REVIEW: ‘Dark Knights of Steel,’ Issue #5

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Dark Knights of Steel #5

Dark Knights of Steel #5 is written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by Yasmine Putri, colored by Arif Prianto, and lettered by Wes Abbot. It’s published by DC Comics. Following Zala Jor-El’s assault against the Kingdom of Storms, the House of El gears up for war. Harleen the Jester reaches out to the plant-controlling Lady of the Forest for help, while Zala reunites with her lover Diana and Batman struggles with whether or not he should tell Kal-El about the fact that they’re secretly brothers.

After Dark Knights of Steel #4 took a detour from the main story by exploring the House of El’s past and featuring Bengal on art, Putri returns, and her work’s just as eye-catching as ever. For those who might not have guessed, the “Lady of the Forest” is Poison Ivy, and keeping in line with the medieval theme of this series, Putri gives her the sort of outfit a druid or elemental goddess would wear. A crown made of weaving branches, laced with pale pink roses, sits atop Ivy’s head. Her gown also has moss growing across the edges, and her skin is a lime green color.

Putri also draws an intense fight sequence between Diana and Ivy, as the Amazon princess’ immense strength is pitted against the Lady of the Forests’ plant manipulation abilities. When Diana kicks a tree, it breaks in half, and then she picks up the whole tree and uses it as a club! Ivy retaliates by summoning vines that ensnare Diana and her Pegasus and reveals the depth of powers extend to manipulating microorganisms within the human body. Another scene features the result of what happens when someone gets on Superman’s bad side. This is accompanied by a literally earth-shaking “Kooom” sound courtesy of Abbott’s lettering.

Writing-wise, Taylor digs into the relationship between characters, both on the romantic and familial side. While Kal-El has a more easygoing, warm relationship with Zala, he and Bruce don’t really connect —  perhaps this is Taylor’s way of using the differences between Batman and Superman as fuel for conflict in his story.

On the romantic side, the series spotlights its LGBTQIA relationships between Zala and Diana & Harley and Ivy, respectively. The latter couple’s interactions will tug at readers’ heartstrings, especially since their respective duties have kept them apart. Taylor’s previously written the relationship between Harley and Ivy in DCeased and Injustice; he clearly loves the two, so it makes sense that it’d show up in Dark Knights of Steel.

However, there’s a surprise twist concerning two characters that I’m not sure works. Granted, we’re about to hit the halfway point of the series, and things could change, but it feels like it came out of left field. That being said, it brings another pair of characters into the mix, and they just happen to be characters from the Superman mythos.

Dark Knights of Steel #5 features another medieval twist on a fan-favorite DC character and escalates tensions between the various kingdoms. With the end of the issue placing Batman in mortal danger (again), things look like they’re about to get worse as all-out war is on the horizon.

Dark Knights of Steel #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Dark Knights of Steel #5
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TL;DR

Dark Knights of Steel #5 features another medieval twist on a fan-favorite DC character and escalates tensions between the various kingdoms. With the end of the issue placing Batman in mortal danger (again), things look like they’re about to get worse as all-out war is on the horizon.