Dark Knights of Steel #7 is out this week, continuing Tom Taylor’s Elseworlds-ian tale set in a fantasy and medieval setting. As we saw in Dark Knights of Steel #6, a war has begun between the realms of the Amazons, the Els, and other factions. But what of Batman, a hero who had only just learned he’s the heir to a kingdom where he was once but a mere knight. That story begins this chapter in the 12-part maxiseries.
This series continues to be a lot of fun thanks to Taylor’s slight twists on characters. They’re still very much themselves in some capacity, but get a medieval-themed twist. This issue offers a few familiar Titan characters, which helps further flesh out the heroes of this world.
Drawn by Nathan Gooden, the art is very close to Yasmin Putri’s style. That helps keep the visual identity similar. Meanwhile, the colors by Arif Prianto always seem to bring a sense of warmth, be it a glint of light on Batman’s knight armor or the warm glow of dragon fire. That’s right, as the cover reveals, a dragon pops up in this story, and it’s a clever character that you may not see coming. Longtime DC Comics fans will get a bit of joy in seeing how the dragon factors in, which is one of the reasons why this series is so fun.
Much of the narrative, though, is focused on Batman. Last we saw him, Bats was nearly killed, but two commoners brought him in. (Those two should be familiar to longtime DC Comics fans, too.) Before Batman gets his bearings, the issue opens with a nightmare seen in the preview. It’s a foreboding moment that likely foreshadows the all-out war with Kryptonian royalty. Speaking of royalty, Taylor weaves in a bit of commentary regarding kings and democracy. One can imagine Batman will find democracy agreeable given his pure heroic nature.
The plot thickens ever so slightly elsewhere in this issue as well. It’s just enough to move a sub-plot along. There’s something about Gooden’s art that makes heavy dialogue scenes feel interesting and wholesome. The way he renders faces with a thicker line paired with Prianto’s colors adds a bit of shine and volume to faces. There’s a lot of emotion and humanity in every facial expression.
Outside of Batman figuring out where he is, and learning he may have new friends to help him fight, this issue does have a bit of a speedbump conflict. It allows for a battle as all superhero comics require, but it’s also a false start to a larger conflict. Ultimately, this issue serves to move Batman’s point of view along while furthering the plot around his unavoidable confrontation with Superman.
Dark Knights of Steel #7 is a good issue, especially if you’re a big-time Batman fan. Taylor continues to evolve and develop these characters in a way that feels new and still spiritually “accurate.” Given the fantasy setting, Dark Knights of Steel is a great twist on DC Comics superheroes.
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