Dark Knights of Steel #8 “War of Three Kingdoms” is finally out after a long three month hiatus. Jumping right back into the thick of things, all the pieces are set for this sadly unpreventable war. What isn’t sad is the cover art, so let’s talk about those first.
The standard cover is by Dan Mora which showcases Diana and Zala surveying a battle worn field. With the dust yet to settle and the fire embers still sprinkling the sky, this cover feels like a foreshadowing. Despite the serious tone of the art with its muted color effect, the use of the bright reds really make for an eye popping image.
The variant by J.G. Jones is a brilliant water color depicting Zala, Diana, and Queen Anissa. It’s such a striking piece with the world around them falling apart. The story elements have taken their toll on all the characters involved, but these three women have had their worlds turned upside down more than most and this cover truly captures their emotional states.
Filya Brathukin and Rek Lokus do a renaissance inspired cover for their variant. At first glance it merely looks like a serene landscape but upon further inspection you see The Batman single handedly fending off a group of warriors alongside a cliff. Although they blend in so well with their surroundings, there’s no lack of detail depicting the fight scene and how it’s playing out. It’s a genuinely unique piece of art that you can easily get lost in.
Artist Yasmine Putri and colorist Arif Prianto once again do an excellent job with the interior art. Emotions run high in this issue and it’s felt on every page. Not devoid of action, this issue’s battles lean more into diplomatic pleas than all out fighting and the art direction builds on these tense unpredictable moments. The last few pages are especially heart wrenching on their own but more so because of how well Putri and Prianto masterfully put emotion on a page.
Tom Taylor, lettered by Wes Abbott, really set up the impeding dread of this issue from page one. According to The Green Man everything is in place to bring an end to this age. Time after time we see characters from all three kingdoms try to defuse warmongering tensions but even the Poison Ivy controlled forest isn’t enough to sway Queen Anissa and Hippolyta from advancing. Although not a lot of action happens in this issue, the way the story flows and the tension it builds make it a captivating read. The last page practically sets The Green Man’s plan into stone and it’ll be interesting to see how this series deals with all the repercussions caused by The Els actions, mind controlled or not.
Dark Knights of Steel #8 feels like the final piece needed to set this world aflame with war despite the countless efforts to prevent it. Tom Taylor reminds us, yet again, no one is “safe” in this series and it’ll be exciting to see how the story plays out from here.