With the first issue of Knight Rider now available to purchase we have been privileged enough here at Knight Rider Archives to have the opportunity to interview Knight Rider digital comic editor, senior editor at Lion Forge Comics Shannon Eric Denton.
A huge thanks to Shannon for sparing us the time to answer our questions regarding the latest Knight Rider franchise. Questions and replies below, we hope you enjoy!
- Knight Rider Archives: Did you approach NBC Universal to develop Knight Rider and Airwolf as digital comics originally or did NBC Universal come to you with the idea?
Shannon Eric Denton: We originally approached NBC regarding the idea as we were fans of the original shows.
- KRA: How did you go about updating the franchise for today’s market and attracting new fans without alienating the original fanbase?
S.E.D.: Both Airwolf and Knight Rider are developed as modern reboots of the original series, so while they incorporate contemporary details and events, fans will still get to enjoy seeing their favourite characters and familiar story lines mixed with new content.
- KRA: How many issues will there be in one story arc? Will they ever be released as a collection in digital or hard copy format?
S.E.D.: Our plans are to do an 8-issue run of a story arc, similar to a “season” of a TV show. We do plan to have print editions of the comics depending on the popularity of the IP. Our NBCUniversal titles are already very popular, so I’m sure you’ll see those in print.
- KRA: Is there a set date that each issue will be on sale?
S.E.D.: Starting in November, our plans are to have two issues of each out per month.
- KRA: We have been asked by fans whether the comics will be available in other languages around the world. Is this planned for the future?
S.E.D.: Right now our content is only to be available for US audiences.
- KRA: Did you view any episodes of the show whilst writing the stories? If so were there any favourites or moments? Did any of these influence the characters or storylines of the new comics?
S.E.D.: Since this version that writer Geoffrey Thorne has reimagined is its own continuity I realized it was important to re-familiarize myself with who Michael Knight is and what he’s about. Watching those classic episodes really helped to do that. And any episode with a Knight Automated Roving Robot in it was my favourite!
- KRA: Will all the characters that become introduced as the story develops be familiar or are there any major alterations to the main characters?
S.E.D.: We’re introducing all kinds of new characters and doing our best to stay true to everyone you know. That being said it is a re-imagining and takes place in the here and now instead of the 1980s so there will be some changes Geoffrey came up with. However, we’re hoping the original fans feel they’re in the spirit of the original series. Jason Johnson is killing it on the art!
- KRA: Will any characters be introduced that were in spin offs of the show (i.e. Team Knight Rider, Knight Rider 2000) or similar characters based on these?
S.E.D.: At this point no. It’s really all about Michael Knight and his introduction to K.I.T.T.
- KRA: Will any familiar bad guys be making an appearance? A lot of fans will be wondering whether the likes of Garthe Knight or K.A.R.R. will be making a return.
S.E.D.: I would answer that question but a roving robot is staring me down with its deadly laser eye if I answer incorrectly. I’m going to have to pass on that one for my own wellbeing.
- KRA: Will K.I.T.T. have any new capabilities that you can share? Does he still have the same capabilities as the original series i.e. Turbo Boost, Ski Mode, ejector seat etc? Will we see K.I.T.T. have functions like Super Pursuit Mode and Convertible Mode as we see in season 4 of the original show?
S.E.D.: Our new series is an introduction story so the audience will be along for the ride with Michael Knight as classic capabilities are introduced… as well as some new ones! Geoffrey’s cooking up all kinds of fun stuff for our guys.
- KRA: Is the new K.I.T.T. as indestructible as he was in the original show or will he be more vulnerable to attack?
S.E.D.: K.I.T.T. will be thrown many challenges that he may or not be able to survive. It’s a new era and Michael and K.I.T.T. will be doing their best to survive the onslaught that is to come.
- KRA: In the first issue we are introduced to Dr. Katherine Beachum. Is Katherine an update on Bonnie Barstow/April Curtis from the original series or will we be introduced to other technicians that maintain K.I.T.T. as the story evolves?
S.E.D.: Katherine is her own character. We’ll meet others throughout this current story arc that may or may not have K.I.T.T.’s best interests in mind. Luckily Michael Knight will be there to lend a guiding hand.
- KRA: In the first issue we were put straight into the action. Will we get to see more of Michael’s back story as the storyline develops? Will he have a similar history to David Hasselhoff’s character in the original series?
S.E.D.: Geoffrey does an amazing job of making you aware of the kind of guy Michael Knight is while firmly establishing that this story really is an introduction to K.I.T.T.
- KRA: Something that we would all love to see is a Knight Rider and Airwolf crossover story. Is there a chance this will ever be developed?
S.E.D.: K.A.R.R. told me I have to stop answering questions now… but go to our Facebook page and look for all the latest Lion Forge updates! Forge On!
Once again a huge thanks to Wonacott Communications LLC and Shannon Eric Denton, senior editor at Lion Forge Comics for sparing us the time to answer our questions and making this interview possible.
An extract from issue #1 can be seen above. We hope you enjoyed the interview and we look forward to issue #2 in November.
Keep those scanners peeled for more updates to come regarding issue #2!