Interview: Jeff Parker on Dynamite’s Kings Watch

Kings Watch #1 cover by Marc Laming

Kings Watch #1 cover by Marc Laming


Jeff Parker is a popular writer who has worked on such books as Red She-Hulk, Thunderbolts, Batman ’66, Underground, and X-Men: First Class. Now, he’s writing the adventures of the Kings Watch for Dynamite. Who exactly are the Kings Watch and what does he have in store for them? Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Parker to find out.

Westfield: What is the Kings Watch?

Jeff Parker: It’s the Trinity of King Features, Phantom, Mandrake and Flash Gordon coming together to fight a truly evil alliance. These three haven’t been in a story together in a long time and a worldwide threat will bring them together and change their lives.

Kings Watch preview page 1. Art by Marc Laming.

Kings Watch preview page 1. Art by Marc Laming.


Westfield: Will members of their supporting casts be appearing as well?

Parker: Yes. Mostly Flash’s, with Dale Arden and Hans Zarkov, but Mandrake’s old strongman comrade Lothar figures in big too. And Devil, if you count wolves. Dale works for the New York Times as a Science Desk writer when we meet her. Lothar is apart from Mandrake and conducting photo safaris in Kenya.

Kings Watch preview page 2. Art by Marc Laming.

Kings Watch preview page 2. Art by Marc Laming.


Westfield: What attracted you to the project?

Parker: First Nate Cosby approached me and asked how I’d go about a big launch like this.

I’ve always liked these characters and the kinds of high adventure they embody. It’s a chance to introduce them to a new generation, and I wanted to be part of that.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the series? Any hints you can give about the story?

Parker: In the story Kings Watch refers to a very important, very ancient carved stone that can be used to change the world. And, it will. You’re going to see Mandrake’s main enemy The Cobra messing with things no human should and that sets a lot of dangerous elements in motion. And Dr. Zarkov unwittingly contributes to the chaos.

Kings Watch preview page 3. Art by Marc Laming.

Kings Watch preview page 3. Art by Marc Laming.


Westfield: You’re working with artist Marc Laming on the book. What can you say about your collaboration with him?

Parker: Everyone’s going to be talking about Marc once this comes out, he is crushing it. His work really gets across the scope of the story, the menaces and the thrills. The guy is a powerhouse, and a pleasure to collaborate with. This scene in the first issue with Phantom fighting a monster is even cooler than I imagined. Very pro-Marc!

Kings Watch preview page 4. Art by Marc Laming.

Kings Watch preview page 4. Art by Marc Laming.


Westfield: If the book does well, do you have more stories you’d like to tell with these characters?

Parker: I’ve got some Flash Gordon ideas in particular, yes. Though our take on him owes more to the early Raymond comics strips and movie serials, I am using one characteristic from the 1980 movie. In that he’s relentlessly upbeat and positive, and I wanted him to be that way here. He’s a load of fun to write.

Kings Watch #1 cover by Ramon K. Perez

Kings Watch #1 cover by Ramon K. Perez


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Parker: This isn’t just for longtime fans, though they will get a lot out of it and how we use classic elements. Any new reader who likes action and big set pieces will be a good audience for this, even kids. They may not get everything that’s going on, but they’ll realize these three guys are a force to reckon with.

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Kings Watch #1

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