Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Yasmine Putri, Arif Prianto, Dan Mora, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: March 28th, 2023
The true enemy of the Three Kingdoms has been revealed in Dark Knights of Steel #10 by Tom Taylor …but is the battle already lost? Or has the war only just begun? The endgame for season one begins!
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Dark Knights of Steel #10 Review.
Three different large-scale murders of prominent people waged war across the globe providing fans with different suspects. Yet we find ourselves centered on the possible true culprit as Dark Knights of Steel #10 opens. However, is this just another smoke screen to get readers thinking one way instead of the other? Don’t get me wrong, the Alfred/ Martian Manhunter reveal was quite clever. But, what would Alfred/ Martian Manhunter have to gain from all this war? What’s his motive?
Well, readers will get the answer as Dark Knights of Steel #10 comes to a close. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s the answer you were hoping for as you saw so many of these characters “breaking bad”. The thrill of Kryptonians going rogue, but not the usual suspects, just had a much stronger appeal than the shapeshifting scapegoat revealed as this issue comes to a close.
Additionally, readers get the cliff note version of Alfred/ Martian Manhunters’ story about his planet, which was reasonably similar to what most of us know from “our” Martian Manhunter. Plus, it leads deeper into who the main villain just so happens to be. Nevertheless, the “why” behind the villain is still a bit lackluster. To enslave this planet just isn’t good enough for me. They had a planet, even though it was destroyed, all to themselves. Why come to another to ultimately do the same thing?
Furthermore, two aspects of the Dark Knights of Steel #10 left this reviewer with a bad taste in his mouth. The aspect that becomes a bit heavy-handed through this issue is the “Four Queens” angle. Almost every kingdom was run by a man and yet now the Queen’s are in charge. I’m all for women in power, women as leaders, and women as main characters in comics. However, it just seems strangely odd that every death has to lead to a woman in charge. Were there no queens that could have been murdered? Not even one? No Prince’s that could have stepped up instead of Princesses’? Not even one? Women in comics are absolutely amazing and again I have absolutely no problem with them in leadership roles, running teams of Supers, and even being the martyrs. However, whether on purpose or not, Taylor appears to be positioning toward an all-female cast in a forceful, almost clumsy way.
Moreover, I’m confused with the ending by the true villain who appears to transform from a Green Lantern Ring, yet is also the Green Lantern Ring itself, and somehow has the abilities of the ring. It’s all a very confusing way to end the issue. Additionally, why would a villain filled with hate and anger be a “Green” lantern and not “Red” or even “Yellow”? The Ring angle makes no sense other than to make the villain “Green” to fulfill a prophecy while also coming across as a reach. Hey, wait a minute… I just developed a better villain by accident! The Reach would have made more sense than the plot angle Taylor lays out for us as Dark Knights of Steel #10 comes to an end.
Dark Knights of Steel began with such promise. I absolutely adored and looked forward to the first six issues. And then, it just started to fall off the map. Dark Knights of Steel #10 is the perfect issue to showcase exactly what has happened to the series that feels almost commandeered with bad plot angles, forced narratives, and clumsy writing in order to provide so many swerves to keep readers shocked and surprised. Moreover, whether it’s intentional or not, Taylor has turned this title into a mostly female lead cast and crew. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a female lead book. Female characters should be leading more books.
Nevertheless, the series didn’t begin that way and wasn’t pitched that way out of the gate. If you read a Wonder Woman title, you know what you’re going to get. And might I add that the current Wonder Woman ongoing is outstanding! You should check it out. However, Dark Knights of Steel was shipped as an Elseworld Series, set in Medieval times, with an eclectic cast of some of our favorites regardless of gender. It just currently feels odd to have most of the strong characters now all women that remain. Again, women can and should be strong characters. However, reading Dark Knights of Steel #10 felt like the culmination of Taylor forcing it into the narrative instead of it happening organically.