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'Dark Knights of Steel' #2 continues to make these characters new again
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Comic Books

‘Dark Knights of Steel’ #2 continues to make these characters new again

‘Dark Knights of Steel’ might be the fantasy epic of the year.

Dark Knights of Steel #2 is out this week, part two of a twelve-part miniseries that takes everything we know about DC superheroes and gives it a medieval spin. The first issue was great as it established this world and made total sense while sending everything into chaos with a key figure being murdered. With Batman looking for revenge while also harboring a secret about himself, can he do the right thing in an age where lawlessness and justice can seem so similar?

Once again, I can’t get over how every medieval twist makes so much sense in this series. This issue introduces a few more key figures in the DC universe while also establishing multiple kingdoms that are more or less at peace. The series is not holding back nor slowly building its world, instead offering explanations and answers at a breakneck pace. For instance, we find out right off the bat who killed the king in the last issue, and that immediately spins into new dramas that’ll unfold over multiple kingdoms.

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One of those kingdoms is Amazon Island, where Wonder Woman lives. As Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri smash cut to familiar characters in new roles and relationships they expected to catch up quickly which is incredibly generous and giving. Seeing Wonder Woman kissing another woman who has quite a lot of power, for instance, or how Harley Quinn isn’t just a jester but a key figure in the royalty’s life adds new wrinkles. We know these characters, though, and how they act and think, as Taylor isn’t straying too far from their core identity. This makes it wildly fun to figure out what Batman might be thinking or doing next, or why Green Arrow is so angry.

DC Preview: Dark Knights Of Steel #2

Batman caught that arrow!
Credit: DC Comics

It’s also unclear who the bad guy or good guy is in all of this. New information is revealed about the Els that may suggest they aren’t pure good. Then again, Batman and Superman both clearly understand themselves as being pure good. Something is afoot–likely a villain will step in at some point–but these complications make the drama unfold in a more interesting way. This issue also reveals more about the Kingdom of Storms and who Constantine’s master is, adding a new batch of characters to further explore.

The art by Putri is fabulous with a lighter color palette by Arif Prianto. The book isn’t as bright as traditional comics, with a bit more realism in skin tones and environments. This helps ground the already detailed and realistic look Putri is going for helping make this slightly more grounded take on DC superheroes more believable. There are characters with godlike powers, but they can still die by a sword. There are some fabulous moments too, like a scene with Constantine getting drenched by what seems like the panel above it, or incredible moments of emotion between Wonder Woman and a woman she loves that goes from shock and concern, to pure love, to heartbreak.

Dark Knights of Steel is a delightful series that pushes characters we’ve known and loved for decades into new roles and thus new perspectives. Our understanding of who they are at their core carries over nicely to a fantasy theme that has new rules, new enemies, and new character dynamics to explore. This is a vibrant retelling of classic DC heroes in a way that makes them new again.

'Dark Knights of Steel' #2 continues to make these characters new again
‘Dark Knights of Steel’ #2 continues to make these characters new again
Dark Knights of Steel #2
Dark Knights of Steel is a delightful series that pushes characters we've known and loved for decades into new roles and thus new perspectives. Our understanding of who they are at their core carries over nicely to a fantasy theme that has new rules, new enemies, and new character dynamics to explore. This is a vibrant retelling of classic DC heroes in a way that makes them new again.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.6
Continues to reveal new characters, and new wrinkles about characters we've already met, in smart ways
Visually grounded and heartfelt via character acting
Utilizes the trope of character withholding information that would likely ease up tensions
9.5
Great

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