A medieval Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn, and Alfred stand on the cover of Dark Knights of Steel together.

Dark Knights of Steel #1 Review

Written by: Tom Taylor

Art & Coloring by: Yasmine Putri

Lettering by: Wes Abbot

Medieval Wonder Woman and Batman stand side-by-side as Superman flies behind them in the cover of Dark Knights of Steel.
The trinity as you’ve never seen them before.

There are so many cool ideas in Dark Knights of Steel. Whether it’s DC or Marvel, Tom Taylor really does know how to make an elseworld story interesting and twist the fiction as we know it. Because there are a lot of potential spoilers that I want to talk about and honestly, fanboy about, I’ll have a short two paragraphs without spoilers first.

This may be the best opening issue from Tom Taylor yet. Where I found Dark Ages to be great despite how exposition-heavy it was, this tells us so much through what the story shows. There are so many emotional and dramatic subplots built up for future issues, but also capitalized on in this first issue. Some of it may seem melodramatic to people who forget what early comics were like or don’t like medieval dramas. But if you like either, you’ll feel right at home here.

And god, does this book look gorgeous. There have been quite a few artists that DC has highlighted with its mini-series that I didn’t know about before. Yasmine Putri is one of the best so far, and her work on Dark Knights of Steel is jaw-dropping. I would be shocked if by the end of this series she doesn’t end up as one of the industry’s darling artists. She’s done covers before, but she hasn’t done many books that I’ve read. I hope she finds herself doing the artwork for a lot more afterwards.

Full Spoilers for Dark Knights of Steel from Here on Out

A medieval Batman enters a tavern alone, leaving his four Robins, Dick Grayson, Duke Thomas, Jason Todd, and Stephanie Brown outside.
All the best Robins are here.

From the beginning, Tom Taylor riffs on the typical DC formula by letting Superman’s birth parents come with him to Earth and raise him themselves. This is one of the more brilliant ideas that interweaves with the medieval tale in ways most wouldn’t have considered or attempted to flesh out. I’m not sure if it would work as well as it does if it weren’t in a medieval setting. Clark retains his empathetic heart of gold, but in a way more regal than before. He’s a privileged prince, but yet, still, he’s someone who could be Superman. It’ll be interesting to see if this series invests in this potential thread. This disconnect could make it harder for him to connect with humanity as he usually does.

I don’t think we’re going to see a medieval Superman who’s disconnected from humanity altogether though. Through his close relationship with Bruce’s Dark Knight, who’s revealed to be his bastard half-brother, Clark will likely connect to humanity in a different way. This all sets up so much potential for the series going forward and has me so excited. There are so many different ways we can see our favorite characters become who they are at their core but after taking very different paths to get there.

Rather than be like brothers, Batman and Superman actually are brothers. Superman can be a pillar of hope but without being raised by the Kents. And it’s all happening in this awesome medieval context that allows for it to happen. Few comics leave me chomping at the bit for more, especially with the cliffhanger ending.

If you haven’t picked it up already, and if you haven’t why are you reading this, go do it. This is only the first issue, and spoiling it for yourself won’t ruin the rest of the series. It’s worth it.

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