Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Dark Knights of Steel #1 Review


Dark Knights & Kings

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmine Putri
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 2, 2021

I have been looking forward to this book for a while now because I love DC Comics, and I love fantasy stories, and we rarely get both together.  Well, we get both here and written by one of my favorite writers, Tom Taylor! So, it has to rule, right?  Let's find out...
The issue opens with a Superman origin that will feel familiar at first but takes a quick swerve into fantasy land.  Literally!  It's an excellent setup with a wow factor that these Elseworlds stories need to kick things off.

Continuing, Taylor throws you into the deep end without explaining the good and bad of this world.  Sure, we see characters who we know as heroes, but are they that here?  Some things become a little clearer as we go on, but things are still up in the air by the end of the issue. Nevertheless, it gives everything a sense of mystery and intrigue.

We jump ahead in time and get our first look at Kal-El and Bruce, and seriously, even without armor, these two look the part of fantasy heroes thanks to Yasmine Putire's excellent art.  Everything has a great sense of regality but also wonder.  The thing I love seeing in Elseworlds stories is how the writer deals with our favorite characters.  While that sometimes leads to wacky choices, Taylor uses his fantasy setting to reinforce the Bat-Family and the Els.  There is a big twist, though, but I won't spoil that here.

While this first issue is an establishing shot at the characters and world, there are still some big action scenes.  Taylor uses Superman's weakness to magic as a significant point of the story and thus, puts Batman on the front lines where he should be since he is a knight after all!  We get some foreshadowing of the twist I mentioned early in a scene with Black Canary (called the Banshee here), but we also see that all is not fair in Kingdom-El.

That, coupled with an ominous premonition, seems to set up the ongoing conflict in the book, but let's not forget that I won't spoil that ending which is crazy big.  

Tom Taylor may have another DCeased-type hit on his hands here.  I will wait for more explanations and setup of the world, but this is way more my thing than zombies, so I'm pumped!

Bits and Pieces:

Tom Taylor gives fans another Elseworlds story, and while this first issue is heavy of setup, I liked it a lot.  Where DCeased lost me a bit because of the genre, this is right in my wheelhouse.  The whole thing looks fantastic, and I am looking forward to the next issue already.


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