Knight Errant: Aflame #4

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Cover Artist: Joe Quinones

Interior Art By: Ivan Rodriguez, Belardino Brabo, and Michael Atiyeh

Aflame #4 was an odd mix of both good and bad art with a good story. Continuing the storyline from the previous issue, Aflame #4 brings action, suspense, tension, and character development. However, the art work is a very mixed bag. Most of the panels were fine, but some suffered from odd illustrations of the human characters. The ups and downs in the art had a significant effect on the issue.

The issue started out strong with an excellent intro by Daiman. Both the art work and storylines were superb. Daiman’s crazy philosophy is allowed to shine as the first four panels build up to his ever watchful stare. That’s when the shine turns into a dull disappointment. The setting itself is perfect. Lord Daiman is sitting upon a throne in a dungeon with one foot propped upon a skull as he interrogates his prisoner. It’s a perfect opportunity to show a wonderful piece of art, yet the panel fails to achieve that greatness. Instead we see an oddly squinted eyed Daiman that ruins the mood of the picture. Here is a Sith Lord whose main attribute is his off-colored eyes, and yet his eyes cannot even be seen. The theme continues in the next few panels. Each time Daiman is depicted in anger, he is given squinted eyes, thus hiding his most dynamic feature.

Daiman sitting on his throne in the dungeon.

Daiman showing anger.

Daiman is not the only character whose emotion is robbed by having their eyes hidden. Kerra Holt makes a very nice intro of her own with a blazing lightsaber. Yet, like Daiman, her eyes cannot be seen. Instead of using her eyes to further express her emotion, the artist hides them in shadow. Palladane gets the same treatment as well. Here and there the characters’ eyes are drawn but almost always they are hidden as well.

Kerra's angry face.

Kerra's angry face in action.

Human faces aside, the artist does capture the inanimate objects and non-human subjects very well. In fact the best depiction of a spaceship in the entire series is in this issue. The fully armored soldiers that Daiman uses look perfect in their armor. They have the appearance of being both intimidating and cool in a way that is reminiscent of Boba Fett. There are a few aliens that pop up in the background from time to time. Like all the other characters in this issue they aren’t shown in any great detail, but they are given eyes and they certainly don’t detract from the art value in any of the panels.

Continuing the theme from the previous issue, Kerra continues to have a more feminine look. Her eyes have a distinct female look to them when they are depicted, but most surprising was one panel that emphasized her assets. The scene has several characters looking back at Kerra, while all the view can see is Kerra’s rear. Keep in mind this is a series that has for the most part subdued Kerra’s attractiveness. When compared with Deliah Blue from Legacy or a Twi’lek from any other series, Kerra comes off very plain. In a way her normality is nice and refreshing, however, that trend also makes the inclusion of this panel worth mentioning. It does a fine job of illustrating how Kerra does not need to look attractive all the time, but that she can be attractive when the moment is right.

Without the addition of the strong running story, I would give this issue two and a half brass bikins out of five because the art really hurt some of the scenes and there were a lot of missed opportunities. The scene with Daiman on his throne in the dungeon could have been great, but fell somewhere short of that potential. The same can be said with Kerra’s action scenes. With the story though, the perfect introduction (both story and art), and a few excellent panels illustrating ships, armored troopers, and one very nice scene between Kerra and Gorlan, I would have to give it three brass bikinis.

Posted By: Skuldren

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