A Decades Old Murder Mystery Unfolds In Grass Kings #7

by Brendan M. Allen

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land. Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return.

There’s a delicate balance between the town of Cargill and the Grass Kingdom. In chapter six of Boom! Studios’ Grass Kings, we almost saw that tenuous peace dissolve in a storm of bullets and tear gas. As chapter six closed, Bruce went to Cargill behind King Robert’s back to meet with Sheriff Humbert and redirect some of the blowback.

During their clandestine meeting, Sheriff Humbert plants an idea that niggles at Bruce. Robert is convinced that a serial killer dubbed “The Thin-Air Killer” had a hand in his daughter’s disappearance. Humbert confirms to Bruce that all of the evidence Humbert had at the time pointed to one of the residents of Grass Kingdom as the killer.

Grass Kings has been a fantastic read up to this point, but this is where it really starts to break away from the pack. There are plenty of great secessionist stories on comic book store shelves, but Grass Kings has a little something else going for it. All the elements of a great feud between local rural government and a secessionist principality are in play, but now we have this awesome decades-old murder mystery to solve within that framework.

Matt Kindt slyly planted seeds in the first six chapters that are beginning to show fruit here in chapter seven. It was easy enough in early chapters to get sucked into the looming battle, not realizing where Kindt was leading. It all made sense at the time, and now it makes even more sense in retrospect.

Tyler Jenkins’ loose pencils and watercolors are brilliant. The deceptively simple art style is equally suited to tender moments between father and young daughter and brutal battle scenes. Nearly every panel is frame-worthy.

Grass Kings #7 is a fantastic jumping on point for the series, but if you haven’t already, I highly recommend going back and getting the first six issues. There is enough exposition in chapter seven for new readers not to feel lost, but there’s so much meat in the first six issues, it’d be a shame to miss out on them.

Boom! Studios’ Grass Kings #7, Diamond code JUL171506, co-created by Matt Kindt (script) and Tyler Jenkins (illustrations) released Wednesday 13 September 2017. Grass Kings #7 features letters by Jim Campbell, cover by Tyler Jenkins, variant cover by Matt Kindt, and a retailer variant cover by David Rubin.