‘Grass Kings: Volume 2’ - Trade Paperback Review

The premise of the Grass Kings series is that an anti-government settlement lives off the grid in a grassland trailer park within the West. This community has managed to formulate their own set of rules, rejecting common-held laws. At the outset, readers are grounded in a story where three brothers are deemed the Grass Kings, with one of them dealing with the loss of a child.

While the premise is that this series will be a murder mystery dealing with the depth of a missing child, the first arc establishes these points yet does not focus on them. This was to the narrative's benefit for the second arc. In setting the tone and having these two communities clash, the creators display the contention between the large-scale ideology of these people against the individual narratives followed. Writer Matt Kindt constantly plays a fluctuating morality within the series. There are perspectives being shared in Grass Kings, where we do see it from the characters' points of view, but they’re not always the right persons to root for within the story.

In many ways, Kindt finds collaborators with the same artistic sensibilities with a visible through line of his work on Dept. H, MIND MGMT, and Revolver.  Tyler Jenkins employs a scenic watercolor that changes the perception for layering the narrative. It gives the book a more idyllic vision, but emphasizes that there is a meditative pace for the story.

The first arc is set to create and establish the world, while providing a sense of the characters and atmosphere. In the second volume, the audience is provided more background into key characters who have entered into this community. Where Kindt first explored the clashes that the community faced on the outskirts, he gears this volume towards what’s rotten about this peaceful society. It introduces a promised mystery and delivers into a grander serial killer narrative that is compact within the volume. In many ways, this mystery is not just an exploration of the plot, but serves to further delve into the characters that we begin to grow fond of and offers commentary about surveillance for the well-being of the community.

Creative Team: Writer: Matt Kindt, Artist:Tyler Jenkins , Letterer: Jim Campbell,  Cover Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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