Dark Knights of Steel #8 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Yasmine Putri, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s been almost five months since we got a proper issue of this compelling, brutal alternate universe, and it doesn’t disappoint at all upon its return. The clans have been formed—with the Els on one side, and the remnants of King Jefferson’s army and the Amazons on the other. When we last saw Bruce Wayne, he had been rescued from certain death by the Kents and their motley crew of magical children. That takes him off the battlefield as several players desperately try to avert war. Harley and Waller try to talk the army down, only to be backstabbed as Constantine attempts to capture them—and Ivy steps in with an impressive display in defense of her lover. But lurking in the background is the Green Man—the twisted hybrid of Luthor, Joker, and Green Lantern who is willing to do anything he has to in order to ensure the end of the age of magic.
The Els are by far the most compelling characters in this series, even if they’re certainly not the most likable. Zara, the closest thing this comic has to a villain, has often seemed like a normal girl who occasionally erupts into bursts of extreme violence. When Constantine and the resurrected Jacob Pierce nearly get their revenge on her this issue, we see her walls come crumbling down in a brilliantly tense scene. Then there’s Lara, the matriarch of the clan who has often seemed like the only reasonable member of the Els. She intervenes to save her daughter, and we get a very clear picture of just how far she’s willing to go to protect her family. Some major players aren’t present in this issue, but the story still manages to hit on every cylinder and escalate in a huge way. With only four issues left, it’s hard to imagine just how many twists and turns still await us—but I can’t wait to find out.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.