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“Dark Knights of Steel” is Where High Fantasy Meets Superheroes, by Angela Rairden

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When your most notorious characters have been around for decades, it becomes necessary to mix things up a little bit from time to time, which is exactly what Dark Knights of Steel does. Set in medieval times, the comic takes DC’s most venerated characters such as Batman and Superman and reinvents them as knights and kings while still keeping true to their core personalities.

With Krypton nearing its inevitable end, Jor-El and his pregnant wife Lara flee the doomed planet and crash land in a medieval landscape where Jor-El is forced to protect Lara from an incoming band of knights on horseback as she gives birth to their son, Kal-El. Their arrival sparks a prophecy to tear from the lips of young John Constantine, as he lies in a trance a kingdom away and foretells of the doom that will be brought upon them all by the arrival of these aliens from another planet. This prophecy will spur King Jefferson Pierce, ruler of the Kingdom of Storms, to use magical assassins to try to rid the world of the Els before the prophecy can come true.

Nineteen years later, the Els have become the royal family of their own kingdom, where their first line of defense comes from a knight named Bruce who wears bat ears on his helmet. Loyal to the Els, Bruce is vigilant about his primary directive, which is to oppress any and all magical beings that dare to cross their kingdom’s borders. As such, the Els dungeons become home to many recognizable characters as Sir Bruce strives to keep the royal family safe.

Meanwhile, Kal-El, now grown and with powers of his own, seeks to prove that he’s capable of protecting himself and his parents, despite their decree that he stay at the castle where he’s safe. He laments the fact that Bruce, a mortal and (in this universe) a bastard is sent to protect him when he is perfectly capable of doing so himself.

It’s in this setting that Bruce will make a shocking a revelation which will be followed by an assassination that will rip apart any peace that existed between the kingdoms of El and Storm. War seems imminent when retaliation is taken and events unfold that seem determined to usher in the unfolding of Constantine’s prophecy, with consequences that will reach even faraway kingdoms such as Amazon Island.

Look for many of your favorite characters to appear in this imaginatively told tale of magic, swords, and superheroes that pits traditional “good guys” against each other as Superman and Batman prepare to face off against Black Lightning and his allies.

As a big fan of high fantasy pieces set in medieval times, I’m thoroughly enjoying this comic so far. Masterfully written by Tom Taylor (DCeased, Son of Kal-El, Suicide Squad) and with beautifully drawn art and colors by Yasmine Putri (DCeased, The Hellblazer, Detective Comics), this planned 12-issue release seems to promise a lot of surprises coming up, if the first two issue are any indication. This is such a fun and unique mashup and I’m excited to see how it all plays out, especially since it being set in a self-contained world means that anything can happen.


Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.

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