While last issue ended with Arthur coming face-to-face with a modernized Merlin, this issue really gets the benefit of the excellent twist in Flores’ script. Merlin believably plays the “Obi-Wan” role to Arthur, catching him up on the history of this new world he has awoken to and urging the king that destiny is at work in his return. The chemistry between the two old friends feels genuine and makes the reader easily bond with the small group slowly being formed around Arthur. As for the king, he spends the issue breaking up his brooding streaks with opportunities to stand up for what’s right and noble in a world gone crazy. Like a medieval version of Rick Grimes, Flores’ King Arthur is a character who has an incredibly strong moral code at his core that will surely be tested by (and may even crumble from) the events ahead of him. Rounding out the trio is Mr. Rice, a mysterious masked bodyguard who saves Arthur’s life several times and apparently lost his face to the zombie menace.
The tortured hero and charismatic band of survivors are not the only ways that Dead Future King #2 plays with the zombie genre staples that made The Walking Dead and several other recent zombie stories successful (focusing less on the monsters and more on the human element of a post-apocalyptic world). The second issue also features a Governor-type character who can control zombies, is fond of decapitation via machete, and plays heavily with the idea that other groups of survivors are just as dangerous, if not more so, than the zombie threat. Make no mistake, despite drawing these parallels, I am not saying that Dead Future King steals from other zombie stories or is unoriginal in any way. Flores has blown away expectations throughout both of his issues, and these parallels with The Walking Dead and other tales simply show that this writer knows where the true dramatic “meat” resides in the genre. If you’ve enjoyed the heavily character-focused style of The Walking Dead, then you will definitely love this incredibly unique twist on the zombie tale. I fully expect Flores to continue to take his readers on an unpredictable and exciting path that will challenge and surpass expectations just as gracefully as done in the first two issues of Dead Future King.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I showered all of my praise upon Flores’ writing and left his artwork out of the equation. While not as cartoony or manga-based as many of the more popular books from the big two, Flores’ art resides in a place closer to the realistic approach of Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead) or Fiona Staples (Saga). Lofty comparisons, I know, but that’s the kind of potential I see in these pages.
As I said in my previous review, if you are even a mild fan of either the tales of King Arthur or the zombie genre, you do not want to miss out on Dead Future King! You can find out more about the comic book series at the official website or the Dead Future King Facebook page. Dead Future King doesn’t appear to be available online yet, but you can find a decent-sized preview of the first issue here.
And, if you’re interested in reading a review of Dead Future King #1, click on the link below:
'Dead Future King #1' Review: Arthur, and Others, Return from the Grave!
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Until next time, keep those swords sharp and watch out for marauders with machetes!!!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer