Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Review: Dark Knights Of Steel #9

Dark Knights of Steel #9 came out last week and was an issues filled with revelations. One I guessed way back in my review of issue #5. Another came out of nowhere but makes a lot of sense. An issue where I was right about a theory AND I was surprised by a twist. You know I liked this issue.

Writer Tom Taylor has been having a war between the kingdoms heating to a boil. There have been significant deaths in all the houses. There have been secret missions and hidden alliances. And now it all comes to a head. This is a blood filled issue of war. Despite the battle pages, there are a couple of real solid character moments which showcase just how fun this book has been. And the twists which explain so much of the mysteries that have happened in the earlier issues. I honestly think that Taylor shines when he writes these Elseworld books. 

Artist Yasmine Putri is back on art. The stuff is just fantastic. The warfare is realistic and brutal. The emotions are raw and palpable. Everything is smooth and slick. I am glad that DC has given this book some time so that Putri can be on the book and finish the issue's she is on. I'm hopeful she rounds out the title.

But this is a turning point. We enter the last fourth of the title and some major twists have been revealed. That is plenty of time for use to get to a satisfying conclusion!

On to the book!

Way back in issue #6, Kal went to Themyscira to try and stave off the war. He as stabbed, interrogated, and imprisoned. He has been out of commissions since. 

Cassandra Cain, now acting as a 'Robin' for Bruce, slips on the island to free him. And, in a brilliant move, given my concern that shapeshifters are feeding the flames of war, she gives him a lasso of truth to use in his quest to negotiate.

It's a small scene. But I love Cassandra being part of the Robins. The fact that she has come is interesting in that Bruce and Kal have been at odds. Is she doing this on her own? Or is she working with someone else? 

But at least Kal is back in the game.

Remember that last issue ended with Lara killing Hippolyta. 

That is the last straw. The armies go to war.

I love how this is called 'The Battle of Regret'. I am sure once all the dust settles both sides will realize they were set up and will regret this.

Things start to get really crazy.

Kal shows up and is punched by the fleeing Lara.

Confused, he lands and tries to convince Diana that they are being manipulated but she socks him one too. 

The armies swarm.

And the Green Man, the mix of Luthor/Joker/Green Lantern starts killing people on both sides. 

None of it makes sense.

And then Bruce shows up on a dragon.

Now that is awesome.

Putri does a great job with these siege pages.

My favorite scene in the book has Lois Lane being ... well ... Lois Lane.

She sees the Green Man killing everyone. She sees the El princes turning on each other. She sees Lara kill Hippolyta.

She sees what everyone else can't seem to see. They are being manipulated.

I love a smart Lois. I love that she sees through all the deception. 

Lara flies back to the El castle and starts frying the trapped metahumans in the dungeon. Ollie and Dinah team up to escape. (Trust me, the Dinah and Ollie moments are wonderful. People should be reading this book.)

Then a delicious turn of events. Suddenly there are two Lara's on the field. 

Love Putri's art here. Especially the real Lara standing there so regal over the imposter.

Alfred yells to use fire and Ollie shoots a flaming crossbow bolt into one of the Alura's revealing her to be a White Martian.

This time I was right!

Way back in March of 2022, I said in my review that it has to be shapeshifters, specifically White Martians, pulling the strings. It makes the over-arching prophecy of a terror from the sky be true. And it takes the antagonist label off the Els.

Great panel. Great reveal.

But wait there's more.

Alfred knew to use fire because he is a Green Martian! Maybe he is J'onn.

Now that is a great surprise. Hopefully next issue will fill us in on his back story and how he got there.

I have been very pleasantly surprised with this book. The innovative looks at classic DC characters in a medieval time has been great. Some, like Harley and Lois, have been phenomenal. The mysteries and feints have been great to follow and try to unravel. And now this surprise, turning the title on its head.

And I am glad that this reveal happens here, giving Taylor three issues to flesh out the reveals and come to an ending.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...


But let the record show I backed you up 100%….:)

All the same though I still wanna know how White Martians developed heat vision…or am I missing something basic?


William Ashley Vaughan said...

Hope you are going to review Lazarus Planet Alpha #1. Supergirl is front and center in this one and it's one of her best stories in years.