Dark Knights Of Steel #1 is easily one of my most anticipated first issue releases, EVER! I am a huge fan of Tom Taylor’s work and since the announcement and teases of this series, I have been very excited to read it. I have very high expectations that I am sure will be met.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by Yasmine Putri and it is spectacular. It perfectly showcases the themes of this comic series and gives us a gorgeous piece that is reminiscent of a stained glass window. This cover is truly beautiful, I love the realism in the skin tones and clothing, the attention to detail is spectacular. And… is it me or does Superman resemble John Travolta here?
The first variant cover is by Joshua Middleton and he continues to impress with his incredibly realistic artwork and impeccable attention to detail. There’s something about seeing Batman atop a horse wearing such striking armour that is totally badass! I love the grainy texture to this piece, it really makes it look like an historic piece of artwork. I cannot wait to see what his other character paintings look like.
The second variant cover is again by Yasmine Putri and gives us more detail on the slightly altered versions of our much loved characters. First up is Superman and this cover gives us a full and first look at his attire, which is brilliant, I really love how Putri has adapted the Superman suit into this era and theme. I also love how the background which is a piece of parchment acts as a ‘Top Trumps’ style card, which allows us to see each characters strengths and weaknesses.
The final variant cover is by Wayne Reynolds and is another spectacular look at the trinity looking like they are about to go into battle. I love their poses, as if they were about to go to battle to defend their kingdom, which looks majestic in the background behind them. The realism is excellent in this piece again and yet again the realism is impeccable.
Dark Knights Of Steel #1 opens up with a rather different retelling of the destruction of Krypton and how Kal-El came to be on Earth, which I adore. It’s rare we see Jor-El and Lara survive the ordeal in comics and I’m looking forward to seeing how they made their impact on Earth. If there first few pages of the issue are anything to go by, they made quite the impression, though I feel I have spoken to soon on some accord.
Tom Taylor has expertly placed each and every DC character featured in this issue in a hierarchy which works perfectly within this era and theme. I specifically loved Constantine’s role in revealing the prophecy and I will never tire of seeing Batman and Alfred essentially being Superman’s bodyguards. Not only have their roles have been altered, but their relationships too, though we are used to seeing Superman and Batman bicker, seeing them do so as siblings is great fun.
This issue really set up for what’s to come, as we meet several characters which are perfectly placed in this story-arc in terms of role and personality. We have a rough idea of who the potential villain of the story is, though that is likely to be misunderstood at some point and we know what strengths and weaknesses these characters have.
The artwork and colours are by Yasmine Putri and her work is fantastic, the detail is great and she has captured the essence of fantasy and superhero tales perfectly. I particularly love her artwork during the moment where characters really let themselves go with their powers, specifically Jor-El and Dinah, those panels were stunning. You can literally count each shard of glass broken and each burnt off body part.
Previously I was only familiar with her work on covers, and I cannot tell you how glad I am to see her working on interiors, and this series is perfect opportunity for her to showcase her incredible skills. That is exactly what she does with her spectacular work in this first issue.
Dark Knights Of Steel #1 really sets the scene and atmosphere for the series, I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their slightly different roles and personalities. I am a sucker for an Elseworlds story, and I love fantasy and superheroes (of course), so this series is pretty much perfect for me. I cannot fault this first issue and I cannot wait to see what happens going forwards.
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