By Koppy McFad
October 15, 2010 - 05:18
Enter the strange world of British superbeings with the Knight and the Squire, the English answer to Batman and Robin.
This first issue of this miniseries basically just introduces the main characters and the world they live in. Apparently the entire United Kingdom has a large community of superheroes and supervillains including a super-powered milkman and a crime syndicate made up of cricket players. Even stranger, both heroes and villains get together in a British pub where a magical truce allows them to interact together peacefully-- at least until one bad egg (who looks more like a stereotypical American super-character) decides to stir up trouble.
This issue is a charming send-up of British stereotypes. As the lead characters explain, super-beings in the UK practice more moderation than their American counterparts, making them noticably less vicious. Both good guys and baddies all look rather friendly rather than intimidating or threatening. The whole light-hearted tone of this book makes it stand out from the violent fare that most other superhero books serve up.
At the same time, in its efforts to be different, this book may actually be too alienating for most comic readers. The extensive use of English slang will already leave a lot of non-Brits scratching their head. The shortage of danger and action in the first issue may also cause a lot of people to turn away. Maybe it would have been better to start off with the two heroes battling a villain, rather than just chatting in a pub.
The art is a lot like the story-- charming, full of character but also a bit lacking in dynamism and sex appeal. The brief fight scenes are rather confusing, especially since the whole story is set in a crowded bar.
All in all, the whole tone of this book is that of an amusing diversion rather than an exciting adventure. In today's comic book market, where all the books feature life and death situations, KNIGHT AND SQUIRE isn't really that compelling. Although this book doesn't really grab the reader by the throat, it would be nice to see a successful comic book that doesn't rely on shock and awe.
Rating: 7 /10