ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Knights of X,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Knights of X #1 - But Why Tho

Knights of X #1 is an X-Men comic published by Marvel Comics, written by Tini Howard, art by Bob Quinn, colours by Erick Arciniega, and letters by Ariana Maher. Set in the mystical realm or Otherworld, Betsy Braddock (now Captain Britain) is trying to replace the oppressive Merlyn with Saturnyne. To do so, she gathers a group of mutants to go on a quest in a place where mutants are hated and banned.

This plot is huge and the scale of it is captured brilliantly. This is benefited by the mystical, Dungeons and Dragons style of the story which instantly raises the adventurous nature. Howards spends much of the beginning of the comic setting up the world and the part of the multiverse this tale lives in. Therefore, the situation is more clear and the reasons why Captain Britain calls for the aid of her friends is evident. The adventure is really fun and the blend of high fantasy with mutant action is exciting and enthralling. The pacing is perfectly suited for a story such as this, as any faster would feel rushed. There are many surprises, and one of the character’s involvements is entirely unexpected. However, it should be noted that this is not an easy book to jump on at all, even for fans of the X comics. There is so much history to this story from various books that for newcomers, Knights of X #1 would be difficult to settle into.

Howard has brought in a brilliant and extensive cast into this comic, literally plucking them out of their lives and into a sword and sorcery adventure. This leads to a variety of voices and interactions. Some must be favourites of the writers. Many don’t quite have a place in the narrative yet, such as Bei or Gambit, but that is likely to change as the story continues. One of the best forming relationships in this comic is the one between Rachel Summers and Captain Britain. The friendship is so close that they would drop anything to help each other, and there is adorable banter between the two. The dialogue is grand for the most part, interlaced with talk of beings from other worlds and language fresh from Tolkein, which is interesting to sink yourself into. But there are also conversations that are more modern in their tone as the familiality the mutants have with each other shines through. In addition to the heroes, there are some fantastic homages to Alan Moore’s iconic Captain Britain story.

Betsy is the most superbly written character in this book bar none. As the leader of the adventure and the saviour of this realm, the power she needs to possess is intense. There are so many layers to her. To some, she is shown as noble, speaking with eloquent mannerisms and as if she’s long left the modern world. But with her friends or with people she knows, there are more glimmers of her old self. I like the respect the other characters have for her, showing her status as one of the most senior figures in the community. She is ready to ensure that those that have vulnerable members with them will not be harmed.

The art is mindblowing. The world looks amazing and the Arthurian aspect is kept up for the entirety of the comic. But the backgrounds themselves are very minimalist to focus all of the details on the characters. Each panel looks busy yet every character looks phenomenal. Some are given a makeover so their costumes fit the world better.  No one looks completely out of place and Quinn places the figures around each other brilliantly. The battles are jaw-dropping in their majesty, the artist reveling. The fantastical features are blended with superpowers and technology. The panel structures and layouts increase the pace in these scenes and there is high energy to the fight scenes. The facial expressions are incredibly specific and are pivotal to denoting the tone of the moment.

The colours are superb. Again, the superpower and the costumes do not look out of place inside this realm. The purples and greens blend nicely with the surroundings whilst the red on Captain Britain is prominent. It could be argued that this book is too dark for large periods of time, but there are instances where fire or powers light up the page. Still, however, the darkness can get tiring on the eyes. The lettering is the standard font that is used in all X books.

Knights of X #1 is a sword, sorcery, and superpowers book that serves as a great start. Howard brings a new group together full of old friends, and the story is fascinating. They use a selection of old connections and tales to craft this new beginning. All of the characters are fantastic and the dialogue between them brings a smile to the face. What should be mentioned is that it is very unfriendly as a jumping-on point for new readers, and requires a lot of prior knowledge to feel truly comfortable within it.

Knights of X #1 is available where comics are sold.


Knights of X #1
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TL;DR

Knights of X #1 is a sword, sorcery, and superpowers book that serves as a great start. Howard brings a new group together full of old friends, and the story is fascinating. They use a selection of old connections and tales to craft this new beginning. All of the characters are fantastic and the dialogue between them brings a smile to the face. What should be mentioned is that it is very unfriendly as a jumping-on point for new readers, and requires a lot of prior knowledge to feel truly comfortable within it.