Time is running our for Jasmine, and the Forty Thieves are one stop ahead at all turns.  Your Major Spoilers review of Jasmine: Crown of Kings #4 awaits!

Time is running our for Jasmine, and the Forty Thieves are one stop ahead at all turns.  Your Major Spoilers review of Jasmine: Crown of Kings #4 awaits!JASMINE: CROWN OF KINGS #4

Writer: Howard Mackie
Artist: Deivis Goetten
Colorist: Ceci De La Cruz
Letterer: Terry Kavanaugh
Editor: Dave Franchini
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 8, 2018

Previously in Jasmine: Crown Of Kings: Jasmine races against the terrorist group, The Forty Thieves, to collect the shattered pieces of the Crown of Kings.  As time is running out to acquire this object that haunts her past, she must hurry to stop it from unleashing an unearthly power on the world and all she holds dear.

IS THIS THE DISNEY JASMINE?

We open with a scene of remarkably graphic carnage, the after-effects of the jinn, Cerule, searching out the latest piece of the legendary Crown of Kings.  Her opponent, Jasmine, is a former jinn herself, now brought down to Earth, but who knows that the Crown cannot fall into evil hands.  Unfortunately, her frenemy/ally Ali (who is totally not Aladdin, unless he is, which this particular book wants to make clear is possible) is has been working for the big blue genie all along, and escapes with her and the pieces of the crown.  Jasmine, luckily, chopped off a couple of his fingers, which still apparently possess the power to open a portal with his magical powers and…  Ugh.  She teleports after them, more carnage ensues, Jasmine gets the last piece of the maguffin, with the issue ending with both Jasmine and Ali falling to their seemingly inevitable doom from a cliff.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS BOOK IS DOING

There’s something really disheartening about a narrative that literally explains everything on-panel but still manages to be unclear in its storytelling.  This book is full of leaden exposition, from Jasmine expounding upon her past as a jinn, Cerule’s villain monologues and Ali’s explanations of how his men are dying in the middle of several pages that very clearly SHOW them dying.  The plot is simple, but still has a moment that puts the timeline in doubt, showing Jasmine suddenly arriving BEFORE Cerule and Ali someplace that she didn’t know and that they had a serious head start in getting to.  On the art side, it’s a pretty fair issue, as Goetten delivers an attractive Jasmine, a wicked evil magic creature and lots of hacking, slashing and bow-and-arrow impalements, all with the usual silky Zenescope production and coloring.  Much like my recent experience with Zenescope’s ‘Three Musketeers’, there is some stiffness to the figure work and faces that can be off-putting, but it’s less distressing than the problems with the writing for me.

BOTTOM LINE: NOT ENJOYABLE, AT LEAST FOR ME

All in all, this is a comic that misses the mark enough on the dialogue and plot side that even the strengths of the art can’t overcome it.  Jasmine: Crown Of Kings #4 has a paint-by-numbers plot, leaden dialogue and endless exposition that weigh down the proceedings and leave a bad taste in the reader’s mouth, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall.  You know it’s gonna be a rough read when you are so distracted by the dialogue that the borderline intellectual property violations aren’t even a primary concern anymore…

JASMINE: CROWN OF KINGS #4

Writing
Art
Coloring

It's a slick and well-produced as any Zenescope production, and the art is pretty solid, but the story and dialogue just aren't cutting the mustard.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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