The Dark is the most consistently good section of the New 52 and one of the reasons for that is Demon Knights. For a Major Spoilers look at why this is so good, take the jump.
DEMON KNIGHTS #10
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Diogenes Neves
Inkers: Oclair Albert and Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artist: Michael Choi
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in Demon Knights:After the hollow victory of the “team’s” first outing and learning of the possible ways Etrigan/Jason Blood ended up with Xanadu the Knights have found out Merlin is dead. Now they are on a journey to Avalon, specifically Camelot, to try and resurrect Merlin.
THAT IS SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER SHOUTED BEFORE
Vandal Savage steals the show every time he’s on the page, straight from the first line through the rest of the book, and it is amazingly hilarious. The fact that we have a much younger Savage who still has a joy and lust for life that the modern one hasn’t had for years is my favorite part of this series, and this issue just amplifies. That said, every member of the cast does get at least a moment to shine in this issue. We open with a pirate sea serpent attacking the Knights’ ship as Savage yells “Look! It’s a Pirate Sea Serpent!” and the aforementioned title of this section. He does this with a huge smile on his face too, which is great. Alright, I’ll stop with the Savage gushing (for a bit at least). The group actually shows that they are a team at this point as Xanadu takes charge having most everyone step back so she can use magic to tie it down. With the pirates’ ride subdued, the crew is taken and the serpent used as protection against even more monsters coming from everywhere.
Once docked, a bit of exposition takes place, first from the heroes then from the locals. We find out that much of the area has been overrun with these types of monsters, and they are coming from Camelot. This mostly serves to determine the path that the group takes, immediately inland instead of more sea travel. Of course this means we get more monster fights, ones that everyone can get involved in. The group is attacked by a giant wolf that handles most of what they are throwing at it, until Shining Knight drops out of the sky in a death from above maneuver that works astoundingly well. This provides for an interesting moment between Ystin and Exoristos as the latter informs the former the action was arousing only to be answered with a very quiet “oh” that works quite well for the pair. Once dead, the giant wolf turns back into a normal wolf, which does a good job to set up the types of problems in the realm, as further on deer are barely glanced and the discussion leads to the essential nature of these creatures being promoted. One more intriguing reveal happens before the big cliffhanger, as the Knights reach the edge of Camelot a nigh-skeletal King Arthur approaches, falling into Etrigan and cliffhanger. The book never slows down, either giving us important info that serves to push the story further or creating wonderful character moments that are really defining who we are dealing with and sometimes doing both at once.
Neves is quite impressive here. (Warning: More Vandal gushing ahead) Savage looks great as the joy he expresses is rolling off him in waves or the drunken stupor he achieves upon arrival in a bar. Of course, the great work by Neves doesn’t stop there. As in the story, each character has at least one moment to shine under Neves’s pencils as well. My favorite actually being a knowing smirk from the Horsewoman after she tells the group there is no archer. The action is great too, especially the short sequence of Shining Knight taking out the giant wolf. I don’t think I have a single complaint here, it is essentially perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: BUY THIS
Cornell has figured out the voice each of his characters wants and employed it quite masterfully. Neves work is a joy to behold. Demon Knights has probably been the best book in the entirety of the New 52 and Demon Knights #10 continues that earning itself a perfect and very well deserved 5 of 5 stars.