Writer: David Flores
Artist: David Flores
Letterer: Tanya Gilmore
Edited by: Tony Dayoub
Publisher: [sic] Monkie
Since I was a kid I always loved the tales from Arthurian Legend. Le Morte d’Arthur, The Once and Future King, Excalibur, all were favorites of mine growing up. It seems over the years there have been many a retelling of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, but to take the King from his time and put him in a world straight out of the Walking Dead?
That is exactly what we get from creator and artist David Flores, a tale of the greatest King of legend awaking from his eternal sleep into a dystopian world overrun by flesh eating zombies. Now while most of the time I am not a fan of a classic figure being taken into our modern day world, the idea of having him emerge from the ground and having to battle a foe he has never encountered intrigued me when I first heard of this book. Needless to say I was in for a tale of beautiful art, great narrative and thrilling battles.
Beginning with Arthur’s final battle against his son Mordred, I was immediately transported back to memories of watching this in John Boorman’s classic film Excalibur; it was like watching the film in comic book form but with Flores’s distinct spin. To begin to the story with what we all know was Arthur’s final battle I feel truly set up the story nicely as having fallen in battle he would only emerge in our world to fight another.
With half the first issue being inner narratives from Arthur, you truly felt the confusion and pain the character was going through. You really started to think what my body would do if I had just clawed my way from my grave who knows how many years after my death. What would any of us do if that were us and not this great legendary antagonist. Flores truly captured the aches and pains of limbs and joints long unused and suddenly having to move not only to progress from place to place, but also to evade those who had turned.
The twist at the end, which I will not give away here, was one I was hoping was going to happen and when it did I was upset that it was the final panel of the book. I want to know more as there are so many questions left unanswered. How did Arthur come back? What happened to the world and how did this zombie apocalypse come to be? Flores has now made me excited for when he finishes issue 2 because I must find the answers to these questions.
The artwork is fantastic and reminds me of classic work by Mike Mignola in Hellboy. The color tones used are what I feel gave it the ambiance it was going for. A combination of black and white pages and then some filled with faded greens or blues get me focused on the fact that this is a world in ruin, this is a man out of time and that there are struggles ahead for our King.
David Flores has created a mash up of epic proportions and his team of letterer Tanya Gilmore and editor Tony Dayoub have truly got something special with this book. I cannot begin to express how much I loved this comic and it is one I hope others will give a shot now that it has been picked up by Alterna Comics for digital distribution.
Dead Future King is a combination of two truly fantastic genres and one that everyone should give a look at, both Arthurian and Zombie fans alike.
4 out of 5 nerds