Monday, December 7, 2015

Black Knight #1

After having a very small comic list for most of the summer and fall thanks to Marvel’s Secret Wars and the ongoing New 52 from DC, I haven’t had much to say for awhile.

Now that we are in the midst of the all-new Marvel relaunch, there is a lot more for me to weigh in on. A couple months in, let’s take a look at Marvel’s new output.

You don’t understand how badly I want this to be fantastic. Black Knight/Dane Whitman has been one of my favorite characters for decades. He was a central Avenger during my formative years, so he will always hold a place in my comic-reading heart. I was concerned with the launch of this book because while Frank Tieri is a solid writer, he’s not one of my favorites. That said, he’s clearly a fan of the character. So I had hope.

It turns out the measured hope I was holding out was pretty appropriate. Black Knight is stuck in Weirdworld, a fantastic high-fantasy or sci-fi setting. He’s already the leader of a group of somewhat heroic new characters yet he’s on the outs with his former allies in the Avengers. We don’t know exactly how either of those things happened, but we do know that Dane is struggling with the curse of the ebony blade. The curse is a long-standing part of the character and I like the use of the original Black Knight, Sir Percy, as an observer and witness warning Dane about the dangers he’s facing. So I’m OK with the high concepts in use here.

But man, the supporting characters (whose names I can’t even remember) are pretty bland. I also worry that exiling Dane to Weirdworld will take away a lot of the Avengers-based interactions that I loved about the character. As a watered down Game of Thrones lead, I don’t know that the Black Knight is interesting enough to anchor his own title.

Luca Pizzari is clearly going more for the fantasy feel. This doesn’t look or feel too much like the super-hero Black Knight that I prefer. That isn’t to say the art is bad, it is just a bit muddier than the stuff I prefer. I do like the more fantasy-based design for the title character, I just wish there was a way to show off the old John Buscema look too.

This is clearly not the Black Knight comic I’d prefer, but it isn't bad. Gonna keep giving it a shot! 


No comments: