Kull: The Cat and The Skull #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Gabriel Guzman (cover by Jo Chen)
What do a talking cat, serpent men, and King Kull of Valusia have in common? They’re all part of the newest Dark Horse offering from the mind of Robert E. Howard, that’s what! In times like these, King Kull is not only trying to fight off the savage Black Legion and stop an internal insurrection by the serpent men loyal to Thulsa Doom, but also constant unrest by his own people, as well. One thing that seems right with the kingdom is the daughter of a duke (who is staying with the Queen), named Declardes, and her love for a young man. She tells the Queen of her undying love for the handsome boy, but the Queen tells her that he is too low on the food chain for her to be with. She pleads with the Queen to talk with Kull about the matter, and the Queen considers it. This young girl also has an interesting pet, a cat named Saramese that seems to not only talk, but tell people visions of the future! One thing that Kull immediately deals with is the serpent men. He and his trusted right hand man, Brule, sneak into the lair of these snake people and deal out some punishment – like a decapitation, for starters! The serpent men were in the middle of a sacrifice, though, and just as Brule and Kull think they’ve won, a trickle of blood drips down the altar, and awakens an army of beasts ready to kill anything in their path!
I must say that ever since Kull: The Hate Witch last year, I’ve been dying for some more King Kull! He’s like Conan, but even more vicious, and I love his origin story a lot better, too. Not that Conan’s is bad or anything, but Kull is just more appealing to me personally. This talking cat and a certain guard stationed in the Queen’s chambers seem to be harboring a secret or two, and with the imminent threat of Thulsa Doom hanging over Kull’s head, this should be a great mini-series. Lapham shows us that you can have multiple plot points in an action book, and Guzman’s art is pretty good, too. And the cover, wow, what can’t be said for Chen’s fantastic work that already hasn’t been said! Rating 3.5/5
Alternate cover by Stephanie Hans