Packing a hefty amount of style and substance, King Tiger #1 is an exceptional reintroduction of a 90’s Dark Horse character.
WRITTEN BY: Randy Stradley
ART BY: Doug Wheatley
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: 12 August 2015
King Tiger immediately establishes a dark universe that feels violent and visceral. Human beings are being rounded up and corralled by a secret organization. It sounds cliche and tired but King Tiger twists it a bit and presents the idea in a fresh light. This organization is definitely not human, or not human any more. They cover themselves just enough that you cannot tell exactly what they are but not too much as to make them complete mysteries.
Following the ominous cold open we’re introduced to Milo and Rikki, Tigers assistant and girlfriend respectively. We’re not given much insight into anyone’s past but what we can gather is Milo’s a grunge skater dude & Rikki is especially rich. While they initially come off as very surface both slowly begin to grow over the course of the issue. Tiger is a whole other beast, he’s not the staunchy stoic martial arts master you generally think of. He’s younger, with a sense of humour and real personality. He’s also got a troubled past that completely breaks convention for this type of story.
Tiger and Milo’s relationship puts a unique twist on the classical mentor/student formula. Milo’s got the early 90’s grunge tone downpacked. While Tiger is more experienced than Milo he’s still pretty green too. They fumble their first mission to a certain degree showing they both have a lot to learn and as cliche as it sounds they’ve also both got a lot to teach each other.
King Tiger isn’t what you’d expect from the title and cover but that’s ok because what it is is unique and inventive. It flips tropes on their heads and has enough twists and mysteries to thoroughly satisfy.