Congratulations, Demon Knights, on the completion of your first year! It’s been an amazing run so far, and moving ahead I’ve got high hopes for the series. Issue #13, the newest in our story, picks up where we left off two months ago in #12…and what the Hell has happened to our heroes? (Pun Intended). Did this comic shine brightly or fall from grace?
Etrigan’s betrayal came as a shock towards the end of Issue #12! While Etrigan and Lucifer plot their individual schemes, each of the demon’s former comrades is subject to tailored torture. As always, some of our plucky heroes endure these torments better than others and one even seems to enjoy the situation he’s placed in (I’ll give you one guess who). Meanwhile, Jason Blood is stuck on Earth, his bond with Etrigan now broken. Having lost everything, Jason is faced with a momentous decision, but it seems there are others waiting in the wings with their own agenda concerning Lucifer’s domain.
Paul Cornell you’ve done it again! This issue gives us more character studies and insight into the personalities of the Demon Knights themselves. One can almost feel Jason’s pain as he laments in the issue’s introduction, while its hard not to laugh as Vandal Savage recalls his past crimes with childlike glee and enthusiasm. Lucifer’s portrayal as a magnificent bastard is great and I’m glad that we’ll get to see more of him in the next issue. This chapter also revealed the Black Diamond, an object of power that will no doubt form a focal point of future issues of this and other series (thank you, upcoming DC previews and solicits!). The only downside to the script here is that the plot itself doesn’t advance much as this issue is more concerned with establishing the characters’ situations and hinting at greater goals; I didn’t find this to be much of a problem, but I’d have liked an extra page or two of Lucifer speaking with Etrigan.
Artist Bernard Chang takes up art duties again. His general character designs are good, though his demon designs in this issue aren’t as interesting or creative as in last month’s Issue #0. Though he’s not a seasoned veteran at drawing these characters, Chang manages to keep them close to Neves’s work from the initial 12 issue run. I do feel, however, that the artwork isn’t as good as what we’ve seen before, even from Chang’s own hand. The characters appeared flatter in some scenes, which isn’t a big problem but still detracted a bit from my overall enjoyment. This is still a nit-picky complaint at best, and is easily overlooked. I once again commend Jared K. Fletcher for lettering the words of the demons with a special font, and even altering Etrigan’s speech bubble into a jagged form. Colorist Marcelo Maiolo does great work with spot color, picking up vibrant hues from the drab surroundings and beautifully illuminating Chang’s linework.
Demon Knights #13 is by no means the best title in the series, but it is still very, very good. I say this every time I review this series, but you’re really missing out by not reading it. I know things are only going to get better from here as the team continues their tenure in Hell and the plans of both a demon and a devil come to the fore. I’ve already heard that Robert Vendetti will replace Cornell as of issue #16 and I’m praying the series can keep its charm and charisma.
-some great jokes and use of humor
-could be seen as somewhat of a “filler” issue
-the demon designs weren’t as interesting as in the previous issue
-artwork good, but weaker than previous issues
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He almost thinks the series should be called “Vandal Savage and the Demon Knights” since the big barbarian steals the show every time!