Recent revelations have left the Grass Kingdom fractured from within, but with enemies approaching from the outside, it must pull together to survive.
Grass Kings #12 opens up the third and final installment in Boom! Studios’ secessionist/adulterous love story/murder mystery. Chapter 11 ended on the bombshell reveal that Ms. Handel’s burned corpse bore hallmarks of homicide. Kind of difficult to hang oneself with zip ties binding one’s wrists. Zip ties were the signature of The Thin-Air Killer, Cargill’s resident serial killer. Things aren’t looking so great for Archie, who torched Jen’s trailer after discovering her body, and it’s starting to look like Humbert’s theories about the TAK being a resident of The Kingdom might have some basis in truth.
Chapter 12 ties up some loose ends from the previous arc, but shifts focus to Humbert for a while. We all know why King Robert is hung up on TAK, but one of the things that never really clicked until now is what Humbert has to gain from a decades-long cold case obsession. That dude’s got some deeply rooted emotional issues, and Matt Kindt has decided it’s time to pull back that curtain.
One of the things that has been working really impressively throughout this series is Kindt’s character development. When initially meeting a character or seeing an interaction, there have been some seriously WTF moments, but the further we get into the story, the more it’s all coming together and making too much sense. One of the principals is likely TAK, and most of them are likeable, flawed but functional people. (Humbert’s pretty much gonna stay a dick, no matter how this thing falls.)
Tyler Jenkins and Hilary Jenkins pull out the stops in this issue. There are some really fantastic cinematic sequences, notably the opening sequence. It starts with a wide establishing shot, then pulls up for a mid-shot, to an over-the shoulder, and blows off with a low-angle shot from underwater looking up at the principals. The raw emotion and awkward tension of Kindt’s script bleeds through these amazing images and watercolor.
At this point, everything is in place, and the other shoe is about to drop. The Kingdom has survived thus far, but we’ve reached the flash point. There’s a huge revelation on the horizon, and it’s either going to bring The Kingdom together or blow it apart.
Grass Kings #12, published by Boom! Studios, released on 14 February 2018. Written by Matt Kindt, art by Tyler Jenkins, color by Hilary Jenkins, letters by Jim Campbell.