In the first issue, London introduces readers to the main characters of archangels Michael and Lucifer and the latter’s subsequent fall from grace, accompanied by other archangels collectively referred to as “The Fallen.” Lucifer vows to exact his vengeance on the Father’s newest creation, the humans. Although charged with protecting humans, the archangels lose their focus when one day the Father leaves his Kingdom called Providence. This leads the archangels to question, to doubt, and for some, to lose faith and fall. For others, it is a time to find strength in their faith and rise to challenges that lay ahead. While Old Testament stories are human-centric, in Knights of the Golden Sun, they are told from the perspective of the archangels and hence, take an alternate path from the familiar stories.
The disappearance of God from his Heavenly throne is not a new narrative plot. Garth Ennis’ comic book series, Preacher, from the mid 1990s sends Jesse on a hero’s journey to find God, and in the popular television show, Supernatural, the Winchester boys learn that God is known to take a sabbatical now and again – the event casts humanity, Heaven, and Hell into turmoil and unrest. Although the plot device is familiar, Knights of the Golden Sun remains a fresh and intriguing narrative that hooks the reader. London’s narrative style, as witnessed with Battlecats, is to drop the reader into the thick of action, which is a device that complements well his sweeping, classic stories. Additionally, he introduces a number of characters and time periods, building the foundation of ultimate good and evil eventually coming to blows in a climactic battle, with humanity in the middle.
Knights of the Golden Sun visually has an ethereal feel from page one through to the last. Villarreal’s archangels are beautiful and stunning. Their clothing and long hair flutter gracefully as vague whispers of angels’ wings add to their exquisite appearance. One might think of the power and grace of anime characters, such as Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. The backgrounds of the Heavens have a dreamy appearance that collaborates the epic feel of the story unfolding. Ospina’s lettering is clean, concise, and easy to read. The narrative boxes and speech bubbles are clearly different from each other, so the reader is not left to wonder who is speaking or if it is a voice-over. The bubbles and boxes do not obscure the characters or the action; hence, the reader is not distracted by misplaced or hard-to-read text.
London and his team have presented another engaging story that will appeal to readers that enjoy narratives that are epic and incorporate themes of ultimate good versus evil. London keeps his story fresh while Villarreal’s sweeping visuals convey a mythical, dream-like quality that support the story being told. Readers of fantasy and heroic themes should seek out Knights of the Golden Sun and add it to their comic book pull list.