Beryl Hutchinson as Squire. Art by Billy Tucci.
Young All-Stars #21,
JLA #26, (February 1999)
Roy Thomas (writer)
Michael Bair (artist)
Bill Finger (writer)
Dick Sprang (artist)
Grant Morrison (writer)
Howard Porter (artist)
|Alter ego||Percy Sheldrake
|Place of origin||England|
Club of Heroes
Swordsmanship, martial artist, outfitted in special armor that repels swords or light projectiles.
Swordsmanship, skilled martial artist, expert in all forms of communication.
Squire is the name of three fictional characters, they are comic book superheroes published by DC Comics. Percival Sheldrake debuted as the Squire in Young All-Stars #21 (January 1988), and was created by Roy Thomas and Michael Bair. Cyril Sheldrake debuted as the Squire in Batman #62 (December 1950), and was created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. Beryl Hutchinson debuted as the Squire in JLA #26 (February 1999), and was created by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter.
Fictional character biography
At age 20, young Percy came into leadership of his family (thus becoming Earl of Wordenshire) when his father was captured in France during the Dunkirk Evacuation and his mother was killed in a bombing raid over London in the fall of 1941. About this time, a knight from the Middle Ages named Sir Justin (the Shining Knight) had recently thawed out from centuries of suspended animation and was assisting the war effort in his native land. Unable to save either of Percy's parents, Shining Knight vowed to bring the Nazis to justice and end their regime once and for all. He took Percy under his wing and trained him just as a knight would train a squire in his original 6th century Camelot. He bestowed upon him the name Squire, and with the help of the All-Star Squadron, they fought against Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.
During the war, the Squire was also part of a team of adolescent superheroes called the Young Allies. Remaining together after the war, they fought against the rising threat of post-war nationals in Europe until inner conflicts caused the group to split up. Now on his own, and feeling his requisite training had been complete, Squire bestowed upon himself the name Knight, and joined yet another team (the Global Guardians) under this new name. He continued to fight for justice even after he fathered a son years later named Cyril.
First appearing the in pages of Batman #62, Cyril was Percy Sheldrake's son, who was trained in manner much like his father had been, thus becoming the new Squire. They were constantly compared to Batman and Robin, and they considered themselves to be their European counterparts. Coincidentally, the dynamic duo made their way to England on one occasion, where they met up with Knight and Squire and formed an alliance to take down neo-Nazi supporters at their hidden base at Stonehenge. Tragically, Percy was eventually killed by his archenemy Spring-Heeled Jack, leading Cyril to become the second Knight. Cyril subsequently joined the Ultramarine Corps, alongside his own Squire, Beryl Hutchinson.
He reappears in Batman #667-669. He, Beryl, Batman, Robin and the rest of the Batmen of All Nations, sometimes known as the 'Club of Heroes', have become trapped on an island. It was seemingly to be an innocent reunion sponsored by their billionaire benefactor, Mayhew. All the possible transports off the island have been destroyed and everyone currently believes their lives to be in danger, as the Legionary and Wingman have been killed.
Beryl Hutchinson first appeared in JLA #26 (February, 1999) and became the new Squire while assisting Knight II. According to Grant Morrison, she was named after Beryl the Peril, a popular British comic-strip. Brave and courageous, she and Knight joined the Ultramarine Corps of Superbia after assisting them in saving a crime-ridden micro-Earth. As well as being an expert in swordplay, she is also naturally gifted in several forms of communication, including foreign languages, gestures, and interpretation. She can even read information patterns by touch. She cares a good deal for Cyril and will protect him at any cost.
While the Sheldrakes are nobility, Beryl apparently grew up on the streets. With regard to her education, she explained to Batman "The Hutchinsons never had no money, but they always had brains and a love of the library". However, in Knight and Squire #1, she says she "went to a lot of different schools. State ones and posh ones, back and forth". She attributes her communication powers to this, since she needed to shift dialects rapidly to match the school she was attending.
She reappears in Batman #667-669, and again in several issues of the Batman R.I.P. storyline that runs through Batman #676-681  and "Battle for the Cowl" helping Tim Drake and Damian Wayne over the course of the series.
She appeared in issues of Batman and Robin helping Dick Grayson in his attempts to resurrect Batman with the Lazarus Pit by placing his body in it but it is revealed that it is not Bruce Wayne's body but a clone made during Final Crisis. Knight and Squire also battle a British crime lord and help Dick Grayson fight the clone.
It was announced that Knight and Squire would star in an eponymous limited series written by Paul Cornell. In #4 this series, it is revealed that Beryl sought out the Knight when he was in a drunken and depressed state after his father's death, having been asked to help him by her mother. The full connection between the Sheldrake and Hutchinson families have yet to be revealed. Over the course of the series, Beryl begins a relationship with the reformed villain Shrike (Dennis Ennis - following Beryl being named after Beryl the Peril by referencing Dennis the Menace).
She also briefly shares an adventure with Batgirl while she is in London as part of a mission for Batman Incorporated. The two heroines fix a crack in the space/time continuum that nearly freezes the entire planet in time for eternity.
In Batman Incorporated Squire and Knight participate in Batman's war against the Leviathan organization led by Talia Head. During a battle with The Heretic (clone of Talia's son), Cyril is killed. Over the course of the series Beryl takes on the mantle of The Knight and attempts to avenge Cyril's death but is stopped by Batman only for Talia to kill The Heretic herself. Beryl is seen in the last issue fighting alongside other Batman Inc. members against the last remains of Leviathan.
Powers and abilities
Originally, the first Squire had no powers aside from the ones he gained by wearing special armor provided for him by Shining Knight. As they were made by Merlin, they possessed special properties that allowed him to avoid harm from swords or certain projectiles. He since passed this armor to his son. The newest Squire, though lacking magic armor, has the ability to interpret information by touch, as well as communicate in a number of ways. Every one of them is highly skilled in swordplay, though they have talents using other weapons or fighting hand-to-hand as well.
In the Elseworlds 2003-2004 graphic novel Superman & Batman: Generations III, Batman and his son Bruce Wayne Jr. meet an adult Cyril Sheldrake in 2008. Now retired in a totaltarian England, Sheldrake helps the Waynes track down information left behind by Bruce's dead wife. Afterwards, the Waynes stay in London to help Sheldrake fight for freedom, and he is eventually elected Prime Minister of Great Britain.
- "The Unofficial Knight Biography". Dcuguide.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "The Unofficial Knight Biography". Dcuguide.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » Grant Morrison talks about the new characters introduced in BATMAN AND ROBIN v2". Dcu.blog.dccomics.com. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "The Unofficial Squire Biography". Dcuguide.com. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- Batman and Robin #7-9
- "DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » Paul Cornell takes on the KNIGHT & SQUIRE". Dcu.blog.dccomics.com. 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "Blog@Newsarama » Blog Archive » Paul Cornell on KNIGHT AND SQUIRE Mini, BRUCE WAYNE: THE ROAD HOME Announced". Blog.newsarama.com. 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- Batgirl (vol. 3) #22
- Batman Incorporated (vol. 2) #6
- Batman Incorporated (vol. 2) #9
- Batman Incorporated (vol. 2) #12
- Batman Incorporated (vol. 2) #13
- Superman & Batman: Generations III #5 (July 2003)