The epic medieval-style DC Comics maxiseries Dark Knights of Steel returns this week, and war is on. Someone is manipulating super-powered people, but who? And how does the Joker-looking character with ties to Lex Luthor and Sinestro fit into everything? Oh, and an even bigger question is answered: Will there be repercussions for Superman’s mother cutting Hippolyta in half?
You’re in luck if you’re seeking answers, as Dark Knights of Steel #9 has plenty. With only three more issues, it’s becoming more apparent which heroes will band together and mend fences after fighting in the last few issues. That includes Batman, who splintered off after being attacked by Superman.
This issue picks up where we left off with Superman imprisoned. He’s been framed and doesn’t know what’s going on. Meanwhile, war is seconds away from kicking off outside the castle walls, but maybe he has enough time to stop more lives lost. It’s a little convenient how easy it is to get him out of jail, but it does move things along nicely.
Layered in with the action are captions that talk about prophecies. They help explain how both sides of the war thought they knew vital details when they didn’t. They also revel in Batman riding in on a dragon, which is pretty badass.
While the last few issues pulled back on major confrontation, this issue delivers it in droves. That includes Black Canary and Green Arrow’s plot moving forward and Kal-El coming into his own. Aside from key characters getting their plots moved forward or coming together, there are two major twists in the story. I won’t spoil them here, but they are good twists on what we think we know while pulling from DC storytelling we know. Given the twists we’ve seen so far, you won’t expect these.
Most of this issue is throwing characters together, confronting, and leaving any unpacking of new information being transferred to the next point. Regarding balance, the series continues to rush toward answers or hold back and build up tension. The back and forth has been wonky from issue to issue. Reading in one sitting will all come together much more nicely.
Art by Yasmine Putri with colors by Arif Prianto is clean as heck, leaning into the high emotions as war is on. There are multiple moments of big punches or dramatic entrances. There’s a great moment where two heroes break through a wall to see thousands fighting to the death. It’s a shock and a reminder the war has heated up very quickly.
Dark Knights of Steel #9 doesn’t hold back, making for an action-packed issue with shocking moments. Twists and turns abound too, and while the characters can’t catch a break, it’s exciting to see the plot move forward so quickly.
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