Demon Knights has consistently been the top of my DC reading pile since it launched with the New 52. Issue #15 brought the initial run, written by Paul Cornell, to an end. Now, we’re treated to a new era courtesy of writer Robert Venditti, though long-time series artist Bernard Chang is still on board. Let’s dive into this new era of medieval DC excitement!
Thirty years have passed since the Demon Knights revived Merlin on Avalon. During the intervening time, most of the warriors have worked apart, interacting only briefly in most cases. When a new vampiric threat arises to destroy Europe, however, the team is called together once again to save humanity. Can these former allies join forces once again to battle evil, or have their differences become too great for them to unite as one?
It must be said: kudos to Robert Venditti. This issue retains the same charm and tone that attracted me to Demon Knights in the first place. There’s a lot of medieval action, intrigue, and clever humor. Venditti’s writing is obviously different from Cornell’s, but the transition is subtle rather than jarring as often sadly occurs when there’s a change in author. Venditti’s interpretation of Al Jabr is especially enjoyable. My only regret is that the new villain doesn’t get much characterization, but I’m sure we’ll learn more about him in the coming issues.
With Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo still on board, the art of Demon Knights #16 is much like its predecessors. Even so, Chang’s artwork looks better than ever. The expressions on the characters’ faces are deep and especially gripping. His new design for Al Jabr is cool as well, as is what we see of the city of Al-Wadi. The final page is best of all, aided by Maiolo’s stellar coloring work to set the stage for an exciting upcoming issue. Maiolo’s depiction of light and shadow is great as well. This art team’s passion shines through on every page.
Demon Knights #16 is, in my opinion, one of the best issues of the series thus far. It’s endlessly enjoyable, with great art and superb writing. Given the new status quo, it’s a great jumping on point for new readers and I encourage, no, I command you to pick this issue up at your local comic store or via comixology. It seems this series is destined to remain my favorite comic.
-great character portrayal
-excellent set-up for the new arc
-new villain sees only brief characterization
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He’s hoping this coming year may see the fabled Demon Knights Annual he’s been wanting for over a year.