(Minor spoilers of issue 5 and all previous issues ahead.)
The year was 1958. A bunch of counterculture bikers are squatting on the land. The police showed them what would happen to weirdos. It wasn’t all that long ago that the police and the eventual inhabitants of The Grass Kingdom drew blood from one another.
Action: In comics, action speeds everything up. I have my education in fiction writing. Long prose. In many ways, this visual medium does the exact opposite as long prose when it comes to action sequences. Everything is slowed down in a novel. Time is stretched in order to give readers a real sense of what is happening. If reading a fist fight took as long as the fist fight lasted, it wouldn’t be more than a couple sentences. Instead of the minute actions of a main character, Grass Kings shows the main events of the fight between The Grass Kingdom inhabitants and the Cargill police. The police drive cars through the community, shooting. Archie opens fire with a mounted 50 caliber machine gun. Blows up a police car.
Blood is shed.
Characters: While much of this issue id image heavy and dialogue light, a nice piece of character development is thrown in. As Robert rides a horse to get to the airfield, the sound of gunfire in the background, captions that drudge up dialogue between he and his daughter grace each page. The interaction is that of him reading to her, right before she disappears. He’s reading her a fairy tale about a knight who rescues a queen. While Robert carries a gun, the odd panel depicts him as the knight, carrying a sword. The captioned dialogue between Rose and Robert is a nice touch, as it pulls the narrative back to what this whole story is really about. It addresses what readers are curious about. Where did Rose go, why, what was Robert like before she disappeared?
Art: The climax of the issue is when Robert sits on his horse and a dragon takes to the sky. it shoots fire from its mouth. The next page, however, shows that the dragon is just an old biplane with a single bomb attached to it.
Conclusion: Interestingly, this felt like the shortest issue I’d read. There simply isn’t much dialogue which makes the panels fly by–especially on the Comixology Guided View option. This isn’t to say the issue is bad or dull–it isn’t, but considerably less happens in this issue that is noteworthy than in previous issues. The personal connections between characters just aren’t there because the characters are busy doing other things than talking. A necessary, yet quick issue.