The Savage Offense
Demon knights most likely came about as a response to the large influx of sword and sorcery based graphic novels coming out recently, such as Queen Sonja, Conan, and the wheel of time adaptations, but the fact that this formula is tweaked to fit the history of the DCU is what really makes it stand out, and this issue just delivers 20 pages of concentrated awesome that it's hard not to love such a fun, well written book.
This book has been from the start about the characters, and this issue continues the trend of making sure each person has a voice, a motivation and a history, and really shows why this group deserves to be on a team together. The cover alone of Exoristos butting heads with a triceratops alone should have you picking it up, but it's how she reacts to the events around her, as well as her role as an amazon, a corner of the DCU that has been criminally un-explored in the past in some respects, that really show us why this book deserves to exist. Madame Xanadu is also given some face time , as well as the horsewoman, which gives us some great moments. This alone would be enough, but the fact that this is all just lightly sprinkled throughout what is basically a whole issue of non-stop action and warfare is the driving force behind this book. Paul Cornell could have just as easily spent this issue with the knights duking it out with the velociraptors (That's right. And they have daggers. Hell. Yes.), but instead he balances it by giving you characters you might actually want to care about. It's masterfully done, and is just way too entertaining to pass up.
The art for this book is also perfect. It's detailed and bright and just a pleasure to look at, the fight scenes are great and the more stationary scenes are treated just as good. the tone it sets for the book is great, but most of all the character designs for the entire cast is what I love most of all. Etrigan has long since been one of those characters that honestly looked kinda lame and bizarre when you stop and think, but still at the same time everything is balanced in a way that makes it work. Diogenes Neve's and Robson Rocha's pencils take that and just depict him in such a way that he actually looks like a threatening demon, one that is all spiked and dangerous but also human and intelligent. Exoristos design falls into the typical "wears a chain mail bikini instead of proper armor", but i think its done more as a tribute to characters like Red Sonja, and the image of her facing Vandal Savage in pure fury with her war hammer makes you forget any sexual undertones and just makes you realize she's a force to be reckoned with.
In general, I just love this book, and encourage you to pick it up yourself if you haven't. It's just entertaining pure and simple, but at the same time can please both die-hard superhero-genre fans as well as those that might enjoy a Terry Goodkind novel. give it a shot, at least when the trade comes out, you'll at the very least have a blast reading it.