I can’t lie, I’m a sucker for a good play on words and that’s what attracted me to Knights Temporal #1. I’m happy to say, though, that my compulsion brought me to a really fun read.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Fran Galan
Colorist: Fran Galan
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor-in-Chief: Mike Marts
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: july 31, 2019
SOLICITATION: When Auguste de Riviere returned from the Crusades, he was ashamed and horrified by the things he had done. Hoping to reclaim his soul, he pledges to root out evil wherever it might be found. But when he pursued a vile sorcerer into a forbidden forest, his life was shattered. Au-guste ventured into the dark forest, but emerged in the modern world. Accompanied now by the enigmatic Jane Fool, Auguste hunts a madman while trying to piece together the mystery of his very existence.
AND WE’RE OFF
This series takes no time getting going. This story starts in a medieval setting and we’re introduced to the knight Auguste and his group who are hot on the trail of a sorcerer Gaspard. The sorcerer flees into some dark spooky woods and while Auguste is ready and willing to continue the chase, his men are not so keen on entering into the forest. They remind Auguste of the legends surrounding the area and the warnings to stay away, but Auguste heads in anyways. Next thing we know we’re in modern day in a crowded city, still on the hunt for Gaspard, with a young woman as his new companion. As the chase goes on we are jostled between the medieval setting and the modern. During the flashbacks we see that Auguste meets his companion inside the woods and she claims she has been waiting for him. Also, in the present, August has cornered his prey but it turns out to be a decoy and a fight ensues. Unbeknownst to him someone has been watching him, someone who believes that this isn’t Auguste’s first stop through time.
IT SURE IS PRETTY
This issue took me far longer to read than it should have and the artwork is absolutely to blame. Heavy dark lines accentuate the harshness of the characters and just enough body horror to unsettle when the story calls for it. The faces are drawn with a lot of expression that doesn’t feel over the top and the action feels fluid and is easy to follow. The real star of the book though is the coloring. The artist employs a dual style here, muted earth tones for the medieval setting, and garish warm colors for the modern setting. They may seem like small things, but I don’t think the story would have been as effective with any other coloring styles.
BOTTOM LINE: CHECK THIS OUT
Being the first issue of a series, it’s not surprising that the goal of this issue is more about establishing tone, characters, and setting rather than telling a story in itself. What’s impressive about this though is that the creators accomplished this goal without big chunks of exposition or narration. Everything you need to know about this series is expressed either visually or with efficient use of dialogue. It’s a simple framework: There’s a knight, he’s after a sorcerer, a magical forest sent him into the future, that’s it. I’m now interested to see how they dress up this foundation with future issues.
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Knights Temporal #1
Knights Temporal #1 is a strong start for the series. This issue could be carried by the art along, but thankfully the story is fun as well. There’s nothing too complicated about what’s going on here and that’s a good thing. This is the epitome of “Show don’t tell”.