The twists and turns in this book keep coming! Gathered in the village of Little Spring, surrounded by Morgain LeFay and Morded’s Horde army, are Jason Blood, Vandal Savage, the Shining Knight, engineer Al Jabr, Amazon Exoristos, the mysterious Horsewoman and a very weak Madame Xanadu. After a shocking killing in the last issue, the “heroes” are ready to strike, when suddenly the Shining Knight collapses and is locked in a mystic trance. He is visited by Merlin, who reveals the Knight’s origin, which even she is unaware of. I won’t spoil the big revelations, but it involves the Holy Grail. The Knight is driven by a thirst for something, but she doesn’t know what it is. That is why she quests around the globe, seeking… something. At times, when she becomes too weak, she and her winged steed sleep, sometime for centuries. The same mysterious thirst also helps prolong their lives and as Merlin reveals, they shall live very long lives indeed.
Merlin also reveals that the Knight’s life will be incredibly hard and she will lose all that she loves eventually. He then offers to set her free from the “quest” and allow her to live a normal life. Displaying the valor that made her the perfect choice to begin with, she instead chooses to continue the quest, despite the hardships before her.
The Knight awakens and blurts out the name “The Demon Knights,” causing Jason Blood to ponder, “Is that supposed to refer to us?” The Knight is completely reinvigorated by her vision, but we soon learn that someone else has just experienced a very similar vision… someone with darker goals. But these visions clearly draw a connection between the two characters.
Finally, just as the Horde are about to strike, one of the Demon Knights betrays the team!
I really enjoy the ensemble of this book. The characters are so vastly different with the powerful but menacing Etrigan the Demon, the duplicitous Madame Xanadu, the seemingly carefree (and slightly off-kilter) Vandal Savage and this new, androgynous Shining Knight. (Yep, I bought that she was a he in the first issue!) The new characters are intriguing as well. Al Jabr is an engineer in a time when magic was more common than science. Both Exoristos and the Horsewoman are mysterious but powerful, and have a lot of potential for future development.
After the last two issues, I’m ready for more action! The first two books, with their huge battles with dragons were great! The past two issues have been more character development and insight. Now… back to the dragons already!
The artwork is great! This issue actually featured two artists, with the book’s regular penciller Diogenes Neves handling the “real world” scenes and Michael Choi illustrating the Shining Knight’s dream sequence. It works really well and both artists are very strong! Choi’s sequence is so lush and amazingly detailed. It contrasts nicely with Neves’ more traditional comic book style!
This is another of those “under the radar” books. It’s not just for fans of fantasy. It’s a super team book, just in a different time period. The personalities are so varied and intriguing! There’s plenty of action and really shocking plot twists! The art is great, especially this issue with the addition of a second illustrator. Definitely one to check out, if you haven’t already!
DEMON KNIGHTS #4
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves and Michael Choi
Cover by Choi