By Gary Carlson
Welcome to one of my own personal favorites out of every comic I’ve ever written and or published: Knight Watchman: Graveyard Shift #4. Written by Chris Ecker and myself, with covers and art by Ben Torres, I just think it’s great.
It is the conclusion of our “Dark Night Returns” meets “Sin City” storyline. Ben’s art is superb throughout and contains a number of tips of the hat to Frank Miller’s fantastic works.
The story opens with Acting Mayor John Princeton having called a press conference to announce that his war on vigilantes has been won by the special Badge unit of armored policemen. They have captured public enemy #1 – – the Knight Watchman. But when the prison van is opened, it instead contains three prisoners. The Watchman himself shows up to ask the Mayor why the three men in the van sent to apprehend him in the Badge armor weren’t cops, but were instead criminals – – members of the Pink Flamingo’s gang. Then the Purple Paladin escapes before the real Badge cops can touch him.
Next we cut to Galahad in the hospital, who is getting a good report from the surgeon who repaired his broken leg. The Doc mentions the Knight Watchman’s appearance at the Mayor’s press outing and asks Galahad what he will do now that the Mayor has outlawed vigilantes. The TV news recap mentions that Galahad is in custody and is under arrested if he doesn’t join the police force. Midway City’s “White Knight” decides he’d better escape.
The hero dons the Badge armor that was custom made to entice him into joining the force and leaves through the window. On the roof he is defeats a Badge cop that is keeping an eye on him. The cop is a friend of Galahad’s, who has proof that the Watchman definitely didn’t kill a cop as he was accused of. Galahad heads for home and the Badge sets out for Wertham Asylum to free former top cop Bob Locke from jail, who was also set up.
A quick interlude follows where an angry Mayor Princeton returns to his office and finds the Pink Flamingo seated behind his desk. The Mayor tells Pinky that their deal has been cancelled, so the Flamingo pops a sword blade out of his cane and agrees.
Next, Galahad’s wife Maggie catches their daughter Gwen wearing one of her hubby’s old Kid Galahad uniforms, preparing to go out to protest the Mayor’s costumed vigilante law. They are interrupted by the Watchman, who has come to “borrow” Gwen, but orders her to take off the Galahad uniform and put on a dress.
Gwen accompanies her Uncle Reid Randall (also out of uniform) on a visit to Victoria Fleming’s house. The old lady was a friend of Reid’s Mother’s, and also the mother of the nefarious Pink Flamingo. The ancient Mrs. Fleming tells them where her son can be found. Outside, they are accosted by the Flamingo himself who basically tells Reid to stay away from his Mother. When Pinky leaves, Reid is aghast to discover that Gwen has ridden off hidden on the back of his limo.
Reid heads back to Galahad’s house to pass the bad news on to Maggie, but his former partner has just arrived. They head out in uniform as the Knight Watchman and Galahad to rescue Gwen.
All parties converge at the Pink Flamingo’s miniature golf emporium, where Pinky plans to electrocute Gwen for sticking her nose into his business. Galahad and KW burst in and rescue Gwen, but Pinky emerges wearing Badge armor which makes him the physical equal of our heroes. The Flamingo is captured when he runs afoul of the electric blast he meant to use on Gwen. The armor saves him, but he is still fairly deep-fried in the process.
The police show up to arrest Pinky. Mayor Princeton lies and claims that he had been forced by the Flamingo to outlaw vigilantes. The Knight Watchman tells Galahad and Bob Locke that he plans to retire for good, and offers the KW identity to Locke who refuses. Locke says it belongs to Galahad, and that he has plans of his own, referring to his Brother ‘Hood identity previewed by us years earlier in Berzerker #4. (http://bigbangcomics.com/?s=brother+hood)
As they leave, Gwen says that if her dad becomes the Knight Watchman, that Reid can train her as the new Kid Galahad. Reid agrees – – but only if she gets her Mother’s permission. Good luck with that, kid!
Until next time, Happy New Year.
Big Bang Comics, Knight Watchman, Pink Flamingo and all related characters are © and TM Gary S. Carlson and Chris Ecker.
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