Villordsutch reviews The First Kingdom Vol. 5 – The Space Explorers Club…
With the conclusion of The First Kingdom, human champion, Tundran, and his children, fulfil their ultimate destiny and bring down the pantheon of the gods, heralding a new epic! From a far-flung future of space-faring humans to races of strange new gods, The Space Explorers Club is published here EXCLUSIVELY for the FIRST time by Titan Comics, expanding what is considered by many to be the first true graphic novel! Vol. 5 comes with exclusive all-new interviews and special features!
I am unsure whether I should admit to never being aware of Jack Katz’s The First Kingdom (Volumes 1 through 4). I don’t know if I’ll be escorted from the comic book fraternity as a fraud, my peers will turn their backs on me and I’m forced to hand back my ceremonial robes of office and keys to the front door. It’s clear from this collection however that Jack Katz isn’t one for settling for a basic story of “A week in the life of…”; here we have a tale occupying 9 billion years give or take a million. Frank Herbert’s Dune space opera is a mere plop in a pond when it comes to years explored compared to Jack Katz on this Volume 5 alone. This is a huge achievement completed by one person, who alone tackles both art and writing duties throughout this 160 page graphic novel.
The downside however is that this is a weighty tome to take in on one sitting, which I unfortunately attempted to do. It’s not down to the page count either, but rather that The First Kingdom Vol.5 feels like it goes on that bit too long. It’s due to this that you become irritated whilst reading it and when suddenly our protagonist takes another leap into an alternate reality to another life (mid-battle) you have the urge to flick through the pages, though you know you can’t as the story relies on you following what’s occurring closely; this isn’t a full-out attack on the story mind you, which as a whole is enjoyable. Another minor irritation is the panels on occasion – due to placement – become confusing, which leads to the story or lettering being read out-of-order. This happens rarely, but when it does it’s frustrating.
If we can push these negatives to one side for a moment though, the artwork cannot be faulted and looks brilliant. Just looking at the work that has gone into every panel is enough to make you appreciate each page; seand eing Jack Katz’s name at the bottom of each page lets us know he’s happy with his work and finished with that page. The First Kingdom Vol. 5 – The Space Explorers Club is on occasion too stretched out in some areas, which I felt could have been trimmed to keep the story a bit tighter. However, in terms of the whole package, I still liked the book and admired the rather brilliant artwork a lot.
A preview of The First Kingdom Vol. 5 – The Space Explorers Club is available to see here at Flickering Myth.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.