Dark Knights of Steel #12 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Yasmin Putri, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This fascinating alternate universe, essentially Game of Thrones meets the DCU, has had a great run—but also a lot of delays. This final issue is arriving around 2.5 months after the last, but it’s been worth the wait. This run has pulled off an amazing trick—essentially keeping the entire audience in the dark for the duration of this book about the true threat, letting us think the Els were conquering villains when really they (and others) had been impersonated by a white martian invasion—and they weren’t the only characters who were wearing false faces at times. As the three kingdoms unite to take the fight back to the White Martians, the heroes suffered one last betrayal—as Amanda Waller cut a deal with Protex to protect her own power and sabotage the two rival kingdoms she had spent decades feuding with. It’s against that backdrop that the final battle begins.
Is this a good final issue? Absolutely, but it’s also a little hamstrung by some of the best things about the series. It has an epic scale and a huge cast of characters, which means not everyone gets a fair shake in the final issue. Constantine gets to step up for a larger role this issue, including coming up with the decisive gambit that wins the battle. However, other players like Zara Jor-El largely stay out of focus. The ending has one last dark twist, as a major villain gets away with their plan and a major hero pays the ultimate price, even as Earth is saved and a new world is formed in the aftermath. I’m fascinated by what Taylor built here, but it feels like he’s only begun to explore it. Much like with DCeased, it would make a lot of sense if there is more planned for this universe, because there’s so much left to explore. I just hope it comes back with this creative team intact when everyone has the time and story in mind.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.