Friday, June 22, 2012

Demon Knights #10 - A Review

I'm not sure what else I can do at this point to get those of you who aren't reading Demon Knights to give it a chance.

Oh!  I know!  How about I show you the greatest opening page in recent memory in any comic book ever?

This issue opens up in the middle of the action as our heroes are, indeed, attacked by a giant sea-serpent being piloted by pirates.  Hence the phrase "pirate sea serpent".  If that doesn't pique your interest even a little, I don't know what else might.

Perhaps if I were to tell you of the base concept of the book?  Demon Knights is a fantasy epic set in the medieval past of the DC Comics universe, centering upon the exploits of a group of adventurers forced together by circumstance.  Most of the characters are original though some faces may seem familiar, though the character may act much differently than we are used to seeing them act in the modern day.  Vandal Savage, for instance, is a jovial barbarian mercenary rather than a dour world conqueror.  Savage is still as outrageous and amoral as ever but writer Paul Cornell carries him off as a more villainous Conan The Cimmmerian, "with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth."   Profiles of the full team may be found in my previous review of the earlier issues.

At present time, the band has been dispatched to go to Avalon as part of an effort to revive an apparently deceased Merlin.  Naturally there is more than meets the eye to the famous wizard's death but with a party including  Merlin's former scribe (Sir Jason O' The Blood), Merlin's former pet demon (The Demon Etrigan) and Merlin's former star pupil (the sorceress Madame Xanadu) it is believed they have a better chance of finding Avalaon and Merlin's spirit than anyone else.  Of course that is before they learn of a taint filling the lands around where the waterways to Avalon once flowed - a taint that seems to come from where Camelot once stood!

Every issue thus far has been illustrated by the incomparable Diogenes Neves.  Neves' has an eye for detail that is second to none and I am hard pressed to think of any artist who could match Cornell's scripts so well.  Neves is equally capable of drawing both the dark and spooky moments, as in the above scene detailing the darkness afflicting the land as well as the more traditional fantasy action sequences that make up much of the first half of this issue.  Inkers Oclair Albert and Julio Ferreira also deserve praise, for taking such a light hand with shading Neves' pencils and allowing the original artwork to shine through.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this book is a must read for all fans of fantasy in specific and quality comics in general.  Anyone who loves comics will love Demon Knights!

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