Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke, Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore (First Second)

Ben Hatke's comics are fast becoming a mainstay for kids who love amazing art, tons of originality and frenetically paced storytelling...
Ben's fantastic best-selling Sci Fi epic "Zita the Spacegirl" wowed us all, and now Ben's turning his attention to more fantasy fare in "Mighty Jack and the Goblin King".

Fusing a well-loved fairy tale with a new cast of characters joining Jack on his quest, it kicks off at a zillion miles an hour from the very first turn of the page.

Jack's back garden has turned into a crazed and chaotic landscape filled with nefarious creatures and colossal flora, thanks to Jack and his kid sister Maddy going a little crazy with some magic beans.

Maddy is kidnapped by a particularly nasty piece of work who somehow seems to think he's found himself the ultimate bride (ew, weirdo!) so it's up to Jack and his neighbour Lilly to embark on a hazardous quest to not only rescue Maddy but defeat the Goblin King once and for all, before his dark plans to take over our world come to fruition.

It won't be an easy mission, with gigantic vines to negotiate, foul creatures to slay and then there's that whole "giant who loves to bake using human bones" thing to watch out for too. EEK!

Jack is a brave warrior and will stop at nothing to rescue his sis. Lilly has more than a few tricks up her sleeve (and in her medicine bag too) so can the pair triumph over the forces of darkness?

As a kid who was completely obsessed with all things "Dungeons and Dragons", and as a dad who is slowly raising his daughter to love fantasy and science fiction we were all over this like a rash. 

Taking the original Jack and the Beanstalk story and turning it into a fantasy epic is no mean feat, but Ben's awesome dialogue and artwork (coloured beautifully by Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore) does not let up the pace for a second, revealing a ton of twists and gorgeous comic set pieces set to thrill young readers (and quite a few grown up ones too!)

Brilliant stuff, thoroughly recommended. 

"Mighty Jack and the Goblin King" is released on 1st September 2017, published by First Second (kindly supplied in digital format for review).