Dark Knights Of Steel #9 continues the epic war against the three kingdoms. This series has been brilliant so far and with each issue I eagerly await the next, Tom Taylor has expertly combined two of my favourite genres.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by Dan Mora and showcases an epic fight between Kal-El and Wonder Woman. The detail is stellar and the action as well as the stakes are displayed perfectly. It’s safe to say that Mora draws action very well, I particularly love the use of the dull colours to show the morbidness of war.
The first variant is by Gerado Zaffino and delivers a war-wounded Batman like we’ve never seen him before. The detail on this once agin is incredible and this is a great look for Batman, especially with a slain beast behind him. The monotone colour scheme and the use of red really makes for a dramatic sight and I hope we get to see more variants by Zaffino in the future.
The third and final variant is by Lucio Parrillo, whenever you hear that name you know you are going to see some great art, and this piece is no exception. Again the detail is stellar and that can especially be said for the suits and also the background image of the castle. I’ve always been a fan of this look for Kal-El and the fact that he is donning Superman’s classic rooftop stance really made me smile, this is a perfect homage to the Jim Lee cover for Superman #204.
Dark Knights Of Steel #9 opens out moments after Queen Lara kills Queen Hippolyta, the stakes are extremely high and the tension here is palpable. I’ve said this many times before but Tom Taylor is an expert storyteller, this series has been nothing short of spectacular. As Prince Kal-El is broken out from his prison and tries to stop the war with the help of a Robin, he passes his mother and their conversation (or lack thereof) doesn’t go as planned. This gives the newly appointed Queen Diana and the Amazons the wrong idea entirely and leads to severe consequences.
The issue continues to be an adrenaline fuelled read, which is full of explosive action, twists and turns as Queen Lara shocks the entire kingdom with her rather brutal actions. This goes totally against Constantines prophecy and it’s here that he realises that something isn’t quite right here. It’s rare that we see this much destruction in a single issue, let alone a series and I have to say it was incredible to see these characters use their power sets to their maximum potential, particularly when it comes to the Kryptonians.
The twist towards the end of this issue is something I did not see coming and when the realisation sets in, it totally makes sense. Not only that but it also makes you second guess other characters, whom else could be effected by this? Is it just Queen Lara or are there others? And that’s what makes Tom Taylor such a great writer, absolutely nothing is predictable when it comes to his work, and as a longtime fan and reader of comic books, it is so damn refreshing.
The interior artwork is by Yasmine Putri, with colours by Arif Prianto and letters by Wes Abbott. It is nothing short of fantastic, the detail is spectacular and with so much going on, I thought it would be hard to keep up but this creative team handles it perfectly. The action sequences showcase the characters and their power set perfectly. Putri knows how to combine fantasy with superheroes incredibly well and there is one particular moment that truly shocked me in a good way – seeing Batman atop a dragon, a truly epic moment.
Dark Knights Of Steel #9 delivers a high octane read full of explosive action and plenty of twists and turns. This series and issue in particular has been totally unpredictable and as a longtime comic reader and fan, it is so refreshing to see. I cannot wait to see how the remaining series pans out.