cbishop's Knightmare #0 - Dulcinea review

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Knightmare #0

SPOILERS aplenty in this review, but the book is from 1995, so if you haven't read it yet, you'll live.

The story in this book isn't horrible. It's not executed in the best fashion, but it isn't horrible. Alec Knight is muscle for a mob family, and the story starts off with him disagreeing with the way they dispose of someone who skimmed from their operations. He and the lead muscle, Sal, have a fight, Alec wins, and later refuses to have anything to do with the mob's plan to deal in nuclear weapons.

The story jumps back and forth a bit, between past and present, but what we find out is this: Alec kills Sal the same way Sal had killed the skimmer. The mob boss sends the number three muscle, Logan, to kill Alec, but Logan is unsuccessful. He manages to kill Knight's son, and put his wife in a coma. The feds see her as a star witness, and have been standing guard on her hospital room all this time. Alec has been keeping tabs over time. He's also adopted a costumed persona - Knightmare - that has been doing his best to take his former employer's organization down. Logan and some flunkies are sent to kill Knight's wife at the hospital, but Knightmare intervenes, killing Logan, and after narrowly escaping the cops, decides he'll have to stay away from his wife.

The character design for Knightmare is tough looking, but he has these huge, ridiculous looking things on his shoulders, that would have to block his vision to his left and right. Turns out they serve a purpose, forming a shield when he takes them off of his shoulder. I don't think they'd work all that well, if they were real, but meh, they're not real.

The cover is an interesting chromium deal, front and back, the details sort of etched, showing through on the backside of the cover. As a pinup summarizing the character's origin, it's not bad.

Overall, this issue isn't a bad start for the series. One of the things that kind of kills me about Rob Liefeld is that he comes up with cool ideas, but just doesn't seem to get anywhere with them. Knightmare managed to go six total issues (#0, 1-5), but is pretty much just another footnote in the history of Image Comics.

The shoulder-shields in the character design bring this way down for me, but the fact that there actually was some story there was a pleasant surprise. I don't know where the rest of the series goes from this issue, but between what's alluded to and what's actually shown here, this one issue's story could have been an entire movie (and I'm pretty sure I've seen this plot in several movies over time, minus the super costumes). The issue left me with a good sense for each character's personality, but I would have rather seen this one issue's story expanded over several issues, telling it more in depth. Maybe it doesn't need it, but I wanted to see more of it anyway. Overall, I'm giving this issue two stars.


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