The Demon Knights are still struggling through Hell after the events of last issue. Etrigan’s former comrades turn on the renegade demon, seeking vengeance for bringing them to Hell for tortures tailored to each companion. Through it all, Lucifer has schemes of his own that could spell doom for the world. As always, I held high hopes for this issue when I grabbed it from the shop this week; did this penultimate chapter in Paul Cornell’s amazing run uphold the high standard and set the stage for an exciting conclusion next month?
Jason gets an unpleasant surprise when none other than the Questing Queen and Mordru arrive! It seems, however, that they’ve decided to help Jason enter Hell so he can help them find Etrigan. Meanwhile, the rest of the companions escape their various tortures and set their sites on the mystical realm of Avalon. Plans set in motion by several parties come to a head, setting the stage for a massive battle involving the armies of Hell, the Queen’s Horde, and the Defenders of Avalon…with the Demon Knights themselves caught in the crossfire!
Paul Cornell sets up for a massive climax next month, which will be his final issue. This issue had great progression, bringing all the players together. Bringing back the Questing Queen was a cool idea, especially as it showed that, like all great villains, tenacity is their best strength. I didn’t like the fact that the Demon Knights themselves escaped their tortures from last issue so easily and off-screen; I understand that page count is limited, but even just a few panels of them getting out would’ve gone a long way. As it stands, we only get to see Vandal Savage get rescued, and it just felt anticlimactic. Cornell’s standard style shone through again in this issue, and other than the gripe I just mentioned I can’t fault the writing.
Art-wise, this issue is much like the previous ones, which is to say it’s great! Bernard Chang gives us a stunning cover and great interior scenes. The designs for the Questing Queen were especially cool, while Mordru’s facial expressions were especially sinister. The Silent Knights that appear towards the end look sufficiently noble and powerful. The idea to add some East Asian inspired designs to the Questing Queen’s guards was a cool touch as well. Towards the middle of the comic, the characters’ faces start to become more flat and odd-looking (especially in Exoristos’s case) but this is so brief it’s barely worth mentioning. Marcelo Maiolo’s colors made the issue stand out, with great palette swaps between the neutral and hazy human world, the warm-hued Hell, and the bright nature tones of Avalon. Jared K. Fletcher’s lettering is fine, as always.
Demon Knights #14 sets us up for what promises to be an astounding 15th issue! While this comic itself is not the best in the entire Demon Knights run I still enjoyed it a lot and say it’s a must-have for anyone following the series (which, if you’re not, shame on you). I’ll be counting the days until the next issue hits stands.
-most of the characters escape their punishments off-screen
-characters’ drawn somewhat oddly mid-comic
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He’s pretty sure Boromir and the Questing Queen should exchange tips on walking simply.
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