If you've been reading the story in DEMON KNIGHTS, then you'll notice that the cover gives away a big development in the story. However, even knowing about "Merlin's rebirth" going into the issue, I still felt the way the scene unfolded and the story was written was still a big surprise. First, I love all these characters and I think I love them because Cornell is just so great at writing them. In my opinion, the writer just seems to effortlessly give each character enough time in the spotlight and in panel to shine a little bit.
There is a lot happening in this issue, and for all the things that happen at once, the issue still seems to be pretty well organized. The dialogue is great and I love the way the artist really works well with the writer of this book. The issue itself is really beautiful. The pencils are great and the colors are extremely vibrant and really, really breathtaking.
This was a great way to end this story arc and it definitely sets the stage for future stories in a very clear way. The dialogue, character interactions and the developments that we see make this issue a really fun ride, and a fantastic continuation from the events we saw in previous issues.
When we last left these characters in issue #14 it seemed like they were gearing up for a major battle, which is what I half expected to see when I first opened up this issue. If you're expecting a big fight between the forces of good and evil in Avalon, you have another thing coming -- that isn't what happens, at least not exactly. In this issue we see a little bit of a fight but nothing epic or colossal. In fact, it might have been better, in retrospect, to flesh this story out in two issues. Really demonstrate and allow the artist to depict a great battle of epic proportions, because that was the tone that readers were left with in issue #14. Instead, we get a little bit of the fight here and there between the two armies and a lot of dialogue.
The problem we found here was that there are so many things happening at the same time that it would have been better to see the story split into two parts so that the creative team wouldn't have to cut out the fight scenes in order to squeeze in all that dialogue. In a way, I almost think it would have flowed a lot better had they done that, too.
This issue contains a lot of set up and developments, and in that sense, it's vital if you've been reading and following these characters. For the most part it's very well written. Cornell does a great job making a story that features a lot of different characters and many ongoing stories relatively easy to understand. He really utilizes dialogue to reveal a lot about the different characters in this issue and he does so in a really organized way. One of the problems, however, was that there may have been too much happening in this issue. Although it was organized enough, the issue still felt like it could have been spread into two parts. Here we are expecting this great, epic battle; but unfortunately, Cornell also needs to close the story he's been telling. As a result, you get less of the battle in this issue and therefore the emphasis decreases. How vital and profound is this battle? It's hard to say because the writer drew the reader's focus on too many different things. This story could have easily been fleshed out into two issues. Having said that, though, this was still well written and organized and overall a great read.