Victor McMax returns to the martial arts stage, but his kids may have something to say about it. Find out what happens next in Arcade Kings #5 by Image Comics!
ARCADE KINGS #5 (OF 5)
Writer: Dylan Burnett
Artist: Dylan Burnett
Colorist: Walter Baiamonto, Sara Antonellini, Simona Iurato, and Sharon Marino
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Editor: Amanda LaFranco
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: November 15th, 2023
Previously in Arcade Kings: Joe and Ken were trained by Victor McMax to be martial artist superstars, but little do they know they were groomed to help repair Victor’s body. Eventually, Ken ran away, and years later, Joe left home to find him. When Ken rejects Joe, Joe returns home and gives his body to his adoptive father.
Arcade Kings #5 shows Victor McMax announcing to the world that he is returning to the fighting stage. While on camera, Ken approaches and demands his brother back. Ken also refuses to fight and not give in to his father’s whims. Joe, whose body is withered, can feel Ken getting beat up but also physically changing. As Ken starts to power up, Joe returns to full strength. Together, they defeat their father and seemingly kill him. Joe and Ken then forgive each other for their actions.
Three weeks later, Ken returns to his arcade and protects his street from people who want to encroach on the power vacuum left by Vic. Luckily, he has his brother as a bodyguard. As the story ends, they are invited to a Tag Team fighting tournament.
The best part of the Arcade Kings series is the art. Arcade Kings #5 is visually stunning. Joe, in his red and green powered-up form contrasting with the blue and yellow of Ken, is breathtaking. I spent several moments looking at the details of these images that add so much to this fighting tournament genre. I’ll admit that the narrative arc on paper is relatively simple, but Dylan Burnett tells a simple story masterfully with his writing technique and this incredible art style.
The theme of brotherly love rises to the forefront of this issue. After their fight, I was surprised to see Ken show up in defense of his brother. Now, here arises the problem. There is much time between comic releases, with ten weeks since the last issue. And the price for this comic is very high, even if this is a double-sized issue. This comic would have been much more effective if there was less wait between comics because the themes would be fresh in my mind. Now that the entire miniseries is published, I look forward to picking up the trade and seeing if I can come to new conclusions.
Arcade Kings #5 is a near-perfect book. I think it accomplishes the exact things that it intended to. The art is excellent, and the simple writing perfectly fits the book’s tone. With that in mind, Arcade Kings #5 receives 5 out of 5 stars, and part of me is sad that it is over.
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Arcade Kings #5
Arcade Kings #5 provides a great conclusion to a fantastic miniseries where you have to pick up your jaw from the floor based on how great the art is.