Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton’s Knight and Squire #1 was a rare breed of launch to see up on the shelves this week. In fact, it wasn’t on the first shelf I scoped out in my neighborhood Wednesday evening. Luckily, I put a call in to the crack team down at Chicago Comics, who had a spare copy and generously put it aside while I drove down Clark to add to the day’s stack. It’s a comic full of contradictions, chance-taking in terms of its overall approach for the U.S. market and a direct descendent of Grant Morrison’s landscaping work in the DCU over the last decade, but all of that adds up to a layered and artfully bound tale.
Batman and Robin’s British counterparts enter their new series in a world that’s liable to seem alien to a lot of readers, but Cornell handles the introduction in a way that’s accommodating. In a very Doctor Who-ish feeling maneuver, he sets issue #1 in a single pub and crams it full of characters, gobs of information about Knight and Squire’s world and what’s going on, and uses both the characters and setting as a lens by which readers can get acquainted with this series’ context. It’s funny, there is of course a bar fight that drives the action needed to propel the story, and by the end he’s tied the whole thing up with a bow and put the sails up on a new, inviting DC series. Consequently, this book comes with my highest recommendations.