Thursday, April 18, 2013

Demon Knights #19 - A Review

In my review of last month's issue of Demon Knights, I wondered what torments Lucifer would have in store for Jason Blood.  You'll recall that Jason had devised a way to strike back at Etrigan - the demon to whom he is bound - by staying in Hell, thus depriving Etrigan of any chance to renew his powers.  Jason bravely - but unwisely - dared Lucifer to do his worst, saying that after many years trapped in the dungeons of his former comrade Vandal Savage, there was little horror Hell could hold for him.  Sadly, we get little chance to see what Lucifer (who I dare say is now my favorite character in this series) had in store for him as it turns out there are some things even The Devil fears and a world full of vampires fits that bill neatly.  For what profit is there for a collector of souls in a world full of souless immortals?

This idea shows the menace that the vampire lord Cain poses far better than any fighting scene we've had thus far in the series.  Sadly, the rest of the issue suffers a bit in the wake of that revelation.  Interesting as it is to see Hippolyta and the other Amazons opposing an vampire invasion of Themyscira alongside the Demon Knights, the whole battle seems somewhat flat given how uninteresting the vampires themselves are as a menace and how dull Cain is as a recurring villain.  The drama involving Sir Ystin, at least, promises some interesting drama in the issues to come but most of the book's established cast is lost amid the action scenes, with little of the personality Paul Cornell gave them.

At least the artwork by Bernard Change continues to exceed expectations.  Chang is highly valued for his ability to provide detailed pencils without cluttering the page.  His inks, too, prove just right - not too thick nor too light.  It's just enough to save this off-issue.  With any hope, things will be back above par next month.

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