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Demon Knights #1 - Seven Against the Dark Review

5

No, it's not that Tales from the Crypt movie staring Billy Zane. It's part of the new 52 staring Jason Blood and the Demon Etrigan!

Undoubtedly, Etrigan/Jason Blood is one of DC Comics' more bizarre creations, and now he has his own on going book written by Paul Cornell, penciled by Diogenes, inked by Oclair Albert, and colored by Marcelo Maiolo.

The Good

The new 52 is all about having new readers jump on with ease. Prior to the new 52, I knew little to nothing about Jason Blood/Etrigan other than the "Hulkish" relationship they have. (Meaning it's two personalities in one body, not that Etrigan comes out when Jason gets mad) As a new reader of this character and this world, I felt it was very easy pick up, for a new reader. I adjusted very well to the locale and the characters. Paul Cornell did a great job at reintroducing all these characters to me without making it feel like I was being hammered in the head with back-story.

This is something I've never done before, but I have to give credit to Oclair Albert on this issue, the letterer. There's a distinct division between the world of magic and the mortal world, and it can all be seen in the font style in the letter. Also, when it comes to the lettering, I really liked how the word balloons were drawn up. For a couple scenes, certain magical characters have rougher word balloon outlines. I really liked that effect, and it says a bit more about the characters and how they are in this world.

Art of the week! I've read most of, but flipped through all of this week's New 52, and I have to say that the art team did an amazing job on this book (Barely beating out J.H. Williams III on Batwoman). The art is insanely detailed and clear, and the characters really pop off the pages. It's the type of art that makes me feel all giddy.

The Bad

I wanted to see a good fight scene really bad, and this whole issue builds up to a fight, but as the fight begins, the issue ends. It was a bummer, but it didn't affect the score.

The Verdict

Super-awesome! I was extremely skeptical about this issue and series. I thought I would hate it. Luckily, I went in with an open mind, and it ended up being my favorite book of the new 52 this week. It's a great jumping on point for new readers. You're introduced to the characters and get a quick back-story. The letter actually adds a lot to the book, aside from the usual dialogue, and the art is dynamite. The only bummer was that I wanted a bit of action, and we really didn't get any. This is a book you'll want to add to your pull list, and this is coming from someone who has never really liked or understood Etrigan/Jason Blood before. I highly recommend this book.

23 Comments
Posted by doordoor123

I liked it but I was kind of lost. A lot was going on. Im confused. Can someone explain exactly what happened and the character connections. I reread it three times but I'm still confused.

Posted by inferiorego

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Edited by doordoor123

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Yeah i kind of understood that. But I'm mostly talking about everything else. And she's more attracted to the Demon? And what was with the time skip? It confused me. How did Blood get from getting turned into the Demon to being on the run with Xanadu?

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm wondering if this will tie-in with Stormwatch at some point.

Posted by inferiorego

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Yeah i kind of understood that. But I'm mostly talking about everything else. And she's more attracted to the Demon? And what was with the time skip? It confused me. How did Blood get from getting turned into the Demon to being on the run with Xanadu?

It felt like to me she was playing both sides. The time skip seemed normal to me, just jumping to the next logical plot point, and leaving some time open to future stories about their past adventures.

What I'm really trying to say is I'm a Doctor Who fan, and I'm used to stories like this. Ones shrouded in mystery with many unanswered questions. Not all can be revealed in the first issue.

Posted by inferiorego

@longbowhunter said:

I'm wondering if this will tie-in with Stormwatch at some point.

That would be very cool!

Posted by doordoor123

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Yeah i kind of understood that. But I'm mostly talking about everything else. And she's more attracted to the Demon? And what was with the time skip? It confused me. How did Blood get from getting turned into the Demon to being on the run with Xanadu?

It felt like to me she was playing both sides. The time skip seemed normal to me, just jumping to the next logical plot point, and leaving some time open to future stories about their past adventures.

What I'm really trying to say is I'm a Doctor Who fan, and I'm used to stories like this. Ones shrouded in mystery with many unanswered questions. Not all can be revealed in the first issue.

Oy veh. Im still confused. I meant the story as a whole. Like what was with the dragons? And who were the other characters? And why was Vandal Savage there? I didn't get any story here. Like I feel like nothing happened because I didn't understand any of it. I want to understand it though.

Posted by inferiorego

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Yeah i kind of understood that. But I'm mostly talking about everything else. And she's more attracted to the Demon? And what was with the time skip? It confused me. How did Blood get from getting turned into the Demon to being on the run with Xanadu?

It felt like to me she was playing both sides. The time skip seemed normal to me, just jumping to the next logical plot point, and leaving some time open to future stories about their past adventures.

What I'm really trying to say is I'm a Doctor Who fan, and I'm used to stories like this. Ones shrouded in mystery with many unanswered questions. Not all can be revealed in the first issue.

Oy veh. Im still confused. I meant the story as a whole. Like what was with the dragons? And who were the other characters? And why was Vandal Savage there? I didn't get any story here. Like I feel like nothing happened because I didn't understand any of it. I want to understand it though.

It's character introduction. Not too much story, other than the set-up of Mordru as the enemy

Posted by Or35ti

I'm very intrigued but still unsure....

Edited by _jackbauer

I am thrilled that this book has gotten a five star review. Looking forward to visiting my LCS later today !

Posted by Sobe Cin
@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123 said:

@inferiorego said:

@doordoor123: The connection to Xanadu and Blood, prior to the dark ages, has not been revealed. It was mainly a lot of character set up , in which, I believe the rest will be revealed in later issues.

Yeah i kind of understood that. But I'm mostly talking about everything else. And she's more attracted to the Demon? And what was with the time skip? It confused me. How did Blood get from getting turned into the Demon to being on the run with Xanadu?

It felt like to me she was playing both sides. The time skip seemed normal to me, just jumping to the next logical plot point, and leaving some time open to future stories about their past adventures.

What I'm really trying to say is I'm a Doctor Who fan, and I'm used to stories like this. Ones shrouded in mystery with many unanswered questions. Not all can be revealed in the first issue.

Oy veh. Im still confused. I meant the story as a whole. Like what was with the dragons? And who were the other characters? And why was Vandal Savage there? I didn't get any story here. Like I feel like nothing happened because I didn't understand any of it. I want to understand it though.

It's character introduction. Not too much story, other than the set-up of Mordru as the enemy


I loved the book, was not confused by the pace or anything. A good romp through history, fantastic setting and arguably one of the best books released in the last two weeks. Up there with Batwing and Justice League for me. 
 
As a Doctor Who fan myself, I wasn't too confused by the pacing, felt natural for. I wasn't too out of place and I am a new reader to Etrigan myself, except for a few graphic novels regarding Shadowpact a few years and the cartoon version, this guy to me felt like a new character. 
 
But Irony popped up in your discription of the comic, regarding the title. Billy Zane who played the demon knight in that film from Tales from the Crypt also provided the voice for Etrigen the demon on the New Batman Adventures.
Posted by Adnan

The only title I bought this week (being on a student budget is tough...) and I don't regret buying it. A fun read and great art, will definitely be following this.

Posted by labarith

two personalities.

Posted by Grimoire

I didn't know that this title was one of the reboots.

Posted by inferiorego

@labarith said:

two personalities.

sometimes, when you type fast, you miss the "w." You kno what I'm saying?

See? Did it again. Thanks though.

@Sobe Cin said:

But Irony popped up in your discription of the comic, regarding the title. Billy Zane who played the demon knight in that film from Tales from the Crypt also provided the voice for Etrigen the demon on the New Batman Adventures.

We've come full circle!

Posted by Sharkey
Posted by inferiorego

@Sharkey said:

Since you've rated it five stars, I might have to give it a try. I'll admit I did like Etrigan in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell.

oooohhhhh, never read that!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@inferiorego said:

@longbowhunter said:

I'm wondering if this will tie-in with Stormwatch at some point.

That would be very cool!

I can see it happening, they did have a little flash back of the demon knights when they where explaining Stormwatches history 
Posted by buttersdaman000

Might pick this up....

Posted by hitechlolife

Loved it.! Some of the meta humour irked me ("shall I invent the printing press" etc) but aside from that it's my favorite of the DC relaunch so far.

Posted by nrgb2814

Only two words for this issue, "OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH YEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!!"

Posted by Mercy_

@inferiorego: I totally agree with your review. The Dark and Edge books are consistently surprising me by being my favorites. I was not expecting to like this one at all. I'm reading all first 52 issues as part of the deal that my LCS has going on, but I expected this one to be a throwaway, I was gonna read the first issue and never planned on picking it up again.

Read it this afternoon and I have to say, it may actually be my favorite issue that I've read of the new 52 so far.

Moderator
Posted by DigitalDeviant

Yeah I gotta agree, this Swamp Thing and Animal man have almost pushed my love of Batman to one side. Luckily they are all delivering so far!