Overview

Shining Knight #1

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Shining Knight #1

Credits

  • Words: Grant Morrison
  • Art: Simone Bianchi
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Nathan Eyring
  • Story Title: The Last of Camelot
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2005

Grant Morrison unleashes the first mini-series of his Seven Soldiers experiment and with it he challenges the very notion of what super-hero comics should be.

Since its first solicitation, Seven Soldiers has been my most anticipated comic of 2005. With the exception of Morrison’s New X-Men run, I’ve been amazed at almost everything he has ever written. The first Seven Soldiers mini-series is based on a character I know pretty much nothing about and it’s penciled by an artist I’m not familiar with, but none of that matters when you have the twisted genius of Morrison at the helm. Shining Knight starts off in a fallen Camelot where the Knights of the Broken Table are hopelessly battling the evil Sheeda. As the knights and all of glorious Camelot fall, one hero emerges as Camelot’s savior. He is a young teenage warrior named Sir Justin who along with his winged horse named Vanguard, must alone battle Gloriana Tenebrae for the fate of mankind. 

Shining Knight, like the entire series of Seven Soldiers in general, is not going to be for everyone. What Morrison is essentially doing is challenging the superhero genre and the reader as well, creating comics that are wildly innovative and showing that it doesn’t matter how obscure or plain lame a character may be, a truly talented writer can use the most unlikely of sources and blow you away with them. Shining Knight immediately throws you into a world that a DC reader is not going to be familiar with yet you will instantly be fascinated by.

The true genius of this issue, and what at its core is the brilliance of what Morrison is doing throughout Seven Soldiers, is that nobody is safe. The reader is always on his toes, completely at Morrison’s disposal, having no clue where the story is going or if your favorite characters are even going to make it through to the end of the issue. This is the craft of comics at its finest and for all of those out there that have never read Morrison or feel he is overrated, this is a slap in the face as a wake up call. What he is creating here is truly something special and inspired and I cannot imagine even the most jaded comic book fan that only buys X-Men comics not being utterly hooked by the ending of this issue. In fact, the only complaint I have with this issue, is that you truly realize how bland and bromide most superhero comics on the stands are once you read a book like this one.

Simone Bianchi is a name I’ve never seen before and I’m not exactly blown away by his art. It is more than suitable and certainly does not hinder the story but when compared to the level of the other talent involved in Seven Soldiers, it falls way short. The art reminds me of a mix between Cary Nord’s work on Conan and what Ivan Reis did on the most recent Captain Marvel series. He employs a heavily European influenced style that is aptly suited for such a fantasy-based story. The colors by Nathan Eyring have a sleek feel that give the book the look of a dark European fantasy tale straight out of the pages of Metal Hurlant.

The likely chance that Shining Knight may not be the best mini-series that Seven Soldiers will contain shows just how amazing the journey is going to be. This is a gloriously insane first issue that will leave your brain screaming for more and instantly wanting to go back to page one and read it all over again. This marks only the stepping-stone into an ambitious epic that will be all tied together and when it’s all over I have no doubt will be a modern masterpiece.

- Glen Siegal

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