Dark Knights of Steel #9
While the three kingdoms are teetering on the edge of mutually assured destruction, and the Sons of El are at each other's throats, The Green Man sits, gloating from above. Can a one-armed archer and a shrieking magic user cut this fuse before it burns down to the explosive powder?
It is an understatement worthy of Wooster or Jeeves to say that this issue was about as packed with action as a book can be and still leave room for characterization and plot. Linear storytelling tends to break down while a fight is going on. When swords flash and bodies fall, it’s difficult to keep track of any sort of order. This is a fact, in life as well as in comics, and it’s one that Taylor and Putri use to great effect, perfectly capturing the chaotic, inevitable feeling generated by combat.
Even in the midst of all this chaos, Taylor still managed to leave room for his usual stellar characterization. Each of the main characters received at least a few panels that were dedicated to either capturing their personalities or propelling their story. Bruce and Kal had a brief, if pointed, conversation. Oliver and Canary flirted and fought, escaping a dungeon. Sir Alfred spilled a few of his secrets, and Diana attained a sorrowful field promotion. And while all of this was happening, each of the themes that Taylor’s been building for the last year (parent’s duty to their children, children establishing their own identities, the flexibility of families) were present and emphasized. The fact that Taylor was able to manage this so effectively is a testament to his tremendous skill as a storyteller.
Yasmine Putri’s ability to balance the brutality of battle with quiet moments of realization is a tremendous achievement. Her almost Pre-Raphaelite style is particularly well suited for the half-bloody half-wonderous tone of the story she is telling. Arif Prianto’s colors are rich, saturated, and absolutely perfect for the art.
This story walks the bloody knife blade between raw gore and pure heart. It would be a shame to miss out on it.
Dark Knights of Steel #9: They Will Look Like Us
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10