Review: Dark Knights of Steel #2
Time and time again, writer Tom Taylor has show he can do an “Elseworlds” story taking the familiar heroes we know and putting them in new and interesting situations. He often delivers the basics but packs in enough enough different aspects that it feels far more than same heroes in a different setting. In the first issue of Dark Knights of Steel we’re introduced to a fantasy take of our heroes with some twists and turns and Dark Knights of Steel #2 does much of the same, upping the action and tension.
Taylor has delivered a world where the heroes we knew now rule Kingdoms with the land of Jor-El imprisoning “wizards and magic” leaving its rivals to see them as a threat to the people. With a prophecy hinted at, the debut issue saw Jor-El killed by an arrow and the revelation that Bruce was his son as well. It was a hell of an ending that threw a lot into question and added a layer of possible friction for later.
Dark Knights of Steel #2 picks up on that as two kingdoms look to inch towards war and we see how evil the House of El is. The second issue delivers twists in multiple ways, including an unexpected character and that prison. Is Superman’s family actually evil? For characters that have stood for good for so long, just casting a shadow like this on them leaves the reader questioning if this is the side we should be cheering for or not. Something is very off and two issues in, I’m not sure who’s good and who is bad. Hell, they all might be bad in the end and it’s just a matter of how evil they are.
The art by Yasmine Putri continues to be fantastic. With color by Arif Prianto and lettering by Wes Abbott, the world and characters feel familiar but are distinctive. The designs take inspiration from their DC counterparts but aren’t a straight riff. They have elements inspired by. There’s also just some great visual moments and a lot of emotion in the characters as they deal with the fallout of the debut issue. You get the sense of the highs and lows in the issue. But, it’s the small details that stand out and say a lot. There’s an entire bit with Green Arrow and his capture where the visuals are so much more impactful than the dialogue about them.
Dark Knights of Steel #2 is a solid issue that leaves us with a holy shit moment. It leaves us questioning who are the real heroes and if there are any in this story. Taylor has taken the expected heroes versus impossible odds in new setting formula we were expecting and is delivering us another shakeup to the genre he’s mastered so well. This is a hell of a series that looks to keep its readers on their toes.
Story: Tom Taylor Art: Yasmine Putri
Color: Arif Prianto Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review