Lion Forge’s Knight Rider Volume 1
Lion Forge Comics and IDW Publishing bring you BACK TO THE 80s!!! Lion Forge has brought us a brand new tale of KNIGHT RIDER!! Here’s my spoiler filled review of the first trade.
I’ve known about Lion Forge Comics for a while now. I gave everyone a preview of their Airwolf AirStrikes trade a few months ago. Because of that, they contacted me! I’ll be reviewing the Airwolf trade a bit later….. But as everyone knows….. I’m a DIE HARD KNIGHT RIDER FAN!!! HELL I even did an entire podcast on KNIGHT RIDER called BEYOND THE KNIGHT! <–CLICK THERE to find the podcast in iTunes! So when I had heard about this NEW KNIGHT RIDER comic…. I was extremely excited. I just never had the chance to read it… until now. The back of the trade lists the creative team as follows: Brilliantly written and illustrated by Geoffrey Thorne, Jason Johnson, Shannon Eric Denton, and Brian Denham.
So because this is a NEW story of Knight Rider…. I have to say I was kinda skeptical at first. I’ll talk about the art later, but that was the one thing that caught my eye when I found out about this series. After my monitor in December 2015… I had nothing but time on my hands, and luckily the DAY it died….. this and the Airwolf trade came in the mail from Lion Forge. So I went into this with a few expectations, bu I was also open-minded enough to HOPE that they weren’t JUST recreating any episode of the classic 80s TV series. It does take elements from the original TV series, and then it twists the origin story slightly. After that it goes into a whole brand new MODERN DAY story. The plot of the first volume of the series revolves around Michael Knight working for FLAG, and he’s trying to protect – date Dr. Katherine Beachum. We all know that Michael Knight is a ladies’ man, and it just seems weird to me in the writing that they go back and forth over whether Katherine and Michael have a professional or personal relationship. The writing is not bad, it is just something that seems weird to me. It opens up as if almost they are meeting for the first time. Then two or three pages later… it seems as if they’ve been dating for a while. I KNOW I’m nitpicking the hell outta this story angle, but I have to point out what seems strange to me in the writing. We do get some great action scenes… which allows the writing of Michael to have some interesting one liners. As with all protection details… someone attempts and succeeds in kidnapping Katherine, and the first leg of the story ends with Michael in his car end over end. The thing is about Michael’s car…. it looks just like what K.I.T.T. will become. I really kinda dig that part of the story… that they setup programming before the car really becomes who it is going to be.
The story then opens up with Michael seemingly in the hospital. He’s really at the FLAG mansion… and I assume the old guy standing over him is supposed to be Devon Miles. I understand what the writer is going for here, but after the crashing of Michael’s car…. I kinda felt taken out of the story, when it opens up with what seems to be a strange flashback-flash forward scene….? The reason why I question this in the writing is that these scenes along with the rest of the story seem to be interspersed throughout this part of the trade. So it was almost unclear to me when these events were actually happening… compared to the events that are shown after the crash. As the story continues we have this seemingly nice playful banter between Michael and Tabitha. See their bos has something about having the codes names all be chess pieces. Tabitha is Michael’s Bishop. I honestly think that any Knight Rider die-hard fan will really enjoy reading this. It is action packed 80s adventure with modern-day tech and sensibilities. Katherine and the PROJECT: RIDER have a mother/son kinda relationship, and as the first arc of the trade ends we see that Michael and K.I.T.T. have their own thing going. Even though I am spoiling some of the stuff… I’m trying not to spoil everything. The story in the second act turns into Michael and K.U.T.T. teaming up to go forth and make a difference!!! After reading this trade I have to say that this writing team really killed it with the story. I can’t wait to read more!!
Brian Denham and Millen Parvanov are my favorite artists in this trade. They work on the second part of the story arc. The one reason why I like them better than Jason Johnson and Sai Studios who are the artists on the first part of the story… is that K.I.T.T. actually looks like a Trans Am. Especially when he is done by Denham and Parvanov. Even though I prefer one team of artists over the other….. The art all throughout the trade is excellent. The background, colors, environmental designs…. all of it gels together so well. The designs on K.I.T.T. as a car are amazing, even though at times in the first half of the trade he doesn’t quite look like a Trans Am to me. I’m very glad that the art team went with the classic KR styling and look… versus going after the 2008 reboot TV series. Don’t get me wrong I love that TV series for what it is… However going after a modern-day version of the 80s show is the right move here. K.I.T.T. looks amazing in the second half of the story, and even Michael somewhat resembles the Hoff a bit. Can’t wait to see if the car eventually gets Super Pursuit Mode…. that’s gonna be hella awesome to see that in comic form. These artists really blew away all expectations I had for this series. Very well executed plan of attack on this!!!
Knight Rider from Lion Forge Comics and IDW Publishing…. was an exhilarating thrill ride… that took me back to 1982!! The story is well developed, and there are all kinds of twists and turns that I was not expecting. I highly suggest you pick this trade up ASAP!!!