The GeeksverseKnight & Squire #1

Knight & Squire #1
Published on Friday, October 15, 2010 by

The British Batman and Robin get their own mini-series. How do they do in their debut?

Written by: Paul Cornell
Art by: Jimmy Broxton
Colored by: Guy Major
Lettered by: Swands
Editor: Janelle Siegel
Cover: A- Yanick Paquette w/ Michel Lacombe and Nathan Fairbairn; B- Billy Tucci w/ Hi-Fi

This is a very British comic book. Knight and Squire are the British Batman and Robin and they are respected as such by their peers in the pub called Time In A Bottle. In the pub there is a truce magic, created by Merlin, that prevents the heroes and villians from fighting. When they leave, they go wherever they want so no one can tail. Inside all grudges and rivarlries are forgotten.

It’s all in moderation, as the Knight says.

There’s lots of British “in” jokes. Lots of obscure references. Things like the First Eleven, a crime cartel that dresses like cricket players and have branches in India, Australia, the West Indies but not America. Where they’ve never caught on. Little things like that give the book charm. And I think it would have more charm if you were British and reading it.

Most of the issue has Squire showing a newcomer, called Shrike around, around the bar and introducing some of the distinctly British cast of heroes and villians, the patrons even include a visiting Wildcat from the JSA. The scene, later in the book, showing Wildcat following Knights lead is a nice little way of setting up Knights respectability in the world of the DCU and what level he stands on. This is Wildcat afterall, he won’t follow just anybody.

The rest of the issue is Knight and Squire dealing with the riot as someone destroys the truce magic and all hell breaks loose.

That it’s a distinctly Punisher-styled hero that starts it all wasn’t lost on me. It was a nice little way of saying “this is Britain, this is how we do things here”.

As for this being a first issue it fails. It’s more of a one-shot tale. All neatly wrapped up at the end of the issue with no dangling plot threads or anything to make us want to come back for more except for Cornell and Broxton’s work. For being the first issue of a mini-series it fails even more. A mini-series is supposed to open, have a middle and then end with the last issue. It’s not supposed to do that all in one issue.

There’s no reason for a non-Cornell fan, or non-Knight and Squire fan, to pick up the next issue if they grabbed this one. In these tough times, with books coming in at 3 bucks or more a piece, there needs to be a greater hook to bring in the non-established fans. Otherwise the book won’t survive in this marketplace.

It’s a fun little tale, but I think it would have worked better as a Co-Feature.

Broxton’s art fits the tone of the story to an extent. There are bits that remind me of McCrea but it’s not as hard or harsh as his work is, it’s more cartoony. It’s hard to take anything seriously with Broxton’s art. It’s not that it’s bad, not at all, it’s just that the style has a charm to it and even a scene where a young partner has his mentor at knife point, it’s hard to get any tension out of the artwork as it just appears lighter in tone. His art fits the lighter moments of the book but not the more tense.

Knight and Squire receive
2.5 out of 5

Fun little tale but it doesn’t work as the first issue of a mini-series.

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