REVIEW: ‘Dark Knights of Steel,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dark Knights of Steel #3 - But Why Tho

Dark Knights of Steel #3 is written by Tom Taylor, illustrated and colored by Yasmine Putri, and lettered by Wes Abbot. It is published by DC Comics. Zala Zor-El has killed the son of King Jefferson, further escalating the prospect of war between the House of El and the Kingdom of Storms. Jefferson travels to Amazon Island to curry the favor of Queen Hippolyta, which leads to conflict with Zala’s lover Diana. Meanwhile, a mysterious object falls from the sky, which could spell doom for the House of El and Batman in particular.

Continuing the trend of the last two issues, Taylor and Putri reinvent the heroes and villains of the DC Universe with a medieval bent. The Metal Men are knights encased in shining armor, instead of being forged completely out of metal, and protect the kingdom of Magnus—named after their canon creator Dr. Will Magnus. Jimmy Olsen has traded his camera for a telescope and is the first to see the meteor that falls from the sky. And Harley Quinn references “a lady in the forest” who can only be Poison Ivy. Part of what draws me to DC’s Elseworlds stories is how creators put a different spin on heroes and villains, and Dark Knights of Steel has done a great job filtering them through the prism of fantasy.

The issue also features some insane battle sequences thanks to Putri, who draws Zala engaging others in battle. Not only does this filter into the insanely violent undertones that have permeated Taylor’s other Elseworlds stories such as Injustice and DCeased but it also shows how Supergirl might act if she wasn’t tethered to her cousin’s moral code. Whole pages feature Zala cutting a swath through opponents, whether it’s impaling them on their own weapons or burning them to ash with her heat vision. While we’ve seen plenty of evil Superman and Superman analogs, this is different, as Zala is fighting against the kingdom that had her father assassinated. Yet, Taylor’s script shows how violence can only beget more violence and how destructive that cycle is.

Putri’s color work is also stellar, and shifts based on the setting. When the meteor crashes to earth, it gives off a faint green glow that cuts through the dark of the night and might cue longtime DC fans as to its origins. Amazon Island is perpetually sunny and bright and so is the crystal blue sea that the emissaries from the Kingdom of Storms sail on. And that sense of color also extends to Abbott’s lettering, especially where the sound effects are concerned. When Zala uses her heat vision, an “Fssshhh” sound is heard, glowing as bright red as the beams that emerge from her eyes.

Dark Knights of Steel #3 adds fuel to the fire of its main conflict as the House of El and Kingdom of Storms go to war. The next issue aims to explore the secret history of Batman within this world, which I’m looking forward to due to the revelation surrounding his heritage in the first issue.

Dark Knights of Steel #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


Dark Knights of Steel #3
4.5

TL;DR

Dark Knights of Steel #3 adds fuel to the fire of its main conflict as the House of El and Kingdom of Storms go to war. The next issue aims to explore the secret history of Batman within this world, which I’m looking forward to due to the revelation surrounding his heritage in the first issue.