Friday, February 22, 2013

Demon Knights #17 - A Review

Demon Knights #17 pits our team of heroes against one of their own for the sake of another.  A vampire lord named Cain (who may or may not be THAT Cain) seeks the Amazon homeland so he can create an invincible army of woman warriors.  This has caused some of our heroes to reunite after 30 years apart.  Even now they seek the rest of their party, particularly Jason Blood, feeling they may need the power of Hell on their side in the form of The Demon Etrigan, whose power is tied to Jason Blood's soul.  But their former comrade Vandal Savage - for reasons that have not yet been explained past "Because he wanted to" -  has taken Jason Blood hostage and torments him even now in his private fortress. 

Robert Venditti spins a vivid tale but some of his takes on the cast seem inauthentic compared to Paul Cornell.  His Vandal Savage, for instance, lacks the barbaric charm of Cornell's take on the character and his "gigantic mirth" seems oddly forced.  It's also somewhat jarring to see much of the mystery taken out of The Horsewoman as this issue lays her powers and abilities bare.  

Bernard Chang's artwork still inspires, looking like painted woodcuts from the time this book depicts.  One could easily see these illustrations in the margins of some monk's book from the Middle Ages.  It's good stuff - good enough to make me continue to recommend this book, despite my misgivings over some of the character portrayals.  It's been only two issues, after all, and thirty years have passed.  Perhaps some of this can be written of as people changing over time?  I don't know but I'm willing to stick around to find out. 

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