Red Rider #1 De Zevende Scherf – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Lectrr
Illustrations: Stedho
Publisher: Standaard Uitgeverij

Red Rider #1 De Zevende Scherf – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Concept, Modern take on a famous character
Bad: The gritty style will not please everyone
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(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The Standaard Uitgeverij is known for many Belgian classic series, which have been going on for years and years on end, but sometimes it’s fun to take what we know and transform it into something brand new, to revisit a series or to simply look at it from another point of view. This has already happened with  the release of Amoras and J.Rom which were based on Suske and Wiske, Fanny K. which came from the Kiekeboes, and the reboot of the Rode Ridder also boosted the series into a new era. Nonetheless, it seems that the publisher doesn’t want to stop at that, giving the red knight Johan his fair share of attention by presenting us with Red Rider, which is loosely based on the medieval series, albeit in our present time period, with a somewhat more adult thematic. We were curious to see how this triptych would turn out.

Red Rider #1 De Zevende Scherf Banner

The beginning of the story takes us to the highly topical Middle-East, where Merlin is hiding in one of the many caverns. Nonetheless, the locals see him as an infidel who is overdue for his execution and when they finally decide to bring him in, and put him to their twisted sense of justice, the wizard unleashes his power and wipes the village off the map, unlocking a series of events where the CIA thinks that the terrorists of the region are trying out a new weapon. Fast forward a few action packed events and we end up with Red, the protagonist of this series, who is pretty much a grungy Johan from the original series, who traded his horse for a metal steed instead. Red has to deliver a package to ‘Merle’, who is none other than Merlin. All of this happens with the knowledge that Merlin once protected the world from the coming of an evil presence, and it seems that that time is once again upon us. Sadly, the wizard is only a shadow of his former self.

Compared to the normal Rode Ridder series, this series is a lot more brutal, a lot more topical, and there is even more action, which is not that odd, seeing this issue is already double as thick as a normal Rode Ridder issue. The latter is a problem for the original series, which is properly handled for this spin-off. We loved the presentation of the story and the overall flow, which sketched a solid foundation of things to come, while keeping us equally in the dark, thus making sure we can expect the unexpected. Steven Degryse, a.k.a Lectrr does a great job in creating this new age Rode Ridder story for the spin-off.

While at first the art direction didn’t immediately wow us, before we knew it, we fell in love with the extremely grungy looking Red, his somewhat rugged behavior and the fallen from grace wizard Merlin had us rather intrigued, making us wonder how he ended up where he is today. The overall illustrations are rough around the edges, a bit ‘dirty’ and they create a certain dire atmosphere that is perfectly in sync with whatever is going on. Steven D’Hondt a.k.a. Stedho does an admirable job in creating the somewhat vile atmosphere for  this new series.


Red Rider #1 De Zevende Scherf had us on the fence  the first few pages due to its very gritty style, but the further we progressed with the story, the more we were enamored with the somewhat dirty depiction of this present day Rode Ridder, that we can’t wait to see how this triptych will evolve and how the coming evil will be stopped, if that’s even possible. Red Rider is certainly a great start of a rather unconventional spin-off of one of the most loved local comic book series.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Red Rider #1 De Zevende Scherf - Comic Book Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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