Previewing Kingdom Vol. 4 – Alpha And Omega: The Evolution Of Gene The Hackman
by Richard Bruton
The continuing collection of Dan Abnett and Richard Elson‘s tale of evolutionary warfare in Kingdom hits volume 4, with Gene the Hackman battling to save Mankind from the threat of ‘Them’ and discovering that the world of the Kingdom may be much more complex than he’s been told.
In Kingdom, we’re in the far future where the last surviving members of humanity are hunted down by ‘Them’, the giant Neosectus alien bugs that have taken over the world. The only thing that humanity has to protect them are genetically engineered Aux ‘dog-soldiers’ such as Gene the Hackman, tasked with keeping watch over the ‘masters’ who created them.
The key to Kingdom is that it’s far more complex and multi-layered than it seems. Abnett’s always been a writer whose work always holds something deeper and more interesting, even on such a simple concept as Kingdom. And so it is here, with Abnett saying as much in his introduction…
‘When artist Richard Elson and I created the series Kingdom, over a decade ago, the struggle it portrayed was very binary in nature.’
‘But as the series progressed, we came to understand that things were more complicated than that. All wars are.’
So Kingdom has morphed into something far more complex and fascinating, with all involved working to their own agendas, whether it’s the Masters, Them, the parasitic Ticks, the Tick-controlled Them, the human survivors, the Aux working for the Masters, or the Feral Aux.
And then there’s Gene. The loyal dog-soldier, the perfect soldier who’s finally waking up to the fact that the Aux are just created to fight and die, cannon-fodder for all.
It’s a tale of evolution, of battle, of complexity, and it’s a great story to enjoy.
Here, in Volume 4, we open with Gene up in the master’s space station, trapped in an idyllic VR world but as things move on, we meet more of the multi-faceted characters of the Kingdom, as Gene continues his exploration of just what it means to break away from everything he knew, entering a brave new world…
Kingdom Vol. 4: Alpha and Omega – Reprinting the stories As It Is In Heaven (Progs 2011-2022) and Alpha And Omega (Progs 2100-2110). Written by Dan Abnett, art by Richard Elson, published by 2000AD/Rebellion on 6 February 2020