Review: DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #2
[Editor’s Note: This review contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Yasmine Putri
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: Wes Abbot
Reviewed By: Sharna Jahangir
This issue is packed with so much, it’s mesmerizing. Following the events of Dark Knights of Steel #1, we are drawn into this world with pain, love, and fear. It begins with screams and ends in jaw-dropping, sombre silence. This issue introduces us to some of our favorite DC characters in this medieval world, and each interpretation of them is gorgeous. The first issue pulled us in with intrigue, stunning art, and a setting that was almost fairy tale-like as we have a Witcher Batman and a Prince Superman, and then enter our traumatized faves and the reason they will embody heroes we know and love.
In Dark Knights of Steel #2, we continue from where Bruce, the Knight of the House of El, has discovered Kal’s father Zor-El is his father as well. This knowledge makes him the Jon Snow of this universe, though I hope he doesn’t have the same fate. We’re rooting for you Tom Taylor!
With this knowledge, he loses another father right in front of his eyes (does this man ever catch a break in any universe?). His scream of rage could be heard throughout the kingdom, as Kal and Lara are struck with despair. Bruce catches up with the assassin, who is the reinvention of Oliver Queen, Green Arrow. Meanwhile, Black Lightning, King Storm trains with his beloved children, satisfied with the knowledge that the Kryptonians are dead–this will not end well for him. This issue explains some of the universe’s politics as we get an insight into the Kingdom of Storms and Themyscira.
The incoming characters and their introductions are phenomenal, as well as the interactions between those who meet. Everyone is on edge, and the distrust between all characters is well designed and called for. This issue is packed with action. Between Batman’s chase scene, Black Lightning’s training with his children, and Wonder Woman’s dueling, it’s difficult to take your eyes off each panel. The intricate politics of the world are slowly laid out at a comfortable pace. I don’t feel like the series is trying to stuff us with as much narration and information as possible. The heroes we know also do several things we would find out-of-character (arm-slicing and…was that murder?) which is an interesting shock, however seeing that Taylor created the Injustice universe, I am not surprised seeing the morals of our beloved heroes bent.
LGTBQ Krytonians, we win! Tom Taylor is really helping along the idea that Kryptonians don’t have a sexuality, so inherently they’re all queer. That is a head canon I’m on board with. Tom Taylor promised us queer love, and he has given us a new pair to be intrigued by.
Wonder Woman is a canon bisexual and it’s so wonderful seeing her explore a same-gender relationship. The violence creates tension, but the love relaxes. There is a serene moment, and that art is worth a pause. I haven’t see a kiss in DC Comics drawn so beautifully. Also, is that Lois Lane?! I’m extremely compelled to see what her role is in this universe, as well as will she meet with Kal?
The story and the art is a little less impactful than the first issue. However, take this comment with a grain of salt, as Tom Taylor and Yasmin Putri are still world-building. Yet again, my breathe is taken away at the beauty of the art and character design, it really is a different portrayal of DC fan-favorites. Their eyes are softer, the shading is so handsome and gorgeous, the expressions are stunning. This is really a golden-age for comic book art, and I think this is one of DC’s finest stories in the current works.
The first issue felt very mystical, full of poetry, leaving me with goosebumps, especially when describing Kryptonians as demons. This issue, however, felt lacking in that poetic writing Taylor is wonderful at, but I am expecting there’s more to come. I love my metaphors and similes in writing, so bring on the alliteration and repetition for higher impact.
This story is highly worth the time, there is so much more to discover, but a lot of beauty and horror happens in this issue. The characters break out of classic heroic ideals, which is interesting to see. The lettering is placed with such care, each action is high impact. The art does not fail you, from the action scenes to the romance, it’s all drawn with heart and emotion. We’ve started heavy, but one can sense the pain is just beginning.