Tom Taylor is a master at the remix. He’s built a following taking familiar characters and concepts and twisting them in ways we don’t always expect. From Injustice to DCeased, he’s proven he can surprise and entertain with familiar settings, familiar concepts, familiar characters, but mixed in all-new ways. Dark Knights of Steel #1 kicks of Taylor’s newest venture taking the heroes of the DC Universe and placing them in a fantasy world. One issue in, it looks like Taylor has succeeded again.
What works so well with Dark Knights of Steel #1 and what Taylor has done is tease the familiar until that twist begins. The comic starts off with a story so familiar, a dying planet that sends off its last son to an unknown world to survive and thrive. Except, in this case, that’s not the complete story. Taylor right away plants a flag that while the characters might be familiar, there’ll be more than enough to come to keep readers on their toes.
From that intriguing opening, Taylor takes us on a tour of this world introducing us to this world’s versions of Batman and various Robins, Black Canary, Black Lightning, John Constantine, and so many more. Every single one is familiar but different. There’s enough for us to recognize who they are and what their general background is but there’s something different about each. One in particular in amazing way to pulls the rug out from under the readers towards the end of the issue. Taylor leaves us with a hell of a twist and direction for the series and one of its characters that had me going from pleased to beyond excited to see what comes next.
Yasmine Putri‘s art is fantastic. Handling pencils and color, the comic is a beauty to look at. What’s truly great is how much of the design is inspired by but not completely lifted from the original DC characters. Bruce/Batman’s armor has a hint of a bat design as an example but not the exact symbol, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Kal-El/Superman’s design has a lot of inspiration from various outfits from his history and Krypton. It’s truly great to see these new takes. Wes Abbot‘s lettering too is solid, especially towards the beginning when a prophesy is foretold. It gives so much personality to the scene.
Dark Knights of Steel #1 is a hell of a start. Taylor has gone the extra distance with this debut and series. It doesn’t just take characters and dump them in a new setting. It delivers some subtle changes to a few that delivers what feels like a whole new experience in many ways… in a new setting. If the debut delivers this much, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Story: Tom Taylor Art: Yasmine Putri Letterer: Wes Abbot
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review