Written by PAUL CORNELL / Art by DIOGENES NEVES & OCLAIR ALBERT
Colors by MARCELO MAIOLO / Letters by JARED K. FLETCHER
The DC relaunch has not only created new titles and creative teams but has placed groups of titles under certain banners. there are the Super family books, the Bat family books etc. but the most intriguing thus far have been the DC Dark books and Paul Cornell continues to strengthen the line, that already include all-star creators on books like Animal Man and Swamp Thing, by bringing Kirby creation Etrigan the Demon into the new 52 fold in Demon Knights.
While other DC Dark books have connected to the supernatural by bringing back Alan Moore’s concept of the Green and the Red, Demon Knights is almost a straight-up swords n’ sorcery book. While new readers may not be familiar with Etrigan, Cornell throws in some big names like King Arthur and Merlin to make the book more palatable. My first thoughts reading this, “Damn, I wish the last volume of ‘The Warlord’ was this good.” This book has everything from dinosaurs to demon babies and knights in shining armor. While many other books in the new 52 have the “getting the team together” vibe going on, Cornell manages to do it without making it seem tedious and overwrought. Various other characters are introduced that could have the potential to join Etrigan but we aren’t quite sure just yet. This issue reads like an epic game of D n’ D and fans of the the fantasy genre will have a lot to be excited about as the series progresses.
Diogenes Neves is no slouch when it comes to drawing dinosaurs. I was pretty impressed with his art from the first few pages but the second that I noticed the expression he gave a certain Brontosaurus, I became a fan. One of the most important aspects of fantasy books is building a believeable world of story and Neves is a master. Lush backgrounds combined with detailed secondary characters give everything more weight. While some of the characters in Demon Knights might take a little getting used to for fans that are more familiar with Batman than they are with Shining Knight, Neves, inker Oclair Albert and colorist Marcelo Maiolo remain focused on using their art to envelop you in the world and help you get to know these characters. I can’t wait to see more from this team.
Demon Knights is a fine introduction into the world of Etrigan and definitely adds even more luster to the DC Dark line by delivering an engaging story with phenomenal art. Genre books seem to be making a comeback and it’ll be interesting to see how this story fits into with larger DC universe but even if it doesn’t Cornell and Neves are crafting something that should have legs all on its own.
WRITING: 4.0 / ART: 5.0 / OVERALL: 4.5