Review by: jjellets

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Avg Rating: 4.4
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Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Bernard Chang

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Saved from the Drop List!

I was pretty sure the previous issue of Demon Knights would be my last. When it launched, Demon Knights was a surprise favorite, and the first few issues were fantastic fantasy story-telling. But the magic of this book quickly cooled after the first arc – and as writer Paul Cornell planned his exit – I was pretty ready to leave too.

Plus … wasn’t all the excited to hear that new writer Robert Venditti was jumping the book forward 30 years – smelled like yet another reboot – which seems to be DC’s answer to everything these days.

But surprisingly … this works and works really, really well. First off, Venditti brings his “A Game” when it comes to characterization: fleshing out the Knights and making us feel for these characters again. Much of this issue’s spotlight falls on the Horsewoman – a character that had slipped into the background of Cornell’s run – and a character that frankly needed to be more interesting. Venditti proves that he can do just that, and while some first-issue team books can feel cramped, this one doesn’t. Even if a character only gets only a few panels, Venditti makes the most of them – and we get a good feel for just about all the book’s major players.

(His handling of the Arab scientist Al Jabr is perhaps my favorite. While some degree of “eternal youthfulness” will always exist in comics, Venditti doesn’t ignore his three decade fast forward. In this case, he actually uses it his advantage, and his older, wiser Jabr is quite interesting.)

Venditti also doesn’t shy away from the horrific, and the book also has its brutal moments – one of which could spark a PETA protest for the better protection of dogs and horses in DC Comics. But in this book, these scenes work, helping to underscore the relative brutality of the medieval age.

I have only one quibble, and it’s with the book’s villains. Vampires … again? I guess I can give it a pass as vampires are pretty much a supernatural staple of the new DCnU, but I’ll have to see if Venditti can keep them interesting in a comics market that is already pretty oversaturated with blood-suckers.

Regardless, my faith in the title has been renewed. While Demon Knights may not be for everyone – particularly those who prefer straight-up super-heroics – I’ll be sticking around to see where this goes. Here’s hoping Venditti makes the most of it.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I agree – 5/4 would be my rating as well. This was really a packed 20 pages – I loved this book with Cornell, and was worried, but this really kicked ass!

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