King Tiger #1 is a fascinating read, similar to a Doctor Strange story while also being part Hellblazer and part superhero. The story revolves around King Tiger, a sorcerer who goes around cleaning up supernatural threats, aided by his assistant Milo (who serves as the comic relief) and Rikki, Tiger’s love interest and the one who bank roles his adventures. King Tiger #1 follows Tiger as he trains Milo and also introduces an evil group of creatures who are kidnapping humans, which is apparently all a trick to capture King Tiger.
The issue’s artwork from Doug Wheatley and Rain Beredo is very good as it helps to immerse the reader in the narrative. It sets the gritty tone for the story, showing that this is not a light-hearted and fun adventure, but a hard-boiled supernatural thriller.
However, King Tiger’s greatest asset and its greatest weakness lie in its writing and story. Randy Stradley does a fine job introducing the characters and showing off the ticks and quirks of them all, but the story ultimately fails in its explanation. There’s little to no background given on anything, instead throwing readers into a supernatural world that does not explain how or why it exists. Why is King Tiger called King Tiger? That is never explained, nor is why he wear robes when everyone else dresses in contemporary clothes? It’s never explained. Who is the man asking Tiger to meet him in the mountains? We are never told.
King Tiger #1 has a lot going for it; the tale is exciting, has an exotic setting, and implies there is a larger, more interesting story to tell. However, the first issues needs to lay a bit more ground work for readers unfamiliar with the characters or setting.