Review: Grass Kings #5
In Grass Kings #5, Sheriff Humbert has had enough with the “Grass Kingdom” and its so called kings: brothers Robert, Bruce and Ashur. He believes that they have kidnapped his wife Maria (she has run away from his abusive relationship) and they are holding “big” Dan hostage (he was shot by Maria while trying to take her back to Sheriff Humbert). Sheriff Humbert and his police force start infiltrating the “Grass Kingdom”, trying to take down their water supply and other life essentials, but the people of the “Grass Kingdom” will not go down without a fight. Soon bullets start flying and people start dying, and Robert has to make a drastic decision that will change everyone’s lives forever.
Matt Kindt is a excellent writer and nails the characters in Grass Kings #5. He has built up these people throughout the series so you feel for them and the plight of what is happening. This Issue is way more “action” oriented than the previous four have been, and Kindt balances that well with still telling the story of The Grass Kings. The major negative is I am still really confused on what exactly the “Grass Kingdom” actually is and this has been a problem since the first issue. I have an educated guess that it is supposed to be something like the “Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge” , story-wise it feels like something in that vein, but I still do not fully understand how they can do all this on this land and they are having a full on shoot-out with the cops in this Issue so a little explanation is needed.
Tyler Jenkins continues with art duties on this series. His loose lines and water color style has been great to look at, but it is not very well suited to this more action oriented part of the story. The panel structure and layout do not really build up the intensity that needs to be shown when an all out war is breaking out and some times it is hard to make out what is happening on some pages (I couldn’t tell if one person got shot or was tripping). All that being said, there are some absolutely gorgeous pages with Robert riding a horse that are stunning to look at. While the action pages are a little muddled, Jenkins still shows off some incredible stylings in the more toned down moments of Grass Kings #5.
Grass Kings has been hit and miss with me so far. I really like Kindt’s story-telling abilities and how he really brings each character to life and really has some heart wrenching things in this series, but the fact that it is set in the “real world” and the “Grass kingdom” is never really explained is very frustrating from a readers standpoint, especially after five issues. Jenkins’s water colors are truly magical and stand out in this series, but as stated earlier his art style is not very well suited for this more action-oriented story. Grass Kings #5 is a good entry into the series and raises the stakes for what is to happen next, but it does have some major flaws to it.
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