What if everything Jack Kirby created was real? What if he was the sole force holding back the tide of evil such as Darkseid? That’s the concept Knights of the 5th Dimension plays with and it’s pretty trippy. It follows Kurt Gideon, a down-on-his-luck artist that was once the hottest thing in the comic book industry. He had studied under legendary artist William Gardener, who was still chugging away on Knights of the 5th Dimension comics through a special deal with his publisher. He waived all rights to TV, movie, and merchandising so long as a comic was publishing every month. We learn how this ties into keeping the evil at bay and why this is coming into trouble as Gardener’s health is failing.
I first learned of this comic from artist Walter Flanagan’s podcast, Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave. It was described as his homage to some of the psychedelic comics of the 1970s and it’s safe to say that it delivers. You can definitely see that influence in every page of the book.
What is particularly impressive about Knights of the 5th Dimension is Flanagan’s artwork. He’s really upped his game with this comic, changing styles to coincide with the different time periods featured throughout. The modern day scenes have a polished look to them, complemented by Wayne Jansen’s colors. The flashback scenes and images from the old comics have a classic feel to them, complete with signature Kirby dots.
You’ll find many similarities to real world events in the comic industry throughout Knights of the 5th Dimension. This adds to the enjoyment of the book as you’re wondering how some of this would play out with actual writers and artists. My brain was spinning with the possibilities.
The Knights themselves evolve over time. Each one is updated for the era they appear in, which is a very nice touch. It adds some variety to the design of the characters without losing the essence of each. You don’t need to be told that this is a modernized version of The Damned Yankee. You can just tell based on how he looks.
Knights of the 5th Dimension speaks to the very core of comic book fans. It pulls from the sense of wonder and the power of imagination to tell an epic story with some incredible artwork. Some of the more trippy aspects are reminiscent of Space Riders so if you like that book, this one is worth checking out too.
Knights of the 5th Dimension is scheduled for release in 2018. You can pick up a signed copy of the New York Comic Con exclusive cover from the Blue Juice Comics website.