Off the Shelf: DC’s “Demon Knights”
Fantasy, violence, and copious amounts of gore. What more could you ask for?
Reader, do you enjoy action? Do you enjoy lots and lots of blood? Do you enjoy gore and horror-filled fantasy that stretches across famous stories such as King Arthur, The Legend of the Holy Grail, and other tales of epic proportions?
Well then do I have the graphic novels for you! Part of DC’s “New 52,” Demon Knights is currently on the fast track to becoming one of the most interesting titles out of the release.
Writer Paul Cornell (Stormwatch, Young Avengers, Dark X-Men) and artist Diogenes Neves (The Flash Annual, New Mutants) basically take the premise of the Akira Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai and set it in the medieval period of the DC universe with a mixture of known and some unknown/obscure characters from DC’s catalog.
They include the demon Etrigan and his human host Jason Blood (from The Demon, and appearances in various Batman issues), the mystic sorceress Madam Xanadu (Doorway to Nightmare, The Spectre), at a very young age compared to previous incarnations, Immortal warrior/villain Vandal Savage (literally everywhere in DC at some point), Drinker of the Holy Grail Sir Justin (Seven Soldiers), aka Shining Knight, and three new characters: the mysterious Horsewoman, the scientific fighter/tactician Al Jabr, and the exiled Amazonian Exoristos.
These seven unlikely allies are tasked with saving the world on a multitude of occasions, that is if they don’t murder each other first (which judging by how it is going so far, will not be that far into the future).
That, my dear reader, is the true fun and beauty behind Demon Knights. It is not the story or the action, it is the interaction of all of these different personalities and how well they mesh and by being in each other’s’ company.
I mean, if you ever wondered how a mystical demon from hell got along with an overly religious engineer, or how a morally righteous female knight deals with a scandalous, violent, and dirty-rotten immortal warrior, then this is the comic for you.
And the action is equally as amazing, with bright colors flying across each page as blood is shed, swords are flown, and magic is tossed left and right. It is also interesting to see how the time period has its own history, with a deep connection to the tale of King Arthur and Merlin the wizard.
A fun and interesting fantasy novel, Demon Knights is quickly becoming one of my favorite comics of the past year, and I dare say you should pick up the first collected edition, Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against the Dark, at your local (hopefully independent) bookstore whenever you can.
If you like fantasy, if you like extreme violence, and if you like outrageously fun and interesting characters different from your typical super-hero/team-up squad, then this really is the comic for you.