KNIGHT RIDER #1

WRITER: Geoffrey Thorne
ARTIST: Jason Johnson
COLORIST: Milen Parvanov & Sai Studios
LETTERER: Deron Bennett
EDITOR: Shannon Eric Denton

KNIGHT RIDER, the hit TV show of the 1980’s, created by Glen A. Larson, and starring David Hasselhoff, returns in this new comic-book series from Lion Forge Comics. Geoff Thorne has been hired to reimagine this concept from the 21st century, and is the only reason I was inclined to give this series a shot. I must confess that I was not much of a fan of this show. I know I watched several episodes, but I was a wee lad at the time, so I don’t really remember much about it, other than that the lead character was named Michael Knight, and I guess he was some kind of secret agent, but I don’t think he worked for the government, some kind of private organization. And he drove a car that had artificial intelligence, it could speak and drive itself and had all sorts of high tech weapons and equipment built into it, and was bulletproof, and was called K.I.T.T. (pronounced “Kit”), which stood for Knight Industries Two Thousand. That’s pretty much all I know. But Thorne assured me this was a brand new version of the concept, not a continuation of the TV show, so you could jump right in.

And I’m glad that I did.

The issue opens with some text messaging between “King’s Bishop 2” and “King’s Knight 3”. From the brief exchange it’s clear that Knight is a bit of a loose canon, who doesn’t always follow the rules. Pull back to reveal Michael Knight, looking suave and debonair is a suit and tie. He’s picking up attractive blonde woman, Dr. Katherine Beachum, for what appears to be a date (he even brought her roses), and he offers to let her drive the car, giving us a first glimpse of K.I.T.T., except it’s not referred to by that name. Michael calls it “Horse” because “what else does a Knight ride?” It is explained that Dr. Beachum helped design the car, and when she and Michael arrive at their destination, it’s a formal gala in some opulent ballroom, and it is learned that Michael is simply acting as her date, when he’s really her bodyguard. And after some socializing and dancing, we find out why she needs a bodyguard, as several masked men with guns come crashing through the windows and begins shooting at them. Michael gets her out of the place, and they hop back into the car. Since Michael is now strangely unable to connect to King’s Bishop on his phone, he tells Dr. Beachum that they will need to somewhere to hide out, until they can get help. But, meanwhile, someone has been monitoring both of them, and is tracking their movements…TO BE CONTINUED

There’s still a lot of mystery here. Beachum reveals that Michael works for F.L.A.G., but we don’t know what that is. Michael is guarding Beachum because of some kind of project that she’s working on for his boss (is that King’s Bishop 2, or someone else?) and, of course, exactly who is after them, and why? All of these questions are intriguing enough to tempt me to come back for the next issue. I also enjoyed the wordplay between Beachum and Michael, and the action when the gunmen turned up was intense. I think this was a decent first issue. My only small complaint would be I don’t think we got enough interaction with the car. Like I said, even for a casual fan like myself, the one thing I most remember about the show is that it had an intelligent talking car. But unlike K.I.T.T., Horse (& I suspect that hardcore fans of the show may not be too happy with that name-switch) didn’t seem to be A.I., it just seemed more like computer that responds to voice commands. Time will tell if that’s the case.

GRADE:

Knight Rider #1 is available for digital download via AMAZON.COM. It is also available via COMICSPLUS, although there is some kind of glitch right now, where you can’t find it on the website, but if you have the comicsplus app on your iPad, you’ll be able to find it and buy it (which is how I got it).

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