For me the Reckless Hero banner has always been an indicator for a cracking book worth getting hold of and after their latest release Knights vs Pirates smashed through target after target on their Kickstarter campaign, it seemed I wasn’t alone.
As that title suggests, it’s a full-on head-to-head between some big name legends like Blackbeard & King Arthur and while they already have their own mythical reputations to live up to, the book does enough to give them the weight they really deserve. The history behind them is tangible as a result and with a shared quest to get their hands on a powerful relic to help them on their own diverging quests, it’s a slick way to build things up to the first clash between them.
The water is muddied for them both with the addition of another mythical foe from the depth of the sea and there’s then a blurring of the enemy & ally lines to make sure that the whole plot keeps trucking along at the kind of pace it needs. The action is swift & exciting and all as the visuals bombard the system to keep that momentum firmly in the sails of this release and as battles, deaths, betrayal and more begins to have a knock-on effect with each other the epic potential from the combined ideas delivers all the way through.
Jay Martin has pieced together an engrossing story that challenges what we know of each of the characters as well as embracing the mythical nature of stories passed on through the generations and with Chris Imber throwing double-page spreads and energetic art around in typical fashion it all feels like a glorious book to get swept up in. Similarly, the colouring & lettering from Chris Jenkins keeps the vibrant characters bathed in the glow of legends as they squabble back n forth and all in a world that seems to have a bit of everything thrown into the mix. Nod to Matthew King on those colour flats too.
This sounded like an ambitious combination of characters as soon as I heard the title but even with the addition of other myths into the mix it manages to keep things in check thanks to Jay’s tight plot. The fact they’ve gone straight to a graphic novel is a big plus for that too as I’m sure the introduction of so many different elements may have struggled if it was released in a series of single issues and this all ends up being the wild ride you were no doubt expecting. The only minor criticism I have is that it maybe needed more sound-effects injected into some of those pages as there are moments that look amazing but lose a bit of their power in what feels like silence.
That minor quibble from me is not enough to detract from the efforts of everyone involved in this one though as it eases firmly into a category of indie releases that can be read & reread. It flows well, it looks amazing and the longer form graphic novel release is a deal-breaker in elevating this to the heights it promises and then makes good on. The Reckless Hero banner delivers again.
Head over to the Reckless Hero website for this & more of their titles and keep an eye on their Facebook & Twitter pages to see what they have coming out next. You can catch-up with them through Comixology and on the Comichaus website/App too.
You can also check-in with the creators through the links below too: