Legendary Comic 'Championess' Offers a Knockout Preview

Championess Announcement
Amanda Perez Puentes/Legendary Comics
The graphic novel, based on 18th-century bare-knuckle boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson, will be available in April.

Legendary Comics is looking to history for the subject of its latest upcoming graphic novel, but Championess is far from a staid costume drama of repression and buttoned up feelings — in fact, it’s arguably the exact opposite.

Based on the story of Elizabeth Wilkinson — a real-life bare-knuckle boxer in 18th century London — Championess centers on Elizabeth's journey as she is forced to box in order to help her sister Tess deal with growing debt. As she trains with retired champion turned fight promoter James Figg, she’s forced to come to terms with her troubled past and accept that boxing is one of the things she’s best at.

The graphic novel — from the writing team of Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker, with art from Amanda Perez Puentes — is already in development as a television series by U.K.-based production company Watford & Essex, a joint venture between Legendary Entertainment and writer/producers Emma Frost (The White Queen, The Man in the High Castle) and Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes).

Championess will be available April 13 digitally and in bookstores. Before then, read on for the book’s opening pages.