A six issue limited series.

Publication year: 1985
Publisher: Epic Comics, reprinted as a collection by Dark Horse

This is a very interesting mix of English myths, fairy tales, and history.

King Henry II has died recently. His country is divided and his heir Richard the Lionheart is away at war. James Dunreith, Duke of Ca’rynth, has been in exile for 25 years but because of Henry’s death, he thinks it’s safe to return. He’s wrong. He has barely stepped to England’s shore when knights capture him and bring him to a monastery as a prisoner. There, he’s tortured because the Church thinks that he’s a heretic and a sorcerer. However, a group of mysterious knights rescue him, but none too gently.

It turns out, that Queen Eleanor knows that James is back and needs his services. James’ childhood friend, a powerful Earl, is suspected not just of treason but of black magic. Eleanor sends James to find out what’s going on. James is reluctant but feels duty-bound to obey. On the way, James is reunited with his old friend Brian Griffin and they rescue a young lady from outlaws.

James has traveled a lot, all the way to Cathay. He’s a man of reason and doesn’t even believe in magic, even though the Church claims he uses it. However, he’s not aged while away from England and right in the first issue, he sees a dream (or is it a dream) of a huge black dragon who heals James’ tortured body. So, it’s clear that something supernatural is going on.

The story uses a lot of English myths. Robin Hood is a major secondary character, which was a pleasant surprise to me. Various fairies also appear.

Bolton’s art fits the story well. The English countryside looks gorgeous. The art reminds me of Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant.

However, this is a very dark tale, full of betrayal, blood, and dark magic. It’s very different in tone from his X-Men work.