Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Yasmine Putri, Arif Prianto, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: December 7th, 2021
As DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #1 came to an epic close, what readers initially thought throughout the story’s conception was flipped on its head. Comic fans discovered that Bruce Wayne was actually the “bastard” son of Martha Wayne and Jor-el. And somehow as pregnant Lara and Jor-el crashed on Earth, the kingdom they accidentally destroyed may or may not have been the Wayne’s. That’s still up in the air and clandestine for Tom Taylor to reveal down the line. Nevertheless, the initial presumption was that the House of El ultimately destroyed and took the House of Wayne over adopting Bruce as their own. Yet, as DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #2 by Taylor kicks off, readers concluded that there appears to be a bit more Kryptonian mixed within this Bat-Knight than meets the eye.
Readers, I’m not going to lie. I was definitely confused with the opener of this week’s installment. Why? Well, stupidly I didn’t piece the “bastard” comment from DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #1 together with as much esteem as I should have. With that derogatory slang word thrown around in today’s society, we oftentimes use it as simply a child whose parents aren’t married or even a child without parents. I didn’t connect the dots until DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #2 that Bruce Wayne is also actually the son of Jor-el, which added some heavy-duty influx to the story.
However, Taylor’s focus in this issue was mainly on the premise of what violence breeds, which is ultimately more violence. Death only breeds more death which we will see unravel throughout DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #2. Death is the ultimate punishment that cannot be undone with concepts stemming back to even the Old Testament implying “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Taylor uses the narrator to iron out those vivid details even with the strongest, most powerful individuals on the planet.
Furthermore, readers uncover more secrets revealed by Taylor in this issue of DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL. More children, more relatives, more Prince’s and Princess, and even more Kingdoms are unveiled showcasing the exact same parallels that INJUSTICE and DCEASED did for Taylor’s stories moving forward. Ultimately, he’s creating a brand new parallel world with the possibility of dozens of stories for himself or any other creative team to tell down the line. Sure, Taylor is honing in on his story. Nevertheless, he’s dangling out multiple little tidbits along the way to be revisited later in this story or even the next if this series becomes successful. Heck, look no further than the dungeon scene to see all the slyly introduced characters that could be unleashed and used at any time.
Additionally, I just wanted to take the opportunity to discuss how much I like the addition of Jefferson Pierce and his role within the comic. I didn’t really touch on that in the last review. Yet, I wanted to take the time to convey the creativity of that choice. Think about it. Taylor could have chosen other individuals like Lex Luthor or even someone magic-based like Black Adam to rule the other Kingdom. However, Taylor chose Black Lightning instead making it almost appear as a good guy verse good guy scenario similar to INJUSTICE in a way. Moreover, after what readers witness in this week’s DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL, you very well may side more with Jefferson than the House of El.
Yasmine Putri and Arif Prianto do a spectacular job this issue graphically transmitting the emotion and feeling of the characters in the story, especially a tale with such impact surrounding the loss of loved ones. For those who have followed Putri’s work, you can’t help but see the stylistic blend of action comic meets manga with DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL being no different. Furthermore, it’s almost as if Putri thrives in a more fantastical realm never before seen like … oh I don’t know… a King Arthur meets DC COMICS monarchy. This is Putri’s wheelhouse making it an amazing fit for Taylor and this crew. Honestly, there are so many moving pieces to a comic. So, when the writer and the art team gel like they have been in DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL, the possibilities are endless.
DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL #2 continues a fascinating story involving a brand new world that Taylor kicks open with tons of elbow room to grow. Thematic subplots and narrative beats paralleling violence historically, as well as today, shine through adopting human concepts that seem to be within our very foundation of society regardless of technological advancements or lack thereof. Moreover, comic fans get a deeper dive into this creative realm that Taylor has constructed with the unveiling of new key characters, new unique kingdoms, and captivating cliffhangers that will no doubt pick up the pace of this story. If you’re looking for an exciting, fast-paced, original tale from DC COMICS, I highly recommend grabbing issues one and two of DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL. You won’t be disappointed. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!