The character of the Black Knight has been around for years as part of the Marvel Universe. Being one of my favorite characters, I have been looking for comics staring him, both in ensemble books and the few of his limit series. While researchering, I stumbled across a different Black Knight from Zenescope comics. I had never read any of their comics before, but based on what I could tell, their most popular titles were the Grimms Fairy Tale comics that this Black Knight spawned from. Enjoying the Marvel version, I decided to check out this iteration and see if it was any good. So, let us review this comic and see how it held up.
Black Knight #1-5
Writer: Terry Kavanagh
Artist: Sergio Ariño
The story centers around defense attorney, Peyton Parks, who in the aforementioned Grimms Fairy Tales, received the mantle of the Black Knight. There isn’t much in this book that goes into how she got her powers or what they all entail, even herself mentioning that she should look into it more. It says in the beginning that she got them from the mysterious book of fables, but that is about it.
The book opens up with the Black Knight fighting armed men in the court room who were attempting to kill the man on trial that Peyton was defending, Nikolai Bakunin. He had worked for a of a Russian mob family, who was now trying to kill him.
During the battle we also get a flashback to set up what was going on in the courtroom prior to the attack. Learning that Nikolai is on trial for killing his own hitman partner and Peyton trying to get him into witness protection with a more private trial. Here we also get the introduction to a couple of the side characters with District Attorney Chase Sinclair, who does not play a huge part, but is still worth mentioning, and Peyton’s assistant, Brin Lang. This takes us up to the beginning of the trial when the gunman come in.
The fight continues, but in the end Black Knight is victorious. Afterwards, the police bust in and being a vigilante, Black Knight has to make a quick exit. Which she does by using one of her powers which is to summon a black steed out of nowhere. We also get a quick peak at the villains of the story, Siren and Nadia, with them finding out that the hit on Nikolai was unsuccessful.
Finishing off issue one, we get Peyton at the bar introducing us to Paw the bartender and who raised her after her father was falsely accused and died in jail (getting some Flash vibes). Also, we meet the Grigors, who are the rivals to Nadia’s family, and their champion, Usra, who we think will be a threat to the Black Knight.
In the next issue we see Peyton heading to prison to meet with Nikolai after what went down at the courthouse and to try and get more information out of him. He says that he was trying to protect his wife and son, but now that they are safe that he will talk. Of course things aren’t that easy and they find out that many of the guards are in Nadia’s pocket and try to kill Nikolai. At the same time, we see Ursa attack Nadia’s house on the orders of the Grigors and he has a fight with Siren.
Peyton is taken out and locked in a cell while Nikolai and Brin are trapped in the other room with the guard when you hear gunshots. Peyton then has to change into Black Knight and fight off the guards in an attempt to rescue them. Finally, Siren has defeated Ursa and decapitated him, which means he would not be facing off with the Black Knight and that the Grigors had lost their best fighter.
After Black Knight fights off all the guards, she finds that Brin and Nikolai had escaped from the room and they now had to get out of the prison. She summons her steed, who she is now affectionately calling “Exit Strategy,” (which we can all agree is the best name for a horse ever), and she is able to escort them all to safety. At the same time we finally get some idea of what Nadia is planning and why she is out to destroy the Grigors. She is attempting to bring back her “beloved” from his prison and needs all the blood from the Grigor family to free him.
Siren goes to the Grigor’s club where she brings them Ursa’s head and then kills the rest. Then Peyton has brought everyone back to Paw’s bar where she is hiding them. We also find that a reporter, Dina Fontaine, has evidence that Peyton is the Black Knight and attempted to show DA Sinclair, but Paw “accidentally” spilt on her phone. She threatens to expose her, but Peyton denies it.
Heading into issue four, we get the group of Peyton, Brin, Nikolai, and Paw together in the bar and the discussion that they basically all know she is the Black Knight, even though she was trying to keep her identity a secret. Also they fact they are all on the run since they escaped the prison with a wanted criminal. Then we also see Nadia almost have enough blood to free the leader of the Order of the Shadows, who only wants to be referred to as Asp for the time being. The last of the blood is at the a safehouse where basically the last of the Grigor bloodline is at.
As a last ditch effort, Peyton goes to Fontaine to help them out in return for a big story. That Nikolai learned that he would have to be killing children for Nadia and that is why he turned on his partner. Nikolai gave Fontaine all the details in exchange for not revealing Peyton’s secret. Finally revealing what Nadia’s endgame is and where it was happening.
By the time that Black Knight and Nikolai get to the safehouse it is shown that Siren had killed almost everyone already except for a couple of the children and wiping out the entire male side of the Grigors. Black Knight battles Siren while Nikolai gets the kids to safety on Exit Strategy. He saves the kids, but then is killed by Siren, who we find out was the sister of Nikolai’s partner that he killed. Black Knight was able to defeat Siren, but not before killing everyone.
With all of the Blood returned from Siren, Nadia would now be able to free Asp from his prison. Black Knight makes it to Nadia’s home, but is held off by Siren while she completes the ritual. Nadia asks for immortality in exchange for freeing Asp and he grants it before she feeds the last of the blood. Black Knight takes down Siren and then Nadia, leaving only the big bad left.
Suddenly, Peyton sees her father and says he is trapped with Asp and she just had to kill them to free him. Realizing that her father would never ask her to kill, she saw through the ruse. We then learn that Asp was Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin who is the progenitor of the Grigor blood line, which is why he needed their blood. He offers to bring her father back if she helps, but Black Knight then uses his magic with hers, channeling power from the mystical artifacts in the room to defeat him.
With Rasputin defeated, Nadia goes to jail for life, which is eternity because she is immortal now. Peyton then visits her fathers grave where we see that her brother is also missing and she is unsure if he is alive or dead. Lastly, we see what appears to be Peyton’s father alive and well and a young boy who is more than he appears. Both of these things setting up more potential stories down the road.
Coming into this I had no idea what really to expect from Black Knight, but it was a comic that I enjoyed. It moved at a quick pace and there was no shortage of action. I would like to see Peyton and the characters fleshed out some more to learn more about them moving forward as I still have some questions. Otherwise, it was a good read and I would be interested in continuing on if they publish more issues. Researching this has made me more interested in checking out the Grimms Fairy Tales comics, so I might pick those up next.
Let me know what you thought. Have you read or even heard of this comic? Have you read the Grimms Fairy Tales and would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!