Black Knight #1
BLACK KNIGHT #1
The Black Knight has always been a square peg for me. I loved the Roy Thomas/John Buscema era of Avengers, but that was despite the run’s anachronistic heroes that could too easily throw me out of the adventure. Hercules was a bad fit for that Avengers team, and I never liked him … until his recent relaunch. Black Knight is another character from that era, but his own reintroduction doesn’t measure up to Herc’s. It’s not that this is a bad book … it’s just that it doesn’t do enough engage me with a character that rightly or wrongly I’m not so interested in to begin with. Writer Frank Tieri spends the entire issue setting things up, but he never hooked me. Dane Whitman is the master of a medieval kingdom on Weirdworld; he fights monsters; he has quarrelsome advisors; he collects artifacts from other worlds; he is haunted by some bit of business involving his sword. But the character lacks meaningful internal conflict, the bad guys are a bunch of monster mooks whistled up from central casting, and while artist Luca Pizzari does a credible job of drawing a fantasy world, it still feels like a travelogue for a place I’ve no desire to visit (a damning thing to admit about a kingdom where fire-breathing rock trolls and lost World War II German U-Boats can coexist). It was all action, setting, and monsters for their own sake — I never understood the stakes.
Approachability For New Readers
Pretty good, at least compared to other books in this relaunch. A two-page prologue sets up our hero’s identity and pedigree (which stretches all the way back to King Arthur). If it fails to make much sense, that’s due more to the character concept than this particular story … and while the Weirdworld setting requires some Secret Wars knowledge to understand, the fantasy world trappings of the story are familiar enough that new readers can follow along and fill in the blanks.
Nah. Not onboard with this one.
Read more about the Avengers at Longbox Graveyard
Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.
Posted on January 11, 2016, in Reviews and tagged Avengers, Black Knight, Frank Tieri, Luca Pizzari, Marvel Comics. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
My first reaction upon seeing the cover image was “Why is Black Knight killing Nova!?”. Then on second glance, I see that it is his classic helmet. I assume this symbolizes some kind of break with his past identity?
I never found this character very compelling. Even “young me” thought it was lame and annoying to have these sword-wielding badass characters whacking people with the “flat of their blade” all of the time. Thanks comics code! Well, maybe it was more about the good guys code about not killing people, but then why carry a sword? I could just imagine these heroes constantly praying for an onslaught of robots to really tear into.
“I’ll take Sword wielding characters I could care less about for $400 Alex”.
Paul Cornell had some nice bits involving the Black Knight in the “Captain Britain and MI-6” series. I was a big fan of his when I was a young lad, but some of his later stories don’t excite me as much.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Nice to hear he was handled well … it really does come down to execution. Both Karnak and Hercules have been pretty rotten characters in the past, but their re-launched books are terrific.
I’ve always been ‘meh’ about the Black Knight. Yet, I thought about giving the BK relaunch a shot because of the cover, which I did find visually arresting. But after reading your review now I’m not so sure…
The cover is the best part of this issue, I am afraid — and I am not pursuing the series — but I have it on some authority that the series gets better. Maybe wait on the collection? Let me know what I missed!
(Thanks for reading and commenting, Angelia … and welcome to the blog!)
Pingback: Weirdworld #1 | Longbox Graveyard