Shadow Knight, the #1

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Shadow Knight, the #1 Creator(s): Alverne Ball
Publishers: Quality Quill (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2(US)

The world has gone to heck in a hand-basket. Nuclear devastation has killed most of the population, leaving a privileged few living in domed cities under the strict control of IMF. The reset of the survivors live in the harsh wasteland where mutation is the norm and life is short and brutish. Out of the wasteland comes Noki, a Ninja warrior who tries to help his fellow survivors, but whose pride draws him into conflict with the authority of the IMF.

Martial arts mysticism is the order of the day in this comic, strongly influenced by a certain TV show so we have a pupil learning ancient wisdom from a monkish teacher. There's also a "deep" narration which points out how strength is weakness etc. It's corny, but idea of seeking wisdom is a positive one and gives a touch of respectability to all the violent.

With the book relying so much on physical action the artwork has a lot to do, and it carries it off reasonably well. The soldiers and robots all look the part. We can see the strength that lies in Noki's lithe frame. The reproduction is murky, which is probably due to Cory's use of dark panels with characters hidden in the greys. It's pushing digital copying to its limits present pages that are rendered using such a pallet, so hats off to him for the pages where it is a success, but I can't help thank that more contrast in the artwork would have produced a crisper look.

As an introduction to the characters this issue succeeds in raising the readers interest and laying out the framework for the series. For post-apocalyptic action it is quite readable.

In a Word: Combative.

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