Mark London – Writer
Mauricio Villarreal – Artist
Giovanna T. Orozco – Editor-in-Chief
Andrew S. Zea – Letterer
God has abandoned humanity. In the centuries that follows, chaos reigns. Lucifer has launched a failed coup against the Archangels, while the Fallen angels (laboring under the leadership of Azrael, the angel of death) plan to use God’s absence to take over the world.
In this issue, the Archangel Uriel has been captured by giants. While imprisoned, she finds that the giants have brainwashed Lucifer, who she may or may not have a past with.
Mad Cave Studio’s The Knights of the Golden Sun is a complicated Judeo-Christian fantasy. The series up until this point has been bouncing between various scenes and plot points that, for the first time in the series, comes together in a coherent, clear way. The story greatly benefits from focusing in on Uriel’s conflict rather than attempt to show every element of the saga at once.
Prior issues have overloaded the reader with information. Even if you have a strong familiarity with Judeo-Christian iconography, you will be confused, as numerous figures from the Bible, Apocrypha, and history are integrated without any explanation of their role in the world.
Despite attempting to relay an almost Shakespearean epic, the dialogue is often flat and standard material. At no point does the story feature any lines of dialogue that matches the grandeur of what is occurring on the page. Many of the characters speak in the same style. Little in way of characterization is relayed here.
The art work is at once detailed and simple, for better or worse. While many of the stunning action scenes are left with intricately muscled characters (like a Renaissance statue come to life), it rarely feels detailed. Faces are rarely expressive, and, regardless of the position of their bodies, they seem strangely detached from the world around them. This is also perhaps because, with some exceptions, the backgrounds are either out of focus or outright ignored. There are several one-page spreads that are lovely to look at, but hardly as grand as they could be.
Beyond that, there are lingering concerns about the story. Much of the world feels under-developed, in part because at no point does the story really establish a sense of what the giants are or why they’re here. It’s possible they are connected to Goliath (featured earlier in the story) or the Fallen (in the Apocryphal Books, the Fallen Watchers interbred with mankind to create titanic Grigori), but the story does not explain that here.
Much of the story feels unexplained. And that makes the comic a difficult one to follow. While there is grandness to be had here, often The Knights of the Golden Sun feels disconnected and unclear. This issue tells a simple story, but in the greater context of the narrative, it feels at once more intimate and yet murkier than what came before.