It’s been a while since we got the last chapter in the Dark Knights of Steel series as the last new chapter came out back in early June. Now four months later we got a new chapter of Dark Knights Of Steel. We last left off with the war between Kingdoms finally ready to start as the Kingdom of Storms and Amazons are marching on the House of El’s territory. Now that sides have been taken and all the main players for each Kingdom are ready to act can the Earth survive such a titanic battle? Let’s find out with Dark Knights of Steel #8.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmine Putri
Colorist: Arif Prianto
As the Green Man (this universe’s amalgamation of Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, and Joker) watches the Amazons and Kingdom of Storms making it to the Land of El his Green Lantern ring says the time for this age to die has arrived.
On the coast of the Land of El Kingdom of Storm Queen Anissa meets with Amazonian Queen Hippolyta to discuss their plans.
As that happens Lois Lane confronts John Constantine for keeping something a secret in his carriage and how she suspects the Kingdoms are being manipulated to go to war with each other.
In the Castle of El Dungeons, Oliver Queen breaks the mask covering Dinah Lance’s mouth and comes up with a plan to use Dinah’s power to break out of their prison.
When the Amazon and Kingdom of Storm army reach Hobb Forest, they are immediately met by Harley Quinn and General Amanda Waller. When peace talks fail Poison Ivy launches a full-out attack on both armies while Harley and General Waller head back to the Castle of El to provide an update.
Seeing the two armies being overwhelmed the Green Man charges at full force to knock out Poison Ivy with one attack.
At the Castle of El, General Waller doesn’t get much time to update Queen Lara Lor-Van as the Amazons and Kingdom of Storms armies approach the castle. Before General Waller can order the House of El army to charge at their enemies both Princess Diana Prince and Princess Zala Jor-El go meet with the two armies to try to negotiate peace.
As soon as they meet with Anissa and Hippolyta, from a carriage, Constantine tells Jacob Pierce this is their chance to get revenge on King Jefferson Pierce’s killer.
Jacob uses his powers to make Zala suddenly feel like she is drowning as she throws up water. Diana pleads with her mother to stop this.
When that doesn’t work Lara lands on the battlefield with such tremendous force that causes an earthquake in the area. Lara acts like she wants to talk with Hippolyta and Anissa. When Hippolyta reaches out for a handshake Lara kills Hippolyta with her heat vision. End of issue.
The break between issues is certainly felt early on in Dark Knights of Steel #8. There is some catch-up to be done but to Tom Taylor and Yasmine Putri’s credit, they quickly accomplish this in order to push forward with the war between the three Kingdoms.
What the opening does well is not only catching you up on the mentality of the Amazons and Kingdom of Storms going into this war but bring to attention something bigger going on. After not being around for several issues we see Green Man once again. This appears to be an important plot point as we now have hinted that the Guardians of the Universe are possibly the instigators of what is going on. That is not made completely clear but would make sense given that the Guardians likely see the Kryptonians as major threats the longer they are allowed to continue their lineage through the House of El.
While this was a major moment it was a bit odd that there wasn’t more of a reaction from the Amazons or Kingdom of Storms when Green Man helped them out by defeating Poison Ivy. Given Green Man’s sudden appearance there should’ve been more questioning of what such a powerful character is up to. The way it was handled came across as more that there wasn’t time for Queen Anissa and Queen Hippolyta to react as you would expect them to.
Especially considering how Lois Lane called out John Constantine for how shady he was acting and her own investigations leading into this war Green Man’s appearance should’ve caused more alarm. That’s where having a character call out the fact there is likely someone or thing that is manipulating the war between Kingdoms to happen can work against a story. With Dark Knights of Steel #8 opening up with this story beat it should’ve been called out by at least Lois that Green Man’s appearance should be questioned. That not happening was an odd choice.
At the same time, this did speak to how both the Amazons and Kingdom of Storms are working with a sense of urgency to defeat the House of El as soon as possible. This rush to the Castle of El has been made something that you understand given how Kal-El and Zala Jor-El have already been shown to be game changers on their own. Not giving the House of El time to properly assemble their army was a necessary move so from that aspect you do get why the reaction to Green Man’s appearance wasn’t as big as it would normally be.
How all of this was fueled by John Constantine’s anger over King Jefferson Pierce’s murder was what was most surprising. I expected Queen Anissa to be the one more driven to take the actions Constantine took when using Jacob Pierce. This move does position Hippolyta and Anissa more as figureheads rather than the ones actually taking action. It’s a bit disappointing even especially when you consider that we end with Queen Lara Lor-Van killing Hippolyta to close out this issue. This spotlights the fact that Hippolyta in particular wasn’t given much to do in this series before her end as she just provides the Kingdom of Storms with numbers.
What I’ll be interested to see is how Princess Diana reacts to all of this. With Hippolyta’s death, Diana immediately becomes an even more important character that goes beyond her relationship with Zala. She can turn the tide on either side after witnessing Lara kill her mother. It’s there that hooks me for finding out what happens next in this story.
Yasmine Putri continues to nail the medieval tone of the Dark Knights of Steel setting. All of the action uses the setting well with how metahumans are even more special in this universe as attacks from Poison Ivy can change things. The same goes for the power shown by Queen Lara at the end of the issue. It’s such a dramatic shift that you are left in awe because of how Putri captures the reaction of these moments between the kingdoms.
The War of the Three Kingdoms finally fully kicks off with Dark Knights of Steel #8. The story is equally dramatic and action-heavy as you would expect. There are moments that do happen in this issue that does show how little time there is to fully develop certain key sub-plots and characters. That timing issue does impact how well the beginning of the War of the Three Kingdoms goes over. But what does take place keeps you engaged enough to want to find out how things will go next in Dark Knights of Steel.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10