The Trinity have united under a banner of hope as they go to war against the White Martian threat in this penultimate chapter! But how deep has the betrayal fractured the tentative alliance? Can bitter differences be set aside to save the planet?
Lyles Movie FilesMaybe the most impressive aspect of Dark Knights of Steel is how writer Tom Taylor can take this very different Elseworlds setting and still write the characters true to their classic presentations. This seems like a lost art in comic writing, but Taylor’s ability to stay “within the lines” of character portrayal makes this medieval setting all the more engaging. Especially now that the three kingdoms have united to battle against the white Martians. As always, Taylor’s strengths as a writer is showcasing the interpersonal dynamics of the characters. From Kal-El, Bruce, Diana, Constantine, Harley, Oliver, etc. there’s a fun back and forth with all these personalities coming together. There’s a bit of a twist, but one that feels perfectly consistent with the character and their standard agenda. The artwork from Yasmine Putri is mesmerizing. Dark Knights is a better title with Putri’s artwork and even if there’s some delays, it’s worth it for this gorgeous take on the characters. Arif Prianto’s colors are also exceptional with deep colors creating rich lighting effects such as fire and candlelight. Taylor teased that this is the penultimate issue of the first volume suggesting there’s more to come. If Dark Knights of Steel takes a DCeased type path with numerous sequels that’s incredibly exciting while assuring there’s another DC title to keep on the must-read list.
Superman HomepageThis issue has rebuilt the hype for me. I can't wait to see how this series ends, and I hope that like "DCeased," Taylor will revisit this world to build out more stories and villains for the heroes to deal with. An animated series based on this world would be incredible. My only issue is that I hate Harley Quinn's character in pretty much every iteration I've seen her in... that trend continues here.
Comic WatchI’ve said, from the beginning, that nobody can nail characterization as exquisitely as Tom Taylor, and that assertion holds. This series has been as carefully constructed as a Patek Philippe wristwatch: all parts fit together precisely, and oh, how sweetly they turn! These characters have been uprooted and replanted in an analogous medieval world while remaining thoroughly true to themselves, and that is a pleasure to read. This issue has it all: the reconciliation of half brothers, giant battles, careful plotting, justice-themed prison breaks, and a mad dollop of KILL IT WITH FIRE! Oh, and plot twists! There are quite a few, but it’s challenging to write about them coherently without salting the earth with dreaded spoilers. The plot twists are not last-minute cheats thrown in willy nilly, but instead carefully considered cogs intentionally built into the machine and whose moving parts have been evident from the beginning if you were reading with a critical eye. Yasmin Putri’s art is astonishing. One panel in particular (a character walking through an inferno of bones and ash) made me gasp. Her knack for balancing action and acting elevates this book to the status of high art. Arif Prianto’s colors are rich, vivid, and incredibly alive. His skill with chiaroscuro makes these pages some of the most striking in modern comics.
The Super Powered FancastThe Story: The penultimate chapter in this series sets up some interesting activities. And while there is limited action, it foretells a final chapter that is certain to be a high octane thriller. I liked the emotional depth that permeates the issue as several of the characters finally have their much needed “healing” conversations, while others explain their intentions. I was also impressed at the pacing as this narrative is jam packed with content. Overall, I enjoyed this story and look forward to the series’ conclusion. The Art: The illustration is crafted in a medieval styling with realism at its core. The panels are beautifully rendered and the attention to character and background make for an immersive experience.
Geek DadThis issue is basically a medieval arms race, as the two sides debut shocking new weapons that could spell the end of days. I’m just wondering—with only one issue left, is there time to wrap this up effectively? DCeased suffered from a slightly rushed ending, but hopefully this ending will only be Act One, as this is probably Taylor’s most original universe.
Batman-NewsDespite being a quieter and introspective issue, Tom Taylor uses the opportunity to mend broken character relationships. Siblings, mentors, allies, and enemies all get a chance to reconnect in the interest of the bigger picture. Even the antagonists have a moment to breathe on the page and set the stakes for the finale. Outside of a few nitpicks, the illustration, color, and framing choices give the book a cinematic tone and quality that I appreciate. Some readers may find the focus on the relationships melodramatic, but I personally value character development over action. Overall, this is a fantastic penultimate issue that clearly bets it all on the finale. Judging by the cliffhanger, there may be a lot more surprises in the chamber.
ComicBook.comBattle lines are drawn and new alliances tested as the heroes of this alternate DC universe now understand the true threat they face. This issue mostly serves as a way for the collective cast to take a breath and take in and react to all the twists they've experienced over the past few issues. It's here that Taylor's writing really shines, as he finds ways to showcase his understanding of the DC characters even when they're in new and radically different environments.
AIPTThe setting of Dark Knights of Steel is terrific, the spin on the characters is fun, and the art and coloring are excellent. But unfortunately, due to the delays between issues, and the pacing of the series itself, it feels less like we are excitedly racing towards a grand, climactic finale and instead are on a slow jog, and eventually, we will get there.