I don’t know why, but this one just jumped out at me. Maybe it reminds me of old British sports tilets, with it’s simple, clean look, but I just had to pick it up and see what was inside. Of course, Frank Cho;s name on the cover didn’t hurt either.

On the surface, this five issue mini series has quite a simple set up. On the planet of Califax there is a contest of champions to find a successor to the deceased Queen Regina, who had no heirs. Ten challengers take part in four challenges, and the winner takes the crown. Simples!

Whilst that in itself is a nice plot for a fun comic, things need to be a bit deeper to carry through a hundred and thirty odd pages. SO we have a mystery contestant who may or may not have slipped through the security checks, a couple of blokes who seem to be intent on killing one or more of the contestants, and a Prime Minister who may be evil. You know, the usual stuff.

Regardless of the additions to the plot, the contest takes up the lions share of the pages in this issue. What stands out immediately is Frank Cho’s wonderful artwork (reminiscent at times of the late, great Steve Dillon). His action scenes are simply divine, and where there has to be dinosaur type monsters in the contestant’s way, Frank brings them to vivid life. The main characters all look sexy but not needlessly sexual, just like any athletic competitors, and this is always nice to see. Cho also handles the writing, and this is also very solid indeed, although action does take centre stage here to really let you get into the series.

I’m happy that I judged this book by it’s cover, as it’s freaking awesome! Hopefully the remaining issues will continue the pattern, and fingers are crossed that the story outside the contest will match the action within it. Definitely the new book pick of the month, this kicks ass, another winner from AWA.

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