Dark Knights of Steel quickly rose up to be one of the best comic books that DC Comics is publishing. Right from the beginning Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri have found the magic of the Elseworld universe that they have created with this series. They have really tapped into what made franchises in similar settings such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones successful by using the iconic DC Comics characters in this world. Now it looks like a war of Gods is going to be starting any second after King Jefferson Pierce ordered Jor-El to be assassinated. How will things escalated next? Let’s find out with Dark Knights of Steel #3.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmine Putri
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Over at the Castle of El Bruce tells Queen Lara Jor-El and Kal-El about Jimmy Olsen discovering a fallen star landing nearby and requests to investigate it along with Alfred Pennyworth. Queen Lara agrees to let Bruce and Alfred investigate the fallen star
In the Lands of Magnus the Metal Men are completely annihilated by a remorseless Princess Zala Jor-El.
Over on Amazon Island Lois Lane informs Queen Hippolyta and General Philppus about Prince Jacob’s murder and King Jefferson sailing to the island to speak with Hippolyta.
Later King Jefferson meets with Queen Hippolyta, Princess Diana, and Lois on his ship. There he reveals Zara killed his son much to Diana’s shock. King Jefferson reminds Queen Hippolyta of the prophecy and that a war is coming that they must stand together on the same side. While Diana does not want to side with King Jefferson, Queen Hippolyta accepts to honors Amazon Island’s partnership the Kingdom of Storm.
Diana leaves to find Zara to see if she can find out what is going on and possibly stop the war from even happening.
Later, while sailing back to the Kingdom of Storms, King Jefferson reveals to John Constantine that the meeting with Queen Hippolyta went as he wanted it to because he was able to get Amazon Island’s allegiance in the coming war and took the biggest supporter for the Kingdom of El off the board.
Zara suddenly appears in the sky near the ship. Ready for her this time, King Jefferson hits Zara with a powerful lightning attack that causes Zara to fall into the water. Zara quickly recovers and kills King Jefferson before anyone could respond to her recovery.
After Zara leaves a dying King Jefferson tells Constantine that Anissa that she is now Queen of the Kingdom of Storms.
Over in the Lands of Magnus, Bruce and Alfred find where the fallen star landed. When Alfred picks it up the star (which unknown to them is a piece of kryptonite) Bruce collapses in a weakened state.
After Alfred throws the star to the side Bruce says he has to admit something to him. Alfred says he already knows what Bruce was going to say and says it is time Bruce learned the truth. End of issue.
The Good: There is absolutely no time wasted in further moving the pieces into place of the coming war that was boiling ever since Jor-El, Lara Jor-El, and Kal-El arrived on Earth. That is certainly the feeling you get throughout the reading experience of Dark Knights of Steel #3. Everything was inevitable given how everyone seems to be following the prophecy of a war between Gods they all know about. This issue drives that home as sides are drawn in where the different kingdoms in the upcoming war will stand.
Diving more into how the world in Dark Knights of Steel works was a great choice by Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri. At this point we know that a war between the House of El will be at war against all the other kingdoms. Seeing how the politics drive most of how this world works further emphasized how the House of El are truly seen as invaders from another world. Their status as being viewed as these evil Gods makes for how the prophecy everyone seems to know is coming to pass.
Because with the actions of King Jefferson took to assassinate King Jor-El the prophecy was made sure to be followed. It all puts into question of how if most of the characters in Dark Knights of Steel knowledge of the prophecy has led them to unintentionally following its path of destruction. Because we do see that even Bruce and others bring up this same prophecy that further puts into question of what exactly is going on with what all of this will ultimately lead to.
Making the story even more fascinating to play out is how we see the different shades of grey presented to us. So far while certain characters like Bruce, Prince Kal-El, Princess Diana, and Lois Lane have been presented as protagonists the majority of characters aren’t given that same treatment. The rest of the characters in this story are all presented in a way that they see themselves as the heroes of their own story. To them the other side are the ones bringing evil to the world. Playing with that aspect of the political intrigue when it comes to how the different kingdoms we know and don’t know about makes the world in Dark Knights of Steel be more interesting.
Showing that political intriguing by having King Jefferson call upon the Kingdom of Storms pact with Amazon Island so Queen Hippolyta and her forces align with him was excellently done. You know that Queen Hippolyta only agreed to the deal to side with the Kingdom of Storms because of previous allegiances but she also doesn’t hesitate in accepting King Jefferson’s proposal. Not showing any hesitance in Queen Hippolyta’s acceptance was a key detail in making the entire scene work.
This allowed the set-up of Princess Diana being positioned as a third party in the coming war even more intriguing. Because as Lois Lane mentioned, Diana seems to be in place to try to be the peacekeeper in what will go on. How this role could change once Diana learns the truth that Zara Jor-El did in fact kill Prince Jacob, along with the Metal Men and King Jefferson in this issue, will be interesting to see play out.
Taylor also did a great job in keeping us on our toes with even more surprises as we got the unexpected death of King Jefferson at the hands of Zara. The lead up to his death showing how King Jefferson fully embraced being a manipulative negotiator with how he knew what to say to ensure Amazon Island’s loyalty was excellent. The success in his meeting with Queen Hippolyta left King Jefferson with the ultimate high that he almost felt invincible. That overconfidence leading to his fall makes how his daughter Anissa takes on being the new Queen of the Kingdom of Storms another plotline to watch in future issues.
All of these things that went on also helped to make Zara Jor-El an even more important character to the story. Because now with her attacking the Metal of the Lands of Magnus she has made sure that there are even fewer allies that the House of El could possibly ask help from. This all builds to question how Zara’s meeting with Queen Lara Jor-El and Kal-El will go. There certainly a lot of family political drama being built, which isn’t what the House of El needs more at the moment.
The ending of Dark Knights of Steel #3 did a good job of bringing the story back to Bruce’s Bat-Prince arc developments. The tease that Alfred Pennyworth knows the truth about Bruce’s family history makes what will be revealed even more interesting to see play out. Because like Diana, Bruce seems to be set-up as a third party in the coming war depending on how he and Kal-El take learning more about their connected family history.
Yasmine Putri artwork continues to get better with each passing issue of Dark Knights of Steel. With us being able to see Amazon Island, Castle of El, and the Lands of Magnus we got to see more of how different various places in this world look. The environmental storytelling further helps get you into the mood of every scene in this issue. Which all helps make the developments from the important meeting between King Jefferson and Queen Hippolyta to Zara Jor-El wreaking havoc throughout Dark Knights of Steel #3 hit even harder.
The Bad: For everything that I enjoyed about Dark Knights of Steel #3 this issue does show that one problem this story may run into in future issues is not enough time to dedicate to every character. There will be times when characters like Kal-El, who has been a major part in the first two issues, is nothing more than a background character. With the cast of this series likely to increase I worry about how balance the story will be with the screen time certain characters get.
Overall: Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri do not miss a beat as they further intensify the story they are telling with what took place in Dark Knights of Steel #3. The political intrigue with the actions King Jefferson Pierce, Queen Hippolyta, Princess Zara Jor-El, and other characters take kept you on your toes the entire time. I’m very excited to see what the fallout from what took place in Dark Knights of Steel #3 will be.
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