Continuity of Prince Valiant?

I've seen Prince Valiant in the Sunday comics for decades, but I've never noticed a connection between one week and the next. If this really is a serial, it isn't a real grabber because I don't exactly look for the next installment. Is there a plot?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    There is/was a plot and it's ovah, actually. Arthur is dead or on the Isle of Avalon and for now Queen Aleta is the regent. Duhh. Many many years ago Valiant's father, the King of Thule, was driven from his kingdom and took refuge in the fens of Britain (it's worth noting that Val's creator, Hal Foster was from Nova Scotia which has lots of land like that and in fact was a trapper before becoming a commercial artist). Val was picked up, I believe by Gawain who made him his squire (he was his squire) and after many years became a knight, married the queen of the Misty Isles, and started his sons training for knighthood. A lot else happened.

    I have IMMENSE respect for Gary Gianni (artist) and Mark Schultz (writer and some of us think sometime ghost artist) who are the current team on the strip, but what Foster was doing was a very rationalist retelling of the saga of King Arthur, which nevertheless compressed the historical periods so the Huns were invading Europe while we were fighting the Axis Powers. We've now run out of Arthur's story, we are fast running out of history -- getting past the time of Anglo-Saxon dominance and into the time of the Norman Conquest, and the rationalism has had to go beyond the bend. Schultz is the author of the Xenozoic tales, a science fantasy series. He and Gianni both have been involved in the recent illustration of Robert E. Howard's stories. My Dad, who literally passed on Friday was a HUGE fan of Foster, and absolutely HATED this new continuity because it had so many fantasy elements (the immortal Dagon for example). That's what I knew the guys on the series for -- even though Gianni was also an assistant to John Cullen Murphy, who was in turn an assistant to Hal Foster even while he was doing his own series Big Ben Bolt (which frankly I always thought he was better at). It doesn't surprise me, but the glacial pace of the continuity has gone on this way since Foster was still on the strip and I absolutely believe it's time to bring this to an end (although Shultz and Gianni are NOT likely to get the chance to match this opportunity,, which they richly deserve) so I will not go into how to find the continuity in more detail (there are two types of Old Prince Valiant books. One reprints the Sunday pages, one retells the continuity with illustrations from those pages. Guess which I picked up first?

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