Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Demon Knights Volume 1 - Seven Against the Dark

Set in the dark ages, Demon Knights Volume one - Seven Against the Dark is a book about how seven very different characters banded together to fight a evil force bent on destroying everything in its path.

A demon bound to a human, a sorcerer  an amazon, a knight, a engineer, a archer and a immortal will come together to overcome a common threat, treason and bash a lot of heads in.

And thus the Demon Knights are born.

How good is it?

Demon Knights Volume one Seven Against the Dark brings us the story of how the Demon Knights came to be together. A young Jason Blood with a hatred for Merlin and Etrigan the demon, an edgier and manipulative Madame Xanadu, a surprisingly cheerful immortal Vandal Savage, the mysterious Shiny Knight, the obscure Horsewoman, Al Jabr the engineer/scientist and Exoristos a Wonder Woman like character are the seven against the dark.

Paul Cornell brings us a good fantasy story in a cool setting with fun a interesting characters. The biggest problem is that if you are familiar with DC Universe's previous incarnation continuity its difficult to digest Cornell's Madame Xanadu and Vandal Savage characterization.
Its not that they're not interesting characters, they are, but they just aren't the ones I remembered. Savage is a big oaf that solves most of his problems with his fist and with a big smile on his big hairy face, instead of a master planner with all the time in the world that created the super-speed drug. In Demon knights Xanadu is a manipulative powerful sorcerer that lead on Jason Blood and Etrigan to some unknown reason. In the old DC Universe, by this time she was sweet depowered forest nymph.

The story itself its a nice little twist of fate that brings all these characters together and unites them against a evil foe that threatens all. There is a little bit of everything. Drama, comedy, lots of action, sorcery, treason and lots of build up for the following book.

The part I enjoyed the most are the new characters. Especially Exoristos, The Horsewoman and The Shiny Knight. This last one might not be a new character per se, but this incarnation spiked my interest. Great thing might come from exploring these character's background.

On the art department Diogenes Neves does a great job bringing this medieval story to life. His pencils really add something to this book. I especially love the faces. They're really expressive. The panel dynamic is good but nothing groundbreaking. I would buy more books with pencils by Neves.

Exoristos showing who's boss
Savage preparing dinner

Would I recommend it?

While this first volume of Demon Knights isn't brilliant, it is a good fantasy book. If we take the DC old Universe continuity out of the equation its a very enjoyable book. It has a nice plot, vibrating art, good pace and its an adventure story with romance, action and (a little) drama. If the mischaracterization of some characters isn't an issue for you and if fantasy books are your thing, then you should get this. If not then you should spend your money elsewhere.

Publisher: DC Comics
Year: 2012
Authors: Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves


  1. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more. Not sure that mischaracterizations count in a relaunch, but I get your point. I'd answer that any mischaracterization from 800 years ago can be chalked up to time.

    1. I had high expectation for this book and it didn't let me down.
      I see your point, it applies well to Savage, but Xanadu, in the previous Vertigo series had some stories around that time period and was a very different character.
      But that was a reboot away. Its not that big a deal.