Small Press Comic Review - Arthur: The Legend Continues #1


Arthur: The Legend Continues is the flagship title from Cosmic Times and the series premiered February 27th 2009 at MegaCon in Orlando. Two issues of the series have been released, and were amongst the comics available as part of the Indy Comic Book Week event, which took place on December 30th, 2009.

The series is written by Martin T. Pierro, with interior artwork by Cristhain “Crizam” Zamora, and covers by Atula Siriwardane & Christopher Darden. Each issue is 48 pages long, with black & white artwork, and an SRP of $3.50.

The Story

The story begins with a prologue, set in the year 537 A.D., which recaps the final days of King Arthur, shortly after the battle of Camlann. We find Arthur dying from a mortal wound, which he suffered in his final confrontation with Mordred. He is weak, and cannot stand, and so he asks Sir Girflet (one of the battle’s few survivors) to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Once this task is completed, angels appear, and take Arthur’s body to Avalon, from where it is said he will one day return, when mankind needs him most.

The story then shoots forward to the around the year 2540 A.D., and we find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic world, which has been ravaged by a nuclear holocaust. Some remnants of humanity survived this destruction, and society has begun to rebuild itself, forming a sort of Medieval feudal society. The focus of the tale is the small town of Caerlon, which is built around the site in which a stone appeared one day, with a magical sword extending from it. A religious order has formed, which claims that the sword heralds the return of King Arthur, and they build a church on the site to watch over the sword and wait for the return of the King.

The protagonist of the second part of the tale is a young boy named Mel. Mel has been groomed to join the Order of the Stone, which has begun to die out after a number of years with no sign of the King’s return. The monks have begun to lose their faith, but Mel firmly believes that Arthur will soon return, and has been suffering from vivid visions of a coming disaster. Soon, things start to go wrong for the town as news arrives that vicious marauders, who have been raiding nearby towns, are heading towards Caerlon. Mankind is truly in it’s darkest hour, as it becomes a distinct possibility that this last bastion of light is about to fall. So when a mysterious stranger is found outside the town, who can’t speak coherently, and doesn’t know his own name, Mel dares to hope that this man is Arthur reborn - mankind’s one final hope!

The Rating

I really like the premise of this series, there’s something about stories set in a post-apocalyptic environment that I find completely irresistible. As I mentioned previously, hundreds of years after the apocalypse, mankind has rebuilt, and is now going through what seems like a second Medieval period. So, much like Arthur came and tamed the lands and united the people of Britain in the original Middle Ages, now he must return and do the same - effectively, history is repeating. The basic premise is actually quite similar to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which is set in post-apocalyptic world, where mankind has re-arisen, and formed a Medieval society based around the legend of King Arthur. The similarities end there though, as the Dark Tower series has nothing about Arthur coming back, and instead follows the quest of his final descendant to save existence.

Martin T. Pierro has plotted this first issue really well, managing to pack a lot of events into a short space, without having to sacrifice the quality of the story. About a quarter of the book is spared to familiarize readers with the end of the legend of Arthur, then we get a one page recap of how society ended, which is sort of a necessary evil, then the remaining three quarters of the book goes to the new material. Pierro paces the story really well, and slowly builds the story up to the inevitable return of King Arthur, without it feeling too obvious an event when it occurs. Along the way we are introduced to an interesting cast of characters, each with distinct personalities, and individual motivations. The language used in the first part of the story is a rather authentic take on the language of 6th century England, and in the second part of the tale, Pierro creates an interesting mixture of Medieval dialect and modern English that works incredibly well.

Cristhain Zamora’s artwork on the book is done in black & white and greyscale, by which I mean that much of the artwork is just the pencils overlayed with grey tones, with a few parts are inked, in order to highlight them. This makes for a pretty unique and interesting look to the book, which works really well for the story. Zamora’s linework is clean and crisp, and his characters are all unique looking, with a good range of authentic looking facial expressions. His crowd and battle scenes are all well executed, and the action is always easy to follow.

Arthur: The Legend Continues #1 is a very strong debut issue, with a interesting premise, and lots of potential for further stories told with the same fictional world. The comic is highly recommended for fans of the Arthurian legend, or anyone who enjoys stories set in a post-apocalyptic world. I look forward to seeing where the story goes after this introductory tale, and shall definitely be picking up the subsequent issues.


To purchase a cop of Arthur: The Legend Continues #1, or #2, visit the Cosmic Times Shop, or visit IndyPlanet.

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