KNIGHTED #1 (AWA Upshot Comics)
I almost didn’t write about KNIGHTED. It’s stupid!
Wait, my reason for hesitating was stupid, not the comic! The comic is awesome.
I almost didn’t write about KNIGHTED because of a Twitter faux pas, citizens. It was high school all over again and I was the nerdy kid, I embarrassed myself, ugh. So let me tell you, why not.
Gregg Hurwitz is a quite successful crime fiction author who I very much enjoy, and who dabbles in comics from time to time. Usually that has been expressed as enjoyable work-for-hire gigs on Batman, Punisher, Moon Knight. Basically from time to time Marvel or DC will test out a bunch of hot genre fiction types and it generally goes well enough, but Hurwitz seemed eager enough to return to books, particularly his wildly successful and hugely entertaining Orphan X series.
That’s all relevant, hang in there with me.
When I saw a Tweet a week or so back, promoting KNIGHTED, by Gregg Hurwitz and comics master Mark Texeira, I was pleasantly surprised. I replied to the Tweet, something positive and jazzed, all good! Spread the love, right?
All good, yes. Then I saw a reply; none other than comics art superstar MIKE DEODATO JR. had liked my Tweet! Yikes! I got all flustered and confused and yes, I was probably a little bit high. In my star-struck noggin, in the moment, I confused Mark Texeira with Mike Deotato (who did, in my defense, do one of the covers!) and, yeah. I’m an idiot, I sent another Tweet APOLOGIZING to Deodato for not mentioning HIM when mentioning Hurwitz!
To which, doubtless very confused, Mike Deodato Jr. gamely responded, basically, “…yeah, Gregg Hurwitz is cool, I was agreeing…”
Mortified that I had mixed up the two fine gentlemen, and superfan as I am of BOTH of their work (giants in the industry!), I decided the simplest next step would be to never mention comics ever again!
Eventually, I got over myself. KNIGHTED is just too damn good and it’s in danger of being overlooked! AWA Upshot is a small publisher and as I have said, shelf space is limited on comics shop shelves. Shop owners would love to know in advance if you want a copy so they can have a guaranteed sale. They’ll be thrilled to save it for you and bring you back in the doors. So now’s the time, while copies of #1 are still on shelves, grab one from your local shop and tell them to save a copy of future issues for you!
So, what is the actual comic? Honestly, it’s in a weird superhero sub-genre I don’t much care for. It’s an ‘immature mature’ sub-genre best exemplified by The Boys, that angry, vulgar Garth Ennis manifesto against corporate superhero comics. Generally, stuff in this sub-genre are cynical post-modern dark superhero tales that wallow a little too much in human flaws. It’s been done brilliantly before (an argument can be made for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal WATCHMEN), and then you have others that are mean-spirited and dull.
I am super glad to report that KNIGHTED is one of the good ones! In fact, it is a testament to my enjoyment that I got over my Twitter humiliation; I had to shout out my appreciation!
Here’s the blurb;
In this action-packed adventure set in the universe of The Resistance, Gregg Hurwitz (Legends of the Dark Knight, Vengeance of Moon Knight), Mark Texeira (Ghost Rider, Wolverine), and Brain Reber (X-Men: Legacy, Spider-Man/Deadpool) introduce a masked vigilante for the 21st Century. Bob Ryder is a hapless bureaucrat whose bad luck streak comes to a crescendo when he accidentally kills the city’s masked vigilante, The Knight. Oops. Now, Bob is forced to take on the mantle of the legendary hero before the city descends into chaos. Good thing he’s got The Knight’s former butler/assistant to show him the ropes.
Okay, I don’t know what ‘the universe of the Resistance’ is, but my ignorance does nothing to harm my enjoyment and understanding of the comic. Everything I need to know is explained.
The events transpire as outlined in the blurb, but not trying to hammer on any particular humor angle, understanding that the absurdity of the premise requires a certain level of gravitas for balance. They do lean into the gags when appropriate, and they’re funny - and we’re all in on the joke, so I wasn’t left feeling like I was taking sides with a bully. The action and drama are good too, Hurwitz and Tex’ veteran storytelling chops collaborating to spin a hell of a yarn!
I love Mark Texeira’s art so damn much; his 90s Wolverine run is one of my favorites of all time. In KNIGHTED, Tex displays all the skill he’s always shown, and then some! He’s so amazing, I just can’t. I have got to get a Wolverine sketch from him! You know, the flannel shirt, the Western boots and hat.
I digress. Tex’ art is stunning in this comic. Simply gorgeous! I’m a fan of the creators and I’m relieved that this entry into a historically cynical sub-genre is proving to be very fun and entertaining. I recommend it to you, my sweethearts; I think you might dig it!
Plenty of Pulp, by Max Cage