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Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"The Last of Camelot"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Simone Bianchi

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: During the final days of the legendary city of Camelot, the villains that are bringing about the city's downfall look to be the same entities that killed the cast of heroes in Seven Soldiers #0. However, a young knight by the name of Justin is able to breach the inner defences of these villains and keep them from acquiring an object of great power. His efforts though send him through the time stream, as he arrives in the present day, where he is promptly arrested by the police.

Comments: I can't say I'm overly familiar with the character of the Shining Knight, as my only real exposure to the character was during Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron. Even there Sir Justin departed that series before I could form much of an attachment to him. Now I'm sure I'm like most comic readers in that I went through a stage in my early teens where I became utterly fascinated by the idea of knights in shining armor. As such, this character is able to tap into this part of my inner child, but Grant Morrison doesn't really take the readers on much of a tour of the Dark Ages. He clearly recognizes that the real meat of this story is taking the character out of his established element and throwing him into the chaos of the present day. The material set in the past effectively reintroduces the idea of the evil villains that I imagine will serve to link all the miniseries together. They were responsible for Camelot's downfall, and as such the Shining Knight is given an instant motivation for wanting to do battle against these villains. However, I suspect most of this miniseries is going to centre around Justin's efforts to adjust to the modern era, and based on how things have gone for him thus far, it should be interesting to watch the character's struggle. There's also a couple solid developments in this issue that caught me off guard, from the surprise attack from the woman that Justin had arrived to rescue to the equally disturbing development in the final pages as Justin's horse suffers what looks to be a very serious injury. All in all, this was a very entertaining start, and it encourages me to give the other miniseries a look.

Simone Bianchi is quite a find for DC, as his art gives this opening issue the visual impact that this story needed to get Grant Morrison's newest project off to a roaring start. The issue opens with a wonderful double-page spread that places the readers in the middle of a heated Medieval battle, and it then follows this up with several equally impressive moments, from the amazing shot of Justin's arrival in the present day to the sense of confusion and terror that the art manages to convey as Justin is confronted by the police. There's also a number of solid little moments that carried a tremendous impact from the final moments of Lancelot, to the final panel of the issue that nicely establishes the idea that Justin shouldn't be expecting help from his loyal steed. The issue's cover perfectly sells the novelty of the character, and I loved the various reaction shots on the faces of the people in the background.



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