Mild Mannered Reviews - Batman/Superman Comic Books

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Dark Knights of Steel #12 Dark Knights of Steel #12

Dark Knights of Steel #12

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 22, 2023
Cover date: October 2023

"Scorched Earth"

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmin Putri
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Covers: Ejikure

Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer
Click to enlarge

Protex and Waller meet in the shadows and she reveals that she has a team of Supers in the keep that will extinguish the fires keeping the White Martians at bay. Back in the keep, Harley, Lois, and Constantine, meet with the monarchs and outline their plan to defeat the White Martians. The fire's are gradually extinguished, leading to the final battle. Black Canary's siren call shatters the White Martians' shape shifting ability and this lessens their advantage. Kal, Bruce, Zala, and Diana, lure the alien army to the volcano the Els saved the kingdom from way back in issue #1. They trigger a volcanic eruption causing the sky to fill with fire, and then they defeat the remaining White Martians. Diana then enacts revenge upon the martian that killed her mother. Before they can kill Protex, Queen Lara arrives to send him to the Phantom Zone. We then shift to the castle where Waller and Deadshot are confronted by Alfred, who heard Deadshot's thoughts of betraying the Els. Waller kills him, and then kills Deadshot in front of Bruce, who has just arrived, calling Deadshot the traitor. The finale takes place in the throne room where Bruce is asked to sign the peace treaty on behalf of the Els, and Kal reveals that he wants Bruce to be the next king.

4Story - 4: So... DC needs to protect Superman from Tom Taylor. Please do not give him anymore Superman, or Superman related projects. Give him Batman, or others in the Batfamily. He doesn't like Superman. "Dark Knights of Steel" was a clever name, but this is a far cry from the Justice League story I thought it would be. It is obvious that this should actually be called "The Dark Knight, and some other characters that we don't care about." It is very frustrating how Batman centric this story is, right up to the finale where Bruce is given the throne... Kal and Diana were little more than window dressing to provide Tom an opportunity to show how cool Bruce is.

Now that does not mean it wasn't a good story, just don't pretend it is a Justice League story. The final battle was cleverly thought out, even if the strategy made it a little underwhelming. Instead of the titanic battle I had hoped for, we get a few pages of Martians cowering from the fire. Where was the all out war that was solicited? I erroneously thought this would be more of a "Lord of the Rings" inspired tale with epic battles to rival Helm's Deep, Pelennor Fields, Amon Hen and the like. Instead we were given the Star Wars Prequels... lots of debates and discussions. This review sounds super negative, but I really did enjoy a lot of the story, it just felt like a wasted opportunity.

5Art - 5: This story could be written by any other DC writer, but it needs to be drawn by Yasmine Putri. These pencils and designs have been consistently beautiful the entire run. I have loved it.

5Cover Art - 5: It's Dan Mora, and the gang is all here. While the arrangement is boring and simple, the design of each character is enough to make the cover enticing.

5Variant Cover - 5: This may be the best medieval Batman variant that we've seen for this series, and we have seen a lot.

5Variant Cover - 5: This is an awesome action shot of the Trinity. All three are in great poses and it showcases how awesome their characters could be in this world.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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