REVIEW: ‘Dark Knights of Steel,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Knights of Steel #1

Dark Knights of Steel #1 is written by Tom Taylor, illustrated and colored by Yasmine Putri, and lettered by Wes Abbot. It is published by DC Comics. Scientist Jor-El escapes the doomed planet of Krypton with his pregnant wife Lara and crash-lands on Earth during medieval times. Years later, the House of El has formed its own kingdom due to Jor-El and Lara developing superhuman powers under Earth’s yellow sun. Their son Kal-El yearns to join Prince Bruce Wayne in battle, unaware that a prophecy has led other kingdoms to believe the House of El will bring about the apocalypse.

Taylor has made a name for himself, crafting alternate takes on the DC Universe, most notably the Injustice and DCeased franchises. However, much like his post-dystopia Marvel tale Dark AgesDark Knights of Steel is significantly less bloody and dark than Injustice or DCeased. Despite others’ fears, the House of El seems to be a benevolent kingdom, and there is peace in the land. It’s honestly a refreshing change of pace from other alternate realities, and it continues to show that Taylor’s range is rarely matched by other writers in the comic book business.

Taylor also has free reign to reinvent other characters in the DC Universe, slotting them neatly into the roles they’d have in medieval times. Black Lightning rules over the Kingdom of Storms, with a teenaged John Constantine as his trusted seer. Batman rides into battle with his right-hand man Alfred and his Robins, who act as his scouts. Harley Quinn is even his jester! The fun of alternate universes is seeing how beloved characters would change if placed in a certain setting or their origins were altered, and I hope to see more characters in this world — especially the Flash.

Taylor is joined by Putri, who had previously done covers for comic book series including House of X/Powers of X and Young Justice. She leans into the concept of “DC heroes and villains in a medieval setting,” putting a spin on beloved heroes’ costumes. Batman is depicted as a literal Dark Knight, wearing a jet-black suit of armor that resembles his usual Batsuit. Kal-El wears a blue vest and a red cape, with clasps bearing his signature Superman shield. Even Green Arrow is sporting a getup that makes him resemble Robin Hood in all but name. Her color art also gives the heroes the vibrant colors they usually sport, even with their medieval flair. And keeping in line with the medieval theme, Abbot’s captions feel like scraps from an old tapestry.

Putri also depicts how superpowers would be immensely destructive in a world where DC heroes live in stone castles instead of cities. A battle between Batman and Black Canary ends up going poorly for the Dark Knight as her sonic scream sends him flying through a wall—and literally shatters an inn. Black Lightning’s powers grow a constant storm over his kingdom, and when Jor-El is confronted by a group of bandits, he scatters them with a burst of blood-red heat vision.

Dark Knights of Steel #1 is the perfect mix of swords, sorcery, and superheroism, as Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri forge a new DC Universe. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or Lord of the Rings or enjoy Taylor’s previous written work, I highly suggest adding this series to your pull list.

Dark Knights of Steel #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Dark Knights of Steel #1
5

TL;DR

Dark Knights of Steel #1 is the perfect mix of swords, sorcery, and superheroism, as Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri forge a new DC Universe. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or Lord of the Rings or enjoy Taylor’s previous written work, I highly suggest adding this series to your pull list.