‘Grass Kings #4:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Grass Kings by the incomparable Matt Kindt hasn’t completely won me over. I can dig the situation and the circumstances. I can absolutely understand the rising conflict and the themes being presented through those themes, but I have yet to be completely engrossed in the characters.

Grass Kings is about unchecked masculinity and how it shapes those in power. It’s about ownership, freedom, and the costs that have to be paid for that freedom. There is a kingdom in Grass Kings, a kingdom of mostly average people in contemporary times, run by an ex-Sheriff. Within the boundaries of this kingdom they have their own infrastructure, their own law. Most of the kingdom is countryside, a lot of lakes and fields. The people within the kingdom's limits abide by this law and no other, living life with as much as is needed, no more no less.

But within this kingdom there is a history of violence, ranging back long before our current cast of characters and all the way until recently when a possible killer was let loose. The situation is a little too detailed to fit into a 300-word review, it’s taken four issues to finally get it all out, so I’ll leave it at this: Someone has snuck into the kingdom looking for sanctuary, and the Sheriff outside of the kingdom wants them back and is willing to do all he can to do so. War between the kingdom and the outside world is brewing and feels almost inevitable. While that sounds exciting, I feel like maybe a visual medium wasn’t the best place to tell this story.

There is so much here being left unsaid and untouched, like the real points of view of these characters that don’t just inform the situation or history. It isn’t that what’s happening is not good; it’s well written and drawn. It’s a drama, so I don’t expect chaos in every issue, but I do hope for those details that define characters so the story feels important, so that the circumstances heighten the stakes.

I’m sticking with the book, because Kindt is really a fantastic writer and I have hope it’ll become seriously intense and engaging as we move away from exposition and into the main action of the story.

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