Jasmine: Crown of Kings #1-5
When a fiery explosion erupts in the ancient city of Petra, Jasmine races against the terrorist group THE FORTY THIEVES to prevent the shattered pieces of the Crown of Kings, an object that haunts her past from being reunited and unleashing an unearthly power on the world and all that she holds dear.
You’ve most likely heard the story of Jasmine and “Prince” Ali, but you’ve almost certainly never heard it quite like this. Zenescope’s retelling of classic fairy tales finds its stride in Jasmine: Crown of Kings, a five issue mini series that imagines Jasmine as a badass adventurer equipped with a flaming sword, the one and only flying carpet and a dangerous past threatening her future.
Jasmine: Crown of Kings finds itself within the Zenescope connected universe rather quickly, starting off at the Arcane Acre with none other than Shang himself sending Jasmine off to find the four pieces of the Crown of Kings. It’s a catalyst that we may have seen before, but the story that unfolds is absolutely unpredictable. Jasmine was once herself a powerful Jinn, otherwise known as a genie, and now without her powers and her memories, she’s been cast into the world with limited abilities but a nightmarish vision that carries her away from Arcane Acre.
Anyone who knows the story about Jasmine is sure to wonder what her relationship with Ali is. Here, we find Ali as the Leader of The Forty Thieves, set out to assemble the Crown of Kings for himself and willing to use anyone to reach that goal. He’s a bit snarky, which sets up an enjoyable dynamic with Jasmine, who is relentless and remarkably determined. The two have some great moments of humor as they track down each piece in the first four issues, but their chemistry isn’t the focus. This is without a doubt a story of Jasmine’s own self realization and that’s where each of the five issues finds their real strength.
The core of Jasmine: Crown of Kings works on the sense of discovery, both internal and in the larger world around the main character. The story might lean on a few cliches such as flashbacks in memory loss and the assembling of a crucial magical trinket, but it finds uniqueness and originality in the vision of these characters and their spectacular journey. The twists and turns, betrayals and epic fights provide more than enough excitement to make each issue worth your time.
The origins of Jasmine are both comprehensive and ripe with storytelling potential. Her wicked time as a Jinn, offending the God Baal and relationship with the elements of Earth are all really enjoyable aspects that helps to flesh out the character. This not only makes her interesting, it helps to frame the potential of the Crown of Kings in this story with actual consequence. It’s not a slow moving mystery, it’s an action-packed adventure that uses strong pacing to keep you hooked. It can get a bit wild at times, and while it’s super exciting at first, from the inclusion of Templar Crusaders to an actual Dragon, it can also start to feel a bit unnecessary because Jasmine is an interesting enough character on her own. It’s a case of more isn’t always better.
That said, all of the crazy and surprising parts of the story also provide some really great opportunities for the artwork to shine. This is certainly one of the more visually impressive books I’ve read from Zenescope. It’s consistent, well laid out and structured, and features plenty of awesome splash pages. Esposito’s letters are a welcome guide through the many action-packed sequences and the different distinctions help to define the aesthetic of the story. There are just a few instances of some awkward anatomy, but it’s not enough to detract from the overall presentation.
I don’t want reveal the spoilers that happen towards the conclusion of the story, but it’s certainly an interesting take on the classic characters we all know. It’s great to see Jasmine wielding a flaming sword and taking down evil forces, but as her struggle comes into focus I am curious to see where Zenescope takes the character in the future. This is a story that isn’t trying to be overly complex or tackle deep philosophical issues, it knows exactly what it is and thrives in the fun sensibilities this affords.
There is a a cliffhanger that shows a possible direction for the next volume of Jasmine, but there isn’t much to speculate. Still, the Crown of Kings story is fully contained and successful enough to not just have me coming back for each new issue, but also ready for the follow up!
Jasmine: Crown of Kings #1-5 finds uniqueness and originality in the vision of these classic characters and their spectacular, yet dangerous journey. It's an action-packed, unpredictable and all around exciting read.
Jasmine: Crown of Kings #1-5: A Whole New World
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
User Review( votes)