STORY: Paul Cornell

ART: Jimmy Broxton


REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Greetings to all of you wonderful geeks out there in comic book land! Tis I, Poptards’ resident Spider-Man scholar and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER, with a look at the brand-new KNIGHT and SQUIRE #1!!!!

Knight and Squire, introduced in the mid-50’s and more recently resurrected by GRANT MORRISSON, are basically the British Batman and Robin. So you can see why Morrisson was drawn to them, being British and way into Batman and Robin. I really dug their story arc in Morrisson’s BATMAN AND ROBIN recently, so I was curious to see what their solo adventures would be like. The question stood… can Knight and Squire stand on their own, independent of Grant Morrisson and the Dynamic Duo?

Well, Morrisson may not be directly involved with this book, but his influence is unmistakable. It’s delightfully loopy in a singularly British sense, and to me, that’s a good thing. Think Grant Morrisson meets BEN EDLUND, and you’ll have a good sense of what this first issue is like. Very reminiscent of THE TICK. Again, a good thing. It also brings to mind SHADOWPACT, and could easily take place within that universe.

The story takes place entirely within a pub called THE TIME IN A BOTTLE, an historic hangout for heroes and villains alike. The place is protected by “truce magic”, put in place by MERLIN himself, that prevents the use of any weapons or powers within, and posits all to their homes as they leave, so as to prevent any tailing each other.

With the place filled with regulars, the audience finds a surrogate in the character of THE SHRIKE, a first-timer, who’s “registered” as a villain, but is still kind of on the fence as to where his allegiances lie. When Knight is deemed “too posh” to communicate properly with the middle-class Shrike, Squire takes over, and shows him around, introducing him to heroes such as the legendary hero MILKMAN, and the dreaded villain DEATH DINOSAUR (Doesn’t say a word, but is already my favorite new character). She also gives him a brief history lesson of the place, and an explanation of the “truce magic” in effect there.

Someone (I won’t reveal who, but it’s anyone’s guess with a cast THIS kooky!) breaches what keeps the truce magic in effect, and all hell breaks loose with a massive pub brawl among heroes and villains, weapons and powers back on. WILDCAT makes an appearance as the lone Yankee on hand, and keeps things from getting too out of control. Knight and Squire defeat the villain who caused the chaos, and it all ends with a playful wave “goodbye” and a “See you next month!” from our heroes.

There’s a lot of fun supporting characters here, from JARVIS POKER (The British JOKER. Not really evil, he just digs the Joker’s fashion sense) to DOUBLE ENTENDRE, the foppish conjoined twins who have a vaguely sexual remark about everything. And I LOVE Squire, she’s adorable!!!! Her cuteness transcends her goofy costume, which ends up endearing to me anyway, if only because she’s wearing it, and she’s so great.

If you can appreciate a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and isn’t afraid to be downright WACKY, then I highly suggest this book! Once the Milkman begins spraying his foes with “The Milk of Human Kindness”, you know you’ve stumbled onto something rare. And, in case all of this is just TOO British for you, Cornell gives us a handy “What you missed if you’re a Non-Brit” guide to cover some of the more obscure pop culture references sprinkled throughout.

I had a ball spending some time at THE TIME IN A BOTTLE PUB, with its rich history, and its eccentric customers, and I think you will, too! I’ll definitely be picking up the next issue.


ART: B (Colorful and cartoony, it does match the material well)

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

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(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the writer/director of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD!)

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