Review: Kull Eternal #1 is a Promising First Issue
 
KULL ETERNAL #1 - An I Reads You Review

IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing

STORY: Tom Waltz

ART: Luca Pizzari

COLORS: Triona Tree Farrell

LETTERS: Christa Miesner

COVER: Luca Pizzari

VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Alex Sanchez with Triona Tree Farrell (subscription cover); Xermanico (Retailer Incentive A); Jheremy Raapack with Jay Fotos (Retailer Incentive B); Julio Das Pastoras (Retailer Incentive C)

28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 2017)

Kull of Atlantis (or Kull the Conqueror) is a fictional character created by writer Robert E. Howard. Kull's first published appearance was the short story, “The Shadow Kingdom,” which was published in the pulp magazine, Weird Tales (cover dated:  August 1929).  [Conan the Cimmerian (or Barbarian) made his first appearance in a story that was a re-write of a rejected Kull story.]

Kull was born in pre-cataclysmic Atlantis c. 100,000 BC, but was exiled from Atlantis as an adolescent.  Afterwards he would become a slave, a pirate, an outlaw, and a gladiator before he eventually becoming the King of Valusia.

Kull has appeared in comic books published by Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics.  IDW is the current license holder for Kull comic books.  The publisher recently released its debut Kull comic book, which is entitled Kull Eternal.  The series is written by Tom Waltz; drawn by Luca Pizzari; colored by Triona Tree Farrell, and lettered by Christa Miesner.

Kull Eternal #1 opens in modern times in Antarctica, where Kull leads a group of armed humans against reptilians humanoid types.  Why is Kull in modern times?  Then, the story moves back eons to the original time of Kull.  There, we find a conspiracy fermenting against King Kull.  A mysterious woman, calling herself “Zarunna,” brings the king a message, a summons from the wizard Tuzun Thune to his “House of a Thousand Mirrors.”

What is Kull doing in modern times, indeed?  Tom Waltz, writer of Kull Eternal, explains in his afterword (entitled “Reflections”) that Kull Eternal uses Robert E. Howard's Kull story, “The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune” (1929), as a springboard.  I have read some stories by Robert E. Howard (REH), including a few Conan short stories.  The only Kull prose story that I have ever read is “Swords of the Purple Kingdom,” which I have read twice.  I have read several Kull comic books, but the character has always been second among REH characters to me – behind Conan.

However, my interest was piqued by the announcement of Kull Eternal, and what I read in this first issue has piqued my interest enough to keep reading.  Tom Waltz's concept, plot, and script (the triple crown of comic book writing) are all tantalizing.  I want to know why Kull is in Antarctica, and I am intrigued by the world of Valusia set up by Waltz.  How the mirrors of Tuzun Thune will initiate Kull's time traveling is a reveal I want to discover.

I like the art by Luca Pizzari, especially the second half of the story which takes place in Valusia.  Pizzari's compositions are well served by Triona Tree Farrell's coloring, especially the Valusia segment.  I am curious to see where this art teams goes.

I would like Kull Eternal to have a long run, but Kull as a comic book character has had a life that is but a fragment of the decades long comic book run that Conan the Barbarian has had.  I think Kull's recent stint at Dark Horse Comics yielded no more than three miniseries.  Kull Eternal has the potential to run at least a year, even in this tight market.

B+

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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