Well Demon Knights fans, the day has come at last: Paul Cornell’s final issue of the series has hit comic shop stands and the comixology digital marketplace. I’ve loved Cornell’s run since the beginning and am sad to see him go, but regrets will have to wait until after we take a look at this issue! With the final battle coming to a head between the armies of Hell, the Questing Queen’s Horde, the forces of Avalon, and the Demon Knights themselves, this issue promised an exciting conclusion to Cornell’s saga. Will this run’s ending go down in history or should it be confined to time’s lost annals?
Demon Knights #14 concluded with the stage set for an epic battle. Four different forces converge on Avalon for a battle to determine the fate of Merlin, and the ancient DC Universe at large. The Demon Knights have to think fast to survive the conflict, but luckily there’s help on the way in the form of a legendary hero. But what will become of the team if they succeed? Can they hold together as comrades for the long term?
Paul Cornell went out with a bang (literally, if you read the issue). There’s a lot of great action, character development, and clever humor. I’m actually surprised by just how much Cornell included and how well he tied up a series of loose ends established in prior issues. Despite resolving several things, there are still some great plot threads for Robert Venditti to play with should he choose to. The connection to Stormwatch in this issue was pretty cool too (even though I’ve only read its first volume, also courtesy of Cornell); such a choice made Demon Knights feel like it fits in better with the DC Universe. I honestly wish this issue had just a few more pages to flesh out both the opening battle and Merlin’s return, but Cornell did a spectacular job nonetheless despite the page limit.
Artistically, Bernard Chang delivers more great work. The man has proved he can draw soldiers, dragons, demons, and more with expertise, and this issue does not disappoint. There are a few panels where characters shown at a distance look a little off, but they’re overshadowed by the amazing scenes earlier on. One of my favorite scenes involves the arrival of a famous character; it just looks so darn heroic its hard not to feel inspired while gazing upon it. The character’s faces also look the best they ever have in this issue, with great levels of detail and expression. Marcelo Maiolo’s color choices continue to inform Chang’s artwork and bring its quality to an even higher standard. The magical effects he colors are especially radiant.
All in all, Demon Knights #15 is a great wrap-up to the wonderful legacy Cornell’s established over the past year. It’s no small feat that this comic is the one I’ve looked forward to the most each month since I started reading it back in September 2011. Luckily, Chang is staying on board and I know Venditti’s got some great writing skills, so I’m optimistic about the future of the series. Honestly, if you aren’t reading this series you should go out right now and track down every issue; it’s totally worth your time.
-great end to Cornell’s run which ties up most loose ends
-exceptional art, especially scenes involving a certain English monarch
-great set-up for future plot threads
-scenes of characters drawn at a distance show a drop in art quality
-not as much action as expected based on last issue’s set-up
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He didn’t cry manly tears while reading this issue…but feels like he should have.
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