“The Dog Knight”
Writer – Peter J. Tomasi
Art – Fernando Pasarin
Full disclosure – I had this title assigned to me. Otherwise, I would have passed it up with little hesitation. Without any preconceived notions, I read with few expectations – a true rarity in the world of comic book reviewers.
What I discovered was a poignant tale of a man and his dog. In this case, it just so happens, man and dog are superheroes. Never has “man’s best friend” been a more fitting moniker. Super Sons/ Dynomutt and Blue Falcon Special #1 recounts the origins of two heroes. The young Radley Crowne was obsessed with his robotics lab. To pry him away from the interior of the family mansion, Radley’s parents present him with a puppy – Mutt. Their gift begins a friendship that spans a lifetime…or two!
In a flashback, readers learn Radley applied his cutting-edge robotic prowess to restore life to his aging pup endowing Mutt with powers – as Dynomutt! As an orphaned billionaire, Radley Crowne was a peer and friend of Bruce Wayne. As a hero, Blue Falcon was once part of “Batman Inc.” – a group of eclectic crime fighters devoted to cleaning up global corruption. Here, however, Blue Falcon isn’t himself when facing his arch-nemesis, Red Vulture.
The narrative had a rhythmic fluidity to it. The author handled the subject of death with a dignity often lost on the genre. Twists and unexpected turns held this readers’ interest. The art, colors, and shadowing melded together to create a visually appealing issue. Contributions of the creative team cannot be overstated. Oclair Albert (inks), Gabe Eltaeb (colors), and Rob Leigh (letters) are superb. Highly detailed, colorful panels added to the readability of this issue. Additionally, the pacing of the book ebbs and flows at just the right moments to create a nice rhythm and feel.
Peter Tomasi weaves an incredibly poignant and heartfelt tale in this issue. Surprisingly, without previous knowledge or interest in these characters, I found myself intrigued. The classic story of man and dog – now with a modern, mechanical twist – held my attention and tugged my heartstrings. Tomasi’s narrative had a rhythmic fluidity to it and the art was fantastic. This issue was enjoyable in every way. For certain, I would never have cracked the spine of this comic had it not been assigned to me. And, what a shame. I would have missed out on a solid, stand-alone tale.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment.