Review – Dark Knights of Steel #9: Wartime

Comic Books DC This Week
Dark Knights of Steel #9 variant cover,via DC Comics.

Dark Knights of Steel #9 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Yasmine Putri, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: From the start, this fascinating alternate universe has been plagued by unanswered questions, namely the fact that some characters just seem off—concentrated in the El family. Young princess Zara coldly murders King Jefferson’s son only to seem confused when it’s brought up. Kal-El brutally turns on his half-brother Bruce. Then last issue saw methodical matriarch Lara brutally cut down the leader of the Amazons in a declaration of war. Madness—or something else? A prologue that brings in Cassandra Cain as a secret agent of the Batman to rescue a surprising prisoner starts to bring some things to light, but it may be too late—as the war between the Els and the Amazons is now in full swing, with brutal casualties on both sides and the deranged Green Man gleefully stoking the fires. But is this just two kingdoms at war—or something else entirely? And does this world even belong to its kings anymore?

The captive. Via DC Comics.

This series has been a little slow to reveal its secrets, and with only three issues to go I can see its big twist being a bit controversial. Things start to come to light in a dramatic prison break as Ollie and Dinah race to avoid being purged, only for their attacker to come face to face with a surprising enemy. The reveal of one key player being someone else entirely is one of the best twists I’ve read in a comic in some time, and it’s interesting how similar these two characters actually are when you boil them down to their bare essence. In lesser hands, it could have been shocking twist and little more, but in Taylor’s hands it all comes together beautifully. This issue largely calls into question everything we’ve seen so far, making us wonder exactly who was in charge in every scene. It’s definitely not what I expected to see when I opened this issue, but it’s another issue moving this closer to being an all-time classic.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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