The Hedge Knight #1
George R.R. Martin
adapter: Ben Avery
artists: Mike S. Miller and Mike Crowell
of Martin's tremendous following in prose, landing the rights
to his creation "The Hedge Knight" was a large feather in
the cap of Roaring Studios. At the same time, creators at
the studio stirred up a little controversy with claims of
censorship over their Christian beliefs. Well, this week,
it's time for the studio to just prove that they're about
their case, Roaring Studios (distributed by Image) put together
a Convention Preview of the first issue of The Hedge Knight.
Luckily, I happened to pass by and get stopped by one of the
guys, who recommended me a copy. Of course he did; he worked
glad he did.
I've read elsewhere that this comic is a prequel to a fantasy
series by Martin, it doesn't read like we're missing anything,
or filling in a backstory. Instead, we encounter a serious
and charming spin, perhaps, on A Knight's Tale, as
a squire on the edge of manhood, Duncan, buries his master,
Ser Arlan. The young man has two choices: pledge his service
to another wandering paladin (aka hedge knight) or assume
the mantle of knight for himself.
be much of a story if he didn't choose the latter. But he
clearly agonizes over it, and not for any of the social reasons.
There's a strong sense of respect for his passed lord. Though
Duncan was once punished unfairly, he doesn't hold a grudge
over it. Choosing faux knighthood seems more a carrying
on of a legacy than a presumption.
he has nothing, and must start from scratch. As a scrappy
stable boy points out, it's a poor knight who wears a rope
instead of a belt. But Duncan retorts that it holds a sword
up just as well.
and Avery drop hints of perils to come, as an inn denizen
appears to have had terrible dreams foretelling the young
knight as a danger to him (and possibly to himself). But this
first issue spends more time in a lightly melancholy reverie,
establishing this world in a well-paced and entertaining fashion.
the land resembles feudal England, it clearly is not. Spellings
are just a little bit off, and the people worship multiple
gods. Those elements might seem to be affectation, but they
do a quiet job of setting The Hedge Knight in a distinct
once upon a time. Dragons once walked this earth, and may
yet again, but magic has little part to play so far.
Roaring Studios' other major project, Legacy has a
manga look to it, they've gone with a more traditional appearance
here. The combination of Miller and Crowell has a smooth,
steady effect. At times reminiscent of Dave Gibbons, they're
storytellers who are already well along in mastering their
art, and like the narrative, they take their time without
edition was published in black and white, but editor-in-chief
Ernst Dabel assures me that the regular book will be in color.
I rarely say this, but it seems almost a shame. The chiaroscuro
effect serves the book well. Let me know if you like the final