Dark Knights of Steel has been a fascinating ride through a whole new DC Universe. Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri have reimagined all our favorite DCU superheroes and villains in a intriguing Game of Thrones-like setting. In the most recent issue of Dark Knights of Steel we saw Prince Kal-El turn against Bruce Wayne, aka Bat-Prince, after learning the truth about them being half-brothers. With Bat-Prince now left half dead what will happen next in this world? Let’s find out with Dark Knights of Steel #6.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmine Putri
Colorist: Arif Prianto
At the Kingdom of Storms, Timothy Drake is caught by John Constantine and Princess Jennifer Pierce as one of Bat-Prince’s Robins that infiltrated the Kingdom. Constantine stops Princess Jennifer from killing Timothy, letting him to the House of El that the Kingdom of Storms intends to win the coming war.
Later, Timothy reports the warning to Queen Lara Jor-El and that Princess Zala Jor-El killing King Jefferson Pierce is a big reason for the coming war. Princess Zala says she did not do it but Princess Diana says this won’t matter as the Amazons will stand with the Kingdom of Storms.
As the House of El court leave General Amanda Waller mentions to Queen Lara that if Queen Hippolyta dies Princess Diana would become Queen of the Amazons.
Back at the Kingdom of Storms, Constantine summons the Demon Etrigan in order to talk to its Head. Etrigan turns back to Ra’s Al Ghul. Constantine then asks Ra’s Al Ghul if he can use his powers to bring back King Jefferson and Prince Jacob. Ra’s says he can’t bring King Jefferson back but can resurrect Prince Jacob at the cost of Constantine giving him the Titans.
Over at Amazonia, as the Amazons get ready to depart Prince Kal-El arrives and asks to speak with Queen Hippolyta. The Amazons attack but Kal-El is able to easily defend himself. Queen Hippolyta stops the attack and quickly stabs Kal-El when he drops his guard.
Kal-El wakes up tied up to a pillar with the Lasso of Truth. Lois Lane reveals that as a friend of Princess Zala she has been a defender of the House of El against Constantine’s prophecy but King Jefferson and Prince Jacob were murdered that’s become hard. Kal-El argues that his family would not use their powers for violence.
Hearing Kal-El out Lois theorizes there may be someone pulling the strings from the shadows but that it is too late to investigate things. When Kal-El asks why Lois reveals that the Amazons are already sailing towards the Lands of El. End of issue.
With the Bat-Prince out of the equation the focus for Dark Knights of Steel has, for now, shifted to the rest of the cast of this series. Which is honestly a good thing as the Bat-Prince narrative had become the dominate story in a world filled with intriguing characters. That intrigue is shown off throughout Dark Knights of Steel #6.
Right away with the opening we see how the actions by who we believe to be Princess Zala Jor-El have major consequences. There is no more holding back from the enemies of the House of El. Even John Constantine appears more unhinged after witnessing King Jefferson’s murder with how he attacked Timothy Drake after revealing that he knew Tim is one of Bat-Prince’s Robins. Though Constantine does not seem to be completely lost as he is the one that stops Princess Jennifer from killing Timothy. That along with deciding to make a deal with the Devil in trying to bring King Jefferson and Prince Jacob back with Ra’s Al Ghul’s help makes Constantine someone to continue to watch.
The reveal that Ra’s Al Ghul is the Dark Knights of Steel version of the Demon Etrigan was also a good way to fuse two distinct characters that just a good fit. Ra’s appearance is important not only because we could see Prince Jacob return but it also emphasizes the power of magic in this world. Outside of Kryptonite we know that magic is a weakness for the House of El. So we could see Constantine, Ra’s, and other magic-based characters play a bigger role in the coming war as the Kal-El, Lara, and Zala are overpowered.
Which does make the decisions that the House of El make moving forward even more important, as we saw with Prince Kal-El’s rash decision to meet with the Queen Hippolyta. The House of El is definitely trying to play innocent even though we’ve seen both Zala and Kal-El do villainous actions. The interesting thing is that both Zala and Kal-El continue to play like they did nothing with no memories of killing King Jefferson, Prince Jacob, or Bat-Prince.
This does put more into question of what Lois Lane brought up that someone seems to be pulling all the strings for making the prophecy come true. Which does point towards the Alexander Luthor’s Green Lantern Joker as the likely puppet master. Though it wouldn’t be surprising if Luthor isn’t the only DC villain that is working to cause this war since there is a large pool of characters Taylor and Putri can still use.
On the House of El side, General Amanda Waller putting the idea of killing Queen Hippolyta to make Princess Diana the new Amazon ruler into Queen Lara’s mind a big deal. After her husband’s death we don’t really know how Queen Lara plans to rule. And now with Kal-El being captured and Zala being blamed for causing the war it could all give Queen Lara a reason to go with Waller’s suggestion. This leads to a lot more twists and turns that could be taken as we get into the second half of Dark Knights of Steel.
Then there is the Amazon side of the story. Taylor and Putri did a good job emphasizing how big of a deal Kal-El breaking the rule that no man is allowed on Amazonia. The Amazons attack and Queen Hippolyta not showing any mercy by stabbing Kal-El when the opening was given were strong character moments. It established how the Amazons will not hold back whatsoever now that they are participating in this war. They are the best allies that the Kingdom of Storms can have. Which makes things even more intriguing as there is a target on Queen Hippolyta’s head at the start of the war.
Dark Knights of Steel #6 is a strong end to the first half of this epic. Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri split the focus of the story in a balanced way to make sure the story of each side of the coming war is told. With sides clearly chosen there is a lot to be intrigued about as major decisions are made that make the second half of Dark Knights of Steel hard to predict how everything will turn out. That unpredictability makes it even more exciting to get future issues of Dark Knights of Steel to find out what happens next.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10