Dark Knights of Steel #6
Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 26, 2021
Cover date: June 2022
“Drums of War”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yasmine Putri
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Covers: Joshua Middleton, Mahmud Asrar
Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer
Constantine is drunk and mourning the death of the King of Storms, Tim Drake enters to convince him to join the coronation of the new Queen. John calls him out for being a Robin and casts him out of the room. Tim is confronted by the King’s other daughter, and John reveals his traitorous nature. She lashes out with lightning, but John convinces her to let him return to Batman. He later summons Etrigan/Ras who, in exchange for the Teen Titans will help John with the dead king.
Meanwhile, Tim returns to the House of Els and warns them that the Kingdom of Storms is preparing for war because Zala murdered the King and Crown Prince. She immediately denies the accusation, and Kal defends her denial. Diana reveals that the Amazons will also be sending their army to invade the House of Els. At this news Kal immediately flies to Amazonia to resolve the tension. He is set upon and stabbed by a magic blade before being captured. In the dungeon, while bound with the rope of Hephaestus, he speaks with Lois Lane. The issue closes with the Amazons sailing to war.
Story – 5: Well… this potentially changes things. My biggest criticism of the maxi-series so far has been how minimal Kal-El has been utilized. He was a background character in a series about the assassination of his father. Then he and his sister revealed that they were murderous villains, but this issue seems to contradict that. I’m hopeful that Kal and his sister murdering people was just an attempt by someone to frame the Els and start a war of extermination, one guess as to who. If that is the case then my excitement for the story has returned.
As for the story itself. The revelation that Tim Drake has been a spy in the Kingdom of Storms was nice. His attempt to escape from the guards was a really fun action sequence that I wish had lasted longer. After Kal learned of the imminent war he races to the Amazons to try to resolve the issue. I loved his character in this moment, he doesn’t try to fight the Amazons, he just lets them break their weapons on him, but he also doesn’t try to break their customs by stepping foot on the island. It was a rare example of Kal’s character. This issue also gave us the long-awaited meeting between Lois and Kal. This issue rekindled my interest in the series, and it leaves the story in a great place moving forward.
And I nearly forgot… we get Etrigan in this issue and he is Ras Al Ghul. That was a cool twist, plus the dialogue between Ras and John who summons him suggests we are going to get the Teen Titans soon. The arrival of the Titans is something to get excited about.
Art – 5: I can’t add much to what I have already said about Putri’s art. It is simply fantastic. Yasmine continues to showcase these characters in a way that makes it feel natural for them to be in this fantasy world. Putri continues to amaze and excite me with this art. One of the most consistently beautiful books that I see on the shelves today.
Cover Art – 4: Dan Mora created a great cover for this issue. My only quibble is, this issue doesn’t have Batman in it. The cover would have better reflected the story if Lois was on the cover with Kal, given this issue has the first meeting between the two characters. Including Batman is understandable given his popularity, but it was, in my opinion, the wrong creative choice for this issue.
Variant Cover Art by Joshua Middleton – 5: Zala looks magnificent in this image. The sword and shield, her clothing, her hair and cape fluttering in the wind. It all just look fantastic.
Variant Cover Art by Mahmud Asrar – 4: Another great Batman image. I only removed a point because they are so common, and he’s not even in this issue. But the armor still looks amazing.
Check out the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.