Mike Rayahwk LEGO Playthemes
LEGO Knights UK Comic
LEGO Knights UK Comic

Knights Kingdom Comics - LEGO Magazine (UK), May 2005
Knights Kingdom™ and associated images and characters Copyright LEGO ©2003-2005

 

I got pulled in to work on these Knights comics for LEGO Magazine towards the middle of the story arc; I hadn't been able to open up time in the work schedule for the first two chapters. These pages appeared in the May 2005 magazine for the UK. In this chapter, Sir Danju allows himself to be captured by Shadow Knights to give the other heroes a chance to escape. He's taken to the Scorpion Prison Cave, where a gloating Lord Vladek reveals his evil plans.

LEGO Magazine comics are usually pretty simple and quick, but since I had a near-infinite supply of Knights art to pull from already on my hard drives, I could go a little more all-out than usual without breaking the budget. These comics are about seventy percent recycled material, usually re-used backgrounds with new characters painted on top.

I've never actually seen these with the final word bubbles and logos added in; the comics were made for the UK edition of the magazine. My schedule was unfortunately too tight to work on the longer and more involved U.S. version in addition to this one. It's always rough to have to say no to the really fun jobs, but I figure I'm not doing too badly if that's my biggest complaint in life.

 

LEGO Knights UK Comic
LEGO Knights UK Comic

Knights Kingdom Comics - LEGO Magazine (UK), July 2005
Knights Kingdom™ and associated images and characters Copyright LEGO ©2003-2005


In the fourth chapter of the comic, printed July 2005, Sir Jayko must make a difficult decision: complete the mission to infiltrate Vladek's fortress, or rescue Sir Danju from certain death? Taking command, he sends the other two knights against the fortress while he takes on the prison by himself. Using super-speed, he manages to catch Sir Danju as he's about to fall into a river of lava. Meanwhile, the king's army has arrived at Vladek's fortress, and Sir Rascus and Sir Santis have yet to breach its defenses.

I'd really hoped not to have to duplicate any images in these comics, but you can see that the big shot of the Scorpion Prison is pretty similar to the one in the last chapter. Unfortunately I only had a couple of prison images to pull from, one from the playset illustrations and one from the trading cards, and we didn't have the time or budget to paint a new one. I crossed my fingers and hoped that most people wouldn't notice the duplication since the magazines were printed two months apart.

As a side note, I'm pretty picky about my LEGO sets, but I've got to say that Vladek's Dark Fortress is one of the best new playsets in years, and definitely the best castle set since the mid-eighties. I wish I could take more credit for it. If you only buy one LEGO set this Christmas, that's the one I'd recommend.

 

LEGO Knights UK Comic
LEGO Knights UK Comic

Knights Kingdom Comics - LEGO Magazine (UK), September 2005
Knights Kingdom™ and associated images and characters Copyright LEGO ©2003-2005


In the fifth and final chapter, published in the September 2005 issue, things get crazy - there's a lot of action to pack into two pages. The toughest part of this last set was trying to knock the individual frames back enough to keep the ovarall page from being too visually overwhelming.

The king's army arrives to see Vladek's defenses still intact and impregnable. But the heroes come through in the clutch: Sir Santis knocks down the drawbridge just as Sir Jayko and Sir Danju ride in from their adventure at the prison. Things look grim, however: Lord Vladek is adding the finishing touch to his sorcerous Vlad-mask, making his army of Shadow Knights super-powered and immune to all harm.

When all seems lost, King Mathias tosses Sir Jayko the legendary Heart of the Shield of Ages. While it can't help Sir Jayko defeat the invulnerable Vladek, it can at least defend him from Vladek's magical attack. Rather than attacking head-on, Sir Jayko uses his super speed to duck towards the Vlad-mask, shattering it and destroying its evil power.

With the enchantment lifted, the tide of battle turns in favor of the good guys. Under the crumbled ruins of Vladek's fortress, King Mathias rewards Sir Jayko's heroism by crowning him the new King of Morcia.

 

Mike Rayahwk
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