In Review: Knights Temporal #2

Trippy, magical, exciting and delicious storytelling makes this a must read.

The covers: Above the rust colored city of Los Angles, Jane Foole looks at the reader with wide eyes, while August de Rivière looks to the right solemnly. Both characters are similarly colored on a white background making their orange rusts age them and make them seem epic. Very clever cover from interior artist and colorist Fran Galán. The Variant by Ryan Kincaid has August’s prey in the foreground. Gaspard is wearing a robe and raising his fists as if to cast a spell. In the lower center is August, holding his sword over his head to cleave his foe. To his right is Jane, her hands also poised to spellcast. Behind them is a rocky wall that features two humanoid creatures crawling to destroy the heroes. Nice, but a fairly blasé composition and the colors are undeniably dull. A disappointing cover. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant C-

The story: This issue begins in spectacular fashion from writer Cullen Bunn with August looking upon several floating violet crystals. Jane gleefully tells him that they are the way. “They will take me to the sorcerer?” he asks. “Oh, yes. Again and again and AGAIN! You only need — TO FOLLOW ME!” She grabs his hand and they go flying, literally, among all the giant crystals, each baring different images of August and Jane in time: Greece, the American West, WWII, the 1930’s, and as pirates. This is followed by four different time periods were they are existing simultaneously — an American city in modern day, a different American city, the trenches of WWI, and the far flung future, where August is holding a massive gun against a sci-fi setting. He’s confused, but only wants to find the sorcerer. Jane says, “He’s here. DON’T WORRY. We’ll find him.” In the present they go into a familiar location looking for something, but unfortunately he needs assistance that Jane won’t — or can’t — provide. What he learns upsets him, but before he can get a direct answer from Jane a quartet of threats arrive. He and Jane are also attacked in a different time period by creatures. There’s a good reveal on 18 that could be trouble in the future for a character. As delightfully as this foreshadowing is, the final two pages of the book go in a wildly unexpected direction. This is a brilliant ending that will leave readers screaming to see what happens next. This is incredibly fun, with no questions answered, but absolutely readable. I need more! Overall grade: A+

The art and colors: The visuals on this book are exceptional. Fran Galán is both artist and colorist and he is not making enough money on this book! The first page establishes the hero and his questionable companion, with them looking at some distant items that colors them violet. The final panel has Jane reaching for her friend, which is a great visual to show how the pair end up in their positions on the double-paged spread of Pages 2 and 3. She looks comfortable traversing this space, while Auguste looks completely overwhelmed. The images in the crystals are wonderful teases not only for the potentiality of the characters but where this series could possibly go. The possibilities are endless. The teasing continues brilliantly on Page 4. The visuals show the characters existing in locations, but in wildly different locations and times. The setting on the fifth page is very realistic and looks familiar. Jane makes some brilliant faces on the pair of pages that follow, which are joined by deliriously funny moments of frustration from Auguste. I love the image that’s isolated by the white outline of a panel at the bottom of 8, giving this character immense weight visually and for her pointed dialogue. The next page and all of 10 has a gorgeous location with beautiful colors. This is some serious cinematic stuff! The third panel on the page that follows nicely teases some supernatural threats though silhouettes. The next two pages have two incidents occurring at the same time in different times. It was initially difficult to follow at first, but after a few panels it made perfect sense. I love the motion that Galán is able to capture at the top of 14 with transformations and the reactions to them. The summoning on 16 is awesome — I need to see more of this happen! The parallelism on 18 is also pretty cool, with something graphic somewhat tempered. The penultimate page is the definition of visual evil. The characters are deliciously deviant, with the final page increasing a villain’s strength. This book looks exceptional. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe is an outstanding and long history in the biz and he uses his talents incredible well on this book. He creates dialogue, character’s exclamations, sounds, yells, a scream, and the tease for next issue. The odd cadence of Jane makes her speech visually entertaining with certain words or phrases in all caps, punctuating the importance of what she says. These all caps words aren’t necessarily yelling, though they are at times, but they used primarily to give her a sing-songy speaking voice and it’s wonderful to see and equally fun to read aloud. The sounds are also great, with the gunshots my favorites. The yells are in larger fonts, so the reader can tell they’re loudly uttered. The scream comes toward the end, expelled by one in a moment of pain. The final three words that end the issue are done in a magical font that remind the reader that all they’ve seen is a fanciful journey. Sharpe deserves much praise. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Trippy, magical, exciting and delicious storytelling makes this a must read. I love the story and visuals immensely. I hope this series never ends. Absolutely worthy of my highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Knights-Temporal-2/digital-comic/793313?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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