When Reid Randall, fashion designer, dons a hood mask and shield to avenge the murder of his brother by vicious mobsters eager to take over the family garment business as a front for their criminal operations, he becomes THE KNIGHT WATCHMAN. From the archives of the BIG BANG COMICS COLLECTION comes this rare glimpse into the origins of Midway City’s Twilight Paladin. Totally remastered in crisp black & white , this volume collects his greatest golden age stories together for the first time! Thrill as the Knight Watchman and his sidekick, KID GALAHAD, thwart the plans of master criminals like PINK FLAMINGO, GRANDFATHER CLOCK, MR. MASK, and QUIZMASTER. Featuring classic stories by CHRIS ECKER, GARY CARLSON, PAUL FRICKE, MIKE MATTHEW, JIM BROZMAN, DAVID ZIMMERMAN, MARK SCHIRMER, DAN PREECE, STUART SAYGER, JOHN THOMPSON, BILL SCHELLY, MIKE WORLEY, TERRY BEATTY, TERRANCE GRIEP, JR. , TIM STILES, JEFF AUSTIN, and many,many more! Including our Pulp 2.0 Bonus Features: The History of the Knight Watchman, Toy Development Sketches, Animation Model Sheets, Sketches, Promotional Materials, The Knight Watchman Costume, and much, much, more!
I found myself wandering Artist’s Alley at Wizard World Chicago just a few short weeks ago, and stopped in front of a table presenting a goodly selection of books. The one that drew my attention was the Knight Watchman: The Golden Age. The image on the cover was of a foreboding looking fellow I’d hate to be on the wrong side of. Picture Batman minus the ears. Actually, picture exactly that… Batman without ears on the cowl, and that’s the Knight Watchman.
The comparisons don’t stop with the character design. Throughout the book, made up almost entirely of quick four or five page mini-stories that had me thinking back to reading the comics in the Sunday newspaper, there are references and homages to the Dark Knight (hey, Dark Knight… Knight Watchman… hmmm). I think the important distinction to be made here is that this isn’t copying or spoofing as much as it is paying respects to one of the greats of the Golden Age of comics. Gone is the dark and brooding cynicism that marks Batman these days. He’s all “stay in school, chum,” and “eat your veggies, kids,” and it’s a great thing.
So if you’re finding yourself interested in a break from the current darker trends in heroes, and hankering for a look back at the glory days of comics, you could do a whole heckuva lot worse than Knight Watchman and his sidekick Kid Galahad. By the way, I didn’t just get the book… I got a very cool addition to my collection. Check out that last pic. Thanks, Chris Ecker (aka: Tom King), this was one of the highlights of my Wizard World experience!