the_mighty_monarch's Demon Knights #18 - Reunions review

Determination Level: Hell

If there's one major difference since Venditti took over, it's that the covers haven't been as good. Last issue's was great, but this one is just a mess. The colors are way too similar and really blur together the already overcrowded image. However, Chang is still nailing it just fine on the interior art. The epic scale action flows well, and the facial expressions are incredible.

This issue I'm really starting to notice the subtle differences between the way Cornell and Venditti write the characters, where up until now it wouldn't be too hard to imagine Cornell was still writing. Not that this issue is bad, I'm just able to better see how the styles differ. Where Cornell would keep Horsewoman's conversations mostly to herself, Venditti lets us see their dialogue in full. Also, Etrigan's a bit more crass than before, suggesting he and Xanadu get busy right on the spot of their reunion in full view of their teammates. Like I said, these are subtle changes that only alter the reading experience ever so slightly.

Another difference, though one probably not as overtly intentional, is that Venditti is giving Jason Blood the credit he deserves, especially after being such a minor player in Cornell's run. Jason's immediate reaction to Xanadu's reunion is a little off, I was under the impression that he was fully aware that she pretends to be wooed by Etrigan. It shouldn't have been a surprise when Savage told him. But Jason get's his vengeance, even standing firm in the face of Lucifer himself. Jason's racked up some damn impressive resolve and conviction in these 30 years, and he's turning into quite a badass of his own. Though his vengeance on Etrigan may end up damning his allies.

The Demon Knights FINALLY reach the threat of Cain... mostly. Three issues of Cain one step ahead of them is getting a bit old, but at least this issue had some serious action. The Demon Knights and Amazons vs. Vampires. It's as awesome as it sounds. And we get to see a deeper side to Exoristos' exile, certainly we'll be getting a lot more details about that soon enough.

In Conclusion: 4.5/5

Not quite perfect, but so damn good. Demon Knights hasn't missed a beat in it's writer change and 30 year time jump. All the characters are as awesome and entertaining as they always have been, and Venditti manages to balance their shows of badassery incredibly well. The team is more dysfunctional than before, but in a strangely deeper way, and I'm intrigued to see how things will move forward once Cain is dealt with.

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