When DC announced Dark Knights of Steel, I remember being incredibly excited. Here it was, finally, my way into the DC properties. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total novice. I’ve watched DC superhero films, and I’m generally familiar with who the characters are, but getting into the DC comic universe scares me. Where do I start? Which ones will I like? It all feels a little overwhelming. I decided to start small. I’ve very recently (like most people) stumbled upon the DC x Webtoons Wayne Family Adventures, which has given me a slice-of-life look into Bruce Wayne and his band of adoptees. I found myself falling in love with the Bat Fam’s side characters and feeling like it was time. I needed more from DC comics.
Dark Knights of Steel specifically felt like it could be the right place for this beginner to start. Whether you know all the DC character backstories already or you’re entirely a newbie into this world, Issue #1 feels familiar and yet entirely fresh in a matter of a few pages. Dark Knights of Steel takes the established DC characters and plants them into a medieval high-fantasy setting. It’s a choice that feels like magic.
Writer Tom Taylor takes us on an epic quest, where origin stories most people have seen or read ad nauseam will be piqued by the opportunity to discover previously unexplored paths within the established DC mythos. To keep this spoiler-free, I’ll refrain from giving any major plot points away, but I will say within the final pages of issue #1 especially, Taylor deviates from familiar lore. These choices add even more emotional depth and intrigue to this new line of DC stories. I audibly gasped out loud at revelations and eagerly await the release of issue #2 to experience the fallout.
Artist Yasmine Putri sets the emotional tone with epic character designs, gorgeous color, and sprawling environments. The attention to detail Putri includes in every frame of this comic is the integral foundation to this new high-fantasy world. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: character designs. Putri makes sure we know exactly which hero or villain we’re looking at, all while maintaining the integrity of the medieval world they now inhabit. Picture this: sword wielding Batman. I may have squealed from delight.
It is very evident from issue #1 that Taylor intends on telling a story centered around family, be they blood relatives or found through other means. This emotional thread that sails through the first issue is setting the stage for what is sure to be a legendary new run of stories within the DC Universe. As a newbie myself, I can wholeheartedly recommend this as a great starting off point for new readers and current readers alike. It gives you the necessary backstory needed to plow ahead within this new world, but not so much that those who are already familiar feel beaten over the head with repetition. If this is the direction that DC takes, allowing their writers to take chances and push new narratives, Dark Knights of Steel will be my first foray in DC comics, and it won’t be my last.