King of Pain is an independent comic created in 2009. The main writer was Nicholas James West, and the art team consisted of Jiro Tamase(Pencils) and Sam Rodriguez(Inks). It was originally created by Nicholas James West and Christopher Lynn West.
It might seem odd that The Geek Lyfe would take the time to write a review about the first issue of an independent comic 10+ years after it came out. The reason for this article is I, DeAngelo, met Nicholas West’s sister in 2018, and during that time she had told me about how heartbroken she was over the passing of her eldest brother, Nicholas James West. The praise she would give on his work was immense and filled with passion. When I found out that he wrote a comic book, I felt compelled to find it online and order myself a copy in order to support my fellow geek writers!
I got my copy of King of Pain Issue #1 and read it cover to cover and enjoyed every second of it. So much so that I needed to honor his memory and the hard work of this small team with an article!
King of Pain is a story about a world filled with super-powered humans, traditionally, they use their abilities to fight crime but many of them don’t do it solely out of the goodness of their heart. It is a job for them that they could not care less about while the world drowns them in praise.
Kyle Kapowski is the relatively normal protagonist who finds himself at odds with the beloved, Captain Alan Powers, over a woman who plays them both. Captain Alan Powers and Kyle are forced to answer questions to the police chief about the incident. Kyle explains that their fight is unfair due to the fact that he has no powers but at the end of the comic, it is revealed that Kyle does have powers. Leaving fans with a classic cliff hanger that makes you wonder if Kyle becomes the titular King of Pain and what his powers would have been.
What I loved about this comic is the fact that the story was a blend of what we already knew and something new. We all know of superhero filled worlds thanks to Marvel and DC Comics as they are chock-full of valiant heroes and wicked villains but here was a story where the heroes were not just morally grey but even slightly evil. Captain Alan Powers and his peers are focused solely on what benefits them the most instead of the well being of the public.
I can’t help but think of Amazon series,The Boys, that swept the nation in 2019 with their similar concept. A world that is policed by corrupt superheroes and only the main characters are willing to stand up to them despite the tremendous difficulties.
It makes me wonder what King of Pain could have been had it continued. Their first issue was great, especially for an indie comic! I was able to find Issue #2 online but the download failed, leading me to believe that this first issue is probably the most we’ll get to see from the series. The art was a strong mix of manga and traditional comics so it gave you something new to appreciate. The characters gave an immediate rivalry that we know so well from Naruto and Sasuke or Goku and Vegeta where one may have started off in a more privileged position but through hard work and tenacity the lesser is able to rise above.
I also enjoyed that there was a secondary story that gave a glimpse of a prologue explaining how in another party of the city there had been a number of cruel experiments on animals in order to advance research on augmentations for humans. Zane and Nicky are two lab rats who have been enhanced beyond normal means. Zane through intelligence and Nicky through brute strength. In a very tongue-and-cheek fashion they are Pinky and the Brain but with much more violence as their attempt to escape the facility results in mutilation and explosions.
I really enjoyed King of Pain and all it had to offer. If you can get your hands on a copy then I absolutely recommend it!
I found my copy on https://www.mycomicshop.com/! We are always down to support our indie geek community and all of their projects! If you have something you’d like for us to review, send us an email: email@example.com !