ADVANCE REVIEW: Celtic Knights #1

Celtic Knights #1
Written by: Stephen Coffey
Art by: Mike Kennedy
REVIEW: It has been a long road to finally seeing Celtic Knights make its way back to shelves again but the time has finally arrived. In my opinion the original Celtic Knights which had only one issue published with art by Ger Hankey was one Irish comic that had a ton of potential but we were deprived by a lack of product. That wasn’t the fault of writer Stephen Coffey. The Dublin writer has all too willing to write more Celtic Knights but was seriously let down by an artist I won’t name (not Ger Hankey) who had an inflated self sense of ability with zero output that held up the project for a time. The search continued for an artist who could get the book done and Coffey looked to America to artist Mike Kennedy who grabbed the book by the horns and produced some wonderful pages and in so doing ensured that the book would once more grace the shelves of comic shops.
In a nutshell 90% of the worlds heroes have been wiped out after a file with information on their weaknesses were stolen by an unseen villain called The Broker who then recruited a number of villains and gave them this information to go and wipe out the superhero population. The International Mega Human Headquarters based in Dublin is where General Quentin Blake gives the order to recruit the best of what’s left in Fallout, Rapid, Ma, Junker, Fire, Ice and Rubenette. They are in little danger of being wiped out as the General explains that they were considered too low down the ladder to be of any consequence and are therefore the best option to go after The Broker as he shouldn’t have the means to defeat them. Coffey is able to balance the script nicely between seriousness and subtle amounts of humour and what character traits he can fit in the space allowed. They are characters that he should know all too well having been sitting on the script in one from or other for about four years. The story as a consequence is nicely paced and has a polished feel about it with some nice individual character beats especially in the recruiting process.
The mental images I had for Celtic Knights were from Ger Hankey’s doing on the original book. Rather than reinvent the characters Kennedy just adds his own voice to the book and does a good job of laying out the book particularly in the ensemble scenes where it can be easy to lose a reader with too many talking heads. It will be interesting to see where Kennedy can go from here as in the next issue when the action ramps up it will lend a whole new side to his art that wasn’t there a whole lot in the first issue as the story was more set up than anything else. But with the great detail shown and subtle touches especially with the characters eclectic mix of facial expressions that we see here it should be a given that the book is now in safe hands.
The book goes on sale in early February and will be the beginning of a new run for the book. Work is running apace on the next issue and now that the book has some traction we can now begin to see in reality the further adventures of the best of what’s left rather than imagine them.