going to enjoy it!