What happens when a serving patriot is abandoned by his country, sparking off a political conspiracy? Throw in some superpowers, a VR-induced utopia, dangerous nationalism, and you’ve got KINO. The latest arc is written by Alex Paknadel (Friendo) and follows Alistair Meath, an RAF pilot who was ripped out of a perfect simulated version of his life after he was exposed to an asteroid that knocked him unconscious. He’s now aimlessly wandering the streets of London in a haze, as his new reality is vastly different to the idealistic one he spent months in before an MI6 raid pulled him out. Plus, it looks incredible. It comes with illustrations by Diego Gallindo, colours by Adam Guzowski, lettering by Jim Campbell and a stellar cover by Frazer Irving.
IF YOU’VE NEVER READ THE STORY FROM LION FORGE COMICS BEFORE, KINO10 IS AN EXCELLENT JUMPING-OFF POINT.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The best science-fiction tales are those that parallel our own world with political allegories and social commentary. KINO #10 has that in spades, take your pick. Is it the shady dealings of the UK Government? The abandonment of servicemen and women after they’ve been through a trauma? The homeless crisis? The issue manages to weave all of these problems together into its world without bluntly bending the story to accommodate them. They’re quietly playing in the background and the state of the country is overtly clear from dialogue between characters.
Meath might’ve been a red-caped superhero before, but he’s down on his luck after breaking free of his virtual prison. Muttering to himself in public while stalking his own family, it’s clear he’s questioning what is real. The UK is in disarray, with grinning politicians taking the stage claiming that everything is fine and no one really needs to worry. Sound familiar? It says a lot when the real villains are no longer dressed in spandex with cackling plans of mass destruction. Here, they’re old men in suits with no real connection to what real life is like, pushing through shady policies that only fatten their wallets. Again, this all ringing true for the state of global affairs in 2018.
Don’t get us wrong, it isn’t completely doom and gloom. There’s a fantastic moment later on in the issue in which Alistair begins to regain some of his heroic tendencies that plays out very cinematically. If you’ve never read the story from Lion Forge Comics before, KINO10 is an excellent jumping-off point. And with Paknadel at the helm, we’ve no doubt that this story has plenty more tricks up its sleeve.
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A thrilling superhero story combined with an equally fascinating social commentary.