King in Black: Black Knight #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 03, 2021

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jesús Saiz
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

Billed as a King in Black tie-in one shot, this is really Simon Spurrier reinventing Black Knight for his upcoming series, which just happens to take place at the same time as Knull’s invasion of Earth. Spurrier has a penchant for writing deeply flawed, damaged characters, and his reinterpretation of Dane Whitman and the Black Knight mythology is both inspired and a perfect fit for Spurriers writing. In a similar fashion to how Donny Cates has delved deeper into the Venom mythology and put an entirely new and fresh spin on things Spurrier has taken what we’ve known about Whitman, put it under a microscope, and fashioned a brand new take on the mythology which not only respects everything that’s come before but marks a new direction for the character to take.

It’s written in a manner where fans who are familiar with the Black Knight mythology will love what Spurrier has done with the character, while fans who have limited or no knowledge of him and his ebony blade will be able to pick this up and not only follow along but feel like they’ve got a fairly good grasp of the character by the time the issue is done. As if that wasn’t enough there are several other characters who are brought into this storyline and look set to play an important role in the ongoing Black Knight series, but one of the joys of the comics is encountering them as you read, so try to avoid any potential spoilers.

As a King in Black tie-in it works really well, not essential reading for the main storyline but a fun story that stands on its own two feet, as well as showing readers a little more of how Knulls invasion is faring and some of the other, smaller characters who wouldn’t have time for a minute in the lime light normally. So many tie-in issues feel like a money grab or unnecessary filler for the larger storyline, but this issue differs from those by telling an interesting and fun story in its own right, which just happens to be set against the backdrop of Knull and his overall plans for Earth.

The story is narrated by Whitman who uses, to quote one of the characters, “a fakey olde world dialect” that not only gives the story it’s own tone, but is used to comedic effect when said character makes fun of it in a rather meta, knowing way. It helps set the tone of the story, is used for great comedic effect, but also manages to be a rather poignant look at one of the coping mechanisms for Whitman and his ebony sword.

The art from Jesús Saiz is excellent, he manages to capture different vibes throughout the story, at one point it reads like an old, knight in shining armour tale. Then the next moment we’ve got modern superheroes fighting Knull’s army. And he creates a villain for our new team of heroes to combat that is truly spectacular. There are some excellent pages where the reader is treated to the history of the ebony sword that are really effective and look incredible. And as if all that isn’t enough Saiz does an amazing job of capturing the heroes expressions and emotions and really pulls the reader even deeper into the story.

This is a great introduction to the character of Dane Whitman, Black Knight, for new readers and a refreshing take on the mythology and the direction the ongoing series will be taking for seasoned readers. The best kind of tie-in, one that expands upon the main event but doesn’t feel like a story for stories sake, this is a tale that was dying to be told and just happens to be set against the backdrop of the King in Black event. Fans of the event, the Black Knight, Simon Spurriers writing, or Marvel comics in general will not be disappointed with this issue.

Our Score:


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