The Demon and his Knights
When DC Comics rebooted their entire universe with the “New 52” set of titles, the company took some chances in their new ongoing series delving into comic genres like Fantasy and Horror as they hadn’t since the heyday of those kinds of comics in the 70s.
Some of these books like Men of War, while riddled with potential, just didn’t live up to what they were meant to be. While I am so not a fantasy kind of guy in any form, sticking more to things like horror, military SF, and certainly superheroes when it comes to my comic book reading, I decided to pick up the first “trade” released of the Demon Knights series that collected the first seven issues of the title’s run.
I had always been a fan of the Demon Etrigan since Jack Kirby created him and hoped to see justice to the character done by the New 52 reboot. After reading Demon Knights volume I however, I was simply blown away. Here was a title that despite being Fantasy in nature, set in the Dark Ages with no tech, in which folks didn’t save the world in capes, left me wanting, no, needing more of it to read.
Demon Knights tells the story of a group of misfits, immortals, and mages who come together after the fall of Camelot, much like the Magnificent Seven, to defend a small farming village against a vast and powerful army attempting to sweep through it.
Etrigan is of course the central character but his “Knights” are composed of such DC comic staples as Madame Xandu, Vandal Savage, and a brand new version of the Shining Knight mixed with completely original characters like an exiled Amazon warrior not too unlike Wonder Woman herself. These misfits come together as a team to be reckoned with and the action is seriously on.
The writing and art of Demon Knights is far above the standard of the New 52 as a whole. Fantasy fan or not, I can promise the series will entertain you and keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll grow to love, pity, and sympathize with the titles characters in a deep and fun way.
And if you’re a scholar of the DC Universe’s history, you’ll smirk at some of the cool injokes within its pages. Thus, if you’re looking for an intensely fun and different kind of comic book read, I can’t recommend Demon Knights enough, just make sure you start at the beginning of the series as it builds upon itself like an good fantasy epic does.