As a comic book fan I love reading the various Marvel and DC comic books. However, there are plenty of comic books outside of the two big companies. Blood and Valour, the comic book series detailing the exploits of the legendary Sir Bevis of Hampton (aka Southampton, somewhere very near) is a great comic that details local legends very well.
The first volume is about Bevis as a child. It tells the story of how he became a legendary warrior to fight for his kingdom. There’s magic, action and betrayal. As a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and other fantasy shows like Merlin, this instantly appealed to me. It brought me back to playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was younger.
The story focuses on how Bevis’s kingdom is taken over by Lord Conrad, who has invaded after Bevis’s mother betrays Guy of Hampton, Bevis’s father, so she can rule the kingdom herself.
The characters are great, especially Bevis, who goes through a “hero’s journey”, starting off as a kid with everything before gradually going through hardships. I won’t go through everything here as I recommend you read the comic for yourself.
The art style switches often and adds variety to the story. The panels are mostly in black and white but it switches to colour during dramatic moments. It’s not jarring and adds to the mystical nature of the story. The story moves at a steady pace with many twists and turns and there were many shocking moments.
This inspired me to check out the actual legend behind Sir Bevis of Hampton. The legend is about Bevis fighting off giants, dragons and travelling the world to reclaim his kingdom, which I assume will be covered in the next volumes of the comic. It all sounds very exciting and as I don’t know much about the myth, I eagerly anticipate the next volume.
I highly recommend you check out this comic if you’re into local myths and legends. The changes in art styles can be jarring but you will get used to it. I don’t know how much people who don’t read comics will like this but I do recommend it to anyone interested in the legend of Bevis.
Blood and Valour is by Matt Beames (story), Marcus Pullen (art), and Guy Stauber (covers). You can preview the comic and order it online: Blood and Valour: The Legends of the Knight Sir Bevis: A Graphic Novel and Beyond.