As a fan of comics, one of my favorites growing up, was Shazam. I loved a few more characters from the DC’s pantheon of heroes, like Batman and Green Arrow, but as a child, none felt closer to me than Shazam. Who could not identify with a normal child, with bullies poking fun at him, but the only difference is has the power to change. Shazam, was wish fulfillment at its best and was exactly what every kid only hoped they could have been.
This was even truer for children of color, as we rarely saw ourselves on television, and even less in comics, at least when I was growing up. The closest we came, was the Wonder Twins, as they had the same complexion as me and my sister. The next best thing, was to find the altruistic values in these characters, which I did in Power Man and Sergeant Rock. That wish fulfillment is what makes the debut issue of Knights of the 5th Dimension so distinct, as we get a character who would other wise be indiscernible be so extraordinary.
In the first few pages, we meet William, a young man who is disabled, and his only escape is to through his Lockerbox. He gets transported to a world known as the 5th Dimension, palace where he is not disabled but a warrior, in fact, a knight whose sole purpose is to defend this world. Fast forward many years later, William is an old man and has chronicled his adventures in a comic book, and the Knights are needed again because their archenemy, Vanta Black is back. By book’s end, William calls his old apprentice, to take his place, and protect the 5th Dimension.
Overall, a truly psychedelic trip that pushes the boundaries of imagination and time. The story by Casey Van Heel is pure fanservice, giving fans of comic books, a story they would love. The art by Walt Flanagan is gorgeous and his rendering of ill, is oddly reminiscent of Jack Kirby’s likeness. Altogether, this is my favorite new comic book and one that I will reread several times.
Story: Casey Van Heel Art: Walt Flanagan
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy