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Spotlight: The Red Knight

The Red Knight is the last optimistic man in a cynical world. Check out the adventures of this new fledgling hero with an old and familiar feel.

IsoRod, Published on Feb 22, 2014
About a year ago I came across Vince White's The Legend of Will Power. Ever since picking up the book I've been looking more heavily into the independent comic scene. Primal Paper Comics is the imprint under which The Legend of Will Power is printed. That imprints was founded by Vince White, Justin Cristelli, Jeff Hewitt and handful of other creators in Virginia beach/Norfolk area. Primal Paper has five main titles "41" by Bob Frantz, "The Legend of Will Power"created by Vince White, "Dogs and Sailors" created by Forester, "Red Knight" by Justin Cristelli,JC Grande and the "The Ends" by Jeff Hewitt. I finally took the plunge and picked up another of their titles the Red Knight created and written by Justin Cristelli with art by JC Grande.

Red Knight is a bi-monthly ongoing comics, about a young named Todd McClain who always wanted to be a superhero. But by the time he grew up got powers and a costume, superheroes were no longer allowed to operate without a license. To make matters worse he doesn't have a clue about what it takes to be one. So begins the adventure of Norfolk, Virgina's one an only hero the Red Knight.

Detective Martha Brown of the Norfolk Police Department. She works in the Super Human Crimes Unit. It's her job to track down super villains and unlicensed super heroes.

Justin does a great job of world building. The comic is broken up into two parts. The main story featuring Red Knight's adventure and a small featurette highlighting a hero from the greatest superhero team in the Red Knight universe "The Union of Superheroes". The book features a diverse group of character and has two very strong supporting cast members and Detective Martha Brown of SHC(Super Human Crime) unit and Nathan Anderson, McClain's uncle. I like the fact that Detective Brown is a woman and a woman of color to boot.

Martha Brown is mentoring Todd, to help make the Red Knight into a proper superhero and is a very intriguing character. Brown has connections with important government contacts who deal with superheroes and a connection to The Union as well. The detective is also very capable of dealing with superhumans even though she is a normal person herself, or is she? This is one of those questions Cristelli leaves hanging out there and makes the book so interesting. Finding out more about this character is something to look forward to. When Justin gets around to providing more information, I'm sure its going to be worth the wait.

Red Knight, Martha Brown, and Nathan R. Anderson are backed up by the Union Of Super Heroes.

McClain's uncle is also a well thought out character. He is pretty much a cross between Alfred from Batman and Microchip from The Punisher. He is the driver of the Red Knight mobile(an old van), a gadget inventor(made Red Knight's glue gun) as well as Todd's business partner in a bar they own. Nathan also provides moral support to Todd in his endeavor to become a hero. Other cast members like Birdie Truelove, a waitress at the bar, to the less than supportive colleagues Brown works with, like Detective Keisha Jones all seem to have a depth too them. Even though Jones has very few lines you get strong feeling she is not someone you are suppose to like. Where you can feel Birdie's frustration with the absentee owners in Todd and his uncle. There are so many good things to say about the Red Knight, I will hold on to them for the upcoming review on first two arcs.

It's cool story with a great supporting cast. The art by J.C, Grande is pretty good in the first few issues but felt a little rushed at times. The story drawn by the guest artist, James Harmon, for the sixth issue was tighter but felt less dynamic, it is just the difference between the artists. The thing that stay constant was the story telling and well thought out writing.

It's definitely something to consider when spending you comic book dollars. The independent comics like those produced by Primal Paper Comics are taking fresh looks at familiar archetypes and providing new adventures with all new characters that we can get in on the ground floor. It's nice not having to worry about years of history or backstory to keep track of. Red Knight is a well written fun and engaging story. You should check it out! You can find issues at the Primal Paper website and Justin's online store, Manos Publishing.

TAGS: Comics , Writers , Projects , Opinions , Articles , Independent , Series

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