Dark Knights of Steel #1
What would happen if, instead of landing in a patch of Kansas farmland, Superman touched down in a time where magic and superstition ran rampant, and knights roamed the land? This is not the world we know, and some changes go deeper than the shallow folds of a costume. Read on to see just how deep this magic runs.
There’s a tremendous amount of story folded into these few pages, and all of it is good. It’s been a while since I’ve been so instantly engrossed in an alternate reality story. Although this story is very focused on Bruce Wayne and the El family, there’s a good spread of characters who spring to new life in this very different context. Dinah, Harley Quinn, Oliver Queen, and John Constantine all make appearances. Black Lightning plays the role of antagonist, though I’d hesitate to call him a villain since his stated concern is saving the world. So, as you can see this story has a wide cast of characters. It’s impressive, therefore, that Taylor has filled these pages with so much heart.
One of the key differences between this world and DC’s primary reality, aside from the fact that everyone is riding around on a horse, is that we get to know Superman’s biological parents. It was, well, a little annoying that so far Lara, Superman’s biological mother, has appeared solely to give complicated birth, get cheated on, and to tell Bruce that she loves him (she hasn’t even been named in the text so far) but Taylor is a good writer and I know that he will address this in future issues. Jor-El, on the other hand, is an incredibly complex character — one whose flexible morality (and willingness to murder) is counterbalanced by his obvious love for his sons.
Yes, I said sons. Plural. If you want to know why, read the book.
In any case, one of the best things about this story is how fully these characters have been transported into this new world. Their context is different (horses for cars, better clothes) but their characters remain unchanged. In many ways, these characters echo their best depictions in the main books. Their motivations, reactions, and personalities remain remarkably the same as the versions we are used to. The fact that this story is setting itself up to be about the (apparent) clash between science and faith is just icing on the cake.
Yasmine Putri’s art is truly remarkable. I could stare at her line work all day, and her colors are absolutely astonishing. There’s an interplay of light and shadow that serves both thematic and aesthetic purposes. What is depicted in light (flesh melting off of a red skull, an arrow shot through an eye socket) is often revealing something both vital and awful about a character. Shadows, on the other hand, serve throughout as a means of revealing truth, either as they are spoken in prophecy or as a salve for some unconscious wound.
When these elements are combined, through the alchemy of art, something truly beautiful is revealed.
This book is alchemy; disparate parts combined, through the crucible of astounding art, reveal something new about characters whose stories are practically ancient. You don't want to miss these revelations.
Dark Knights of Steel #1: Stoicism As A Treatment For Brain Injury
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
User Review( vote)