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Dark Knights of Steel #11
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Dark Knights of Steel’ #11 review

Can our heroes stand united against a threat they don’t understand in the latests Dark Knights of Steel?

United under a banner of hope, DC medieval heroes poise themselves for a final battle against the true villains… or so they think. The penultimate issue of Dark Knights of Steel sets the stage for the climactic final battle by allowing the characters to wrap up their arcs on the eve of battle.

Issue #11 of Dark Knights of Steel is similar to “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” from Game of Thrones season 8 and other eve of battle-type stories. While it is light on action and plot, it gives our characters a chance to clear the air before the final attack from the Shape-Shifters. Bruce gets the opportunity to make peace with those around him, including Clark, J’onn, and the prisoners of EL, while the queen sets into motion a plan that might be able to stop the enemy.

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The story’s setting is as fun as ever, and it is always enjoyable to see your favorite characters reimagined for a new story. However, this issue presents a problem that has been building in the series for a while: a need for more momentum. Inside the story, we’ve had two issues that are more-or-less separated from the central conflict, dealing instead with characters clearing the air.

Dark Knights of Steel #11

DC Comics

Issue #10 dealt with the fallout of the Shape-Shifters reveal and J’onn’s history, while this issue continues to wrap up most of the character arcs. While these are crucial to telling any good story, it can be challenging when the series has been met with publishing delays throughout the run, slowing down the carry-over excitement between books.

The character writing from Tom Taylor in the issue is as strong as always. The writer has managed to keep the characters feeling familiar without being copies of their main-universe counterparts. Characters like Diana and Zala take a back seat in issue #11, as most of the story is about Bruce making amends. It feels like the pair have been sidelined in the last two issues, and readers don’t see much fallout from Diana having to take on a role she never wanted, which is an unfortunate situation leading into the grand finale.

There is a final twist that, like most twists, comes out of left field. However, this twist is based more on understanding who the character is in the main-universe rather than who they’ve been in this story.

Dark Knights of Steel #11

DC Comics

The art is strong throughout this story, as it always has been. Yasmine Putri does amazing work creating dynamic pages for a somewhat text-heavy story. She can flex her skills at creating vibrant, kinetic artwork when there is action in the scene. She also drew what might be one of my favourite Harley reaction faces I’ve ever seen.

Arif Prianto’s color and lighting are the real highlights in issue #10. Prianto brings the burning flames of the Kingdom of El to life in such a natural way. The light and colors of the issue perfectly complement the art and story, bringing softness to scenes of conversation and harsh, drastic differences in the moments preparing for battle. And with a text-heavy issue, letterer Wes Abbott does an excellent job of balancing the bubbles and panels for easy reading.

Dark Knights of Steel #11

DC Comics

Dark Knights of Steel #11 is a difficult book to look at by itself. On its own, it is a solid issue that wraps up some character arcs leading into the final issue of the limited series. Some plot elements come out of nowhere quickly (a specific ‘projector’ we have yet to hear much about prior), but nothing that takes much away from the story overall. It is a good, enjoyable read for those who have been with the series thus far.

However, the main antagonists don’t feel like much of a threat since readers haven’t seen much of them since their reveal in issue #9, and with the twist reveal at the end of this issue, they don’t feel like they’ll be a major issue. The villains felt scary and menacing when they were hiding in the shadows and playing the kingdoms against each other, but since their reveal they feel a little more like a generic opposition to our heroes.

The setting of Dark Knights of Steel is terrific, the spin on the characters is fun, and the art and coloring are excellent. But unfortunately, due to the delays between issues, and the pacing of the series itself, it feels less like we are excitedly racing towards a grand, climactic finale and instead are on a slow jog, and eventually, we will get there.

Dark Knights of Steel #11
‘Dark Knights of Steel’ #11 review
Dark Knights of Steel #11
Dark Knights of Steel #11 is a good wrap up of several character arcs and filled with great art as it sets up the final issue. However, it is bogged down by slow pacing and delays, with villains who feel like less of a threat and more of a nuisance.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.6
Terrific art and color from Yasmine Putri and Arif Prianto
The medieval setting is as fun as always
The pacing between issues #10 and #11 have slowed down the overall momentum of the series
The villains don't feel like the real threat to the kingdom
7
Good
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