Demon Knights: Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves, Robson Rocha, Oclair Albert, Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo, Jared K. Fletcher, Michael Choi
First off, congrats to Paul Cornell for having one of the few titles who’s least changed out its staff out of the whole New 52. He’s written each issue (of the 12 out at the time of this writing), and Neves has drawn in each one. That’s hard to do with how most of these darn books are either revolving doors of creative teams, or always split between artists per issue. Consistency counts.
Speaking of consistency…Diogenes Neves. How incredible is this art?! I absolutely love the detail, the realism. Though, to be honest, sometimes a realistic Etrigan, moving, gesturing, and talking like a normal person is a little disturbing. This is one of my favorite books in terms of art. Neves and Maiolo nail it every single time. There’s just so much in every single panel, and that’s what counts, I think. The level that this book is at, the style and skill, really make it as much fun to look through as it is to read.
The gang is basically sent on another quest, involving last issue’s shocking death of Merlin. Xanadu and Al Jabr believe Merlin lives, and could be found in Avalon. I’m really liking how this book continues to tie into British myth like this. Camelot, Arthur, Merlin, Avalon. Some great stuff to draw from here. I’m really excited to see how the afterlife realm of Avalon is portrayed in this book.
There’s an interesting pair of characters in this issue, Princesses Alba and Sarum - obviously where the name of the city comes from. They’re in love. Betrothed, even. And they have written the laws of their city so that a same-sex marriage is not illegal. However, they’re saving an official marriage for when the city of Alba Sarum can officially be nicknamed “the new Camelot.”
The interesting part of this is how we never really see that. A pair of homosexual characters who are actually NOT limited or inhibited by their governments or culture. In fact, no one here seems to think their relationship is an abomination - probably a more realistic viewpoint for the medieval time the book exists within. The Princess characters are actually in charge, and able to make their laws work around them, for them. I like the change here.
Finally, when Etrigan goes back to Hell at the end of the issue, we get a pretty neat glimpse of things to come. We’ve already seen the following entities of evil in the DC New 52: Cain, the personification of and original evil of the world; and the Son of Morning, basically a fallen angel who helps Deadman figure things out. Now…finally…comes the one, the Morning Star, the Unclean One, LUCIFER! I like this representation, and it fits well with the style of the book, even though this section is pencilled by Robson Rocha. Very well done.
Demon Knights #9, the verdict: A pretty cool continuation of this next arc of stories. I say, “arc of stories,” and I suddenly remember how the New 52 was supposed to be more about stand-alone issues and not series of arcs that are lumped together in a trade book later, for more ease of access to new readers. I was just showing some of my DC books to a friend, but had to tell him, “You wouldn’t understand the story, it’s in the middle.” So I guess DC’s well past that idea now. Didn’t take long. Anyway, Demon Knights #9 is good fun, and it’s refreshing to see these characters in a change of clothes - for example, both Sir Ystin and Al Jabr have nothing on their heads in this issue…a new look for both. The ish definitely has me excited for what’s coming next!
(Photo Source: My Comic Shop)