Demon Knights #3A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Madame Xanadu's spell repels the invaders from the village, but at a great personal cost. The barrier is only temporary. Vandal Savage, The Shining Knight and the rest must prepare for battle, and they'll receive no help from the Demon. Etrigan's too busy looking after his lover to worry about the fate of humans.
Demon Knights just isn't very interesting. I've tried to become involved in these characters, but barring the ones that I already know, they just come off as extras in a big budget movie.
The Horsewoman is supposed to be hot stuff, a local village hero. The artists certainly draw her as something special, but the dialogue, the persona just doesn't match the comportment that artists Diogenes Nieves, Oclair Albert and Marcelo Maiolo endeavor to instill. The Horsewoman doesn't actually do anything except report about robot dragons blocking the pass.
So Enigmatic She Doesn't Register
The Shining Knight's gender bending, while amusing in the first two issues, quickly becomes tiresome. Demon Knights establishes two female warriors, three if you count Madame Xanadu. What now is the point of the Shining Knight's pretense?
Do I Really Want to Know?
The Shining Knight, though a subject for humor, does as much as the Horsewoman. In fact, Exoristor accomplishes the most when she douses the Shining Knight's horse, a victim of literal friendly fire. That action still doesn't bestow any resonance. In fact, I had to refer to the second issue in order to find her name. You can also forget Al Jabr, the techno wizard who's very impressed with himself. I can't see why.
Something's wrong with Demon Knights. It wasn't until Vandal Savage states, "Seven experienced warriors...who barely know each other's names" that I realized Demon Knights is a reiteration of The Seven Samurai. How on earth then can it be so boring?
Almost every remake of that movie is exciting. The Magnificent Seven--movie and television series and Battle Beyond the Stars benefit from excellent characters and energetic scenes. Demon Knights suffers from an excruciatingly slow pace and characters that lack depth and personality. I'm hoping that the next issue turns out better, but the cliffhanger institutes a nasty turn that this book simply hasn't earned and bodes ill for the future.
Nasty Things to Come
None of the other remakes descended into the sewers like this. They didn't need to because the creators behind the films and television series knew they had something honest and entertaining.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.