Tue
Jun 28 2011 4:37pm

Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Demon Knights

DC Universe relaunch of Demon KnightsEach weekday, Tim will take a look at what we know about each of the upcoming 52 new comics from the September DC relaunch, one series at a time. Today: DEMON KNIGHTS!

The Concept and Characters: Writer Paul Cornell has described Demon Knights as The Magnificent Seven meets Dragon Age, but all we know for sure so far is that the series stars Etrigan, the Demon, who “leads an unlikely team to defend civilization and preserve the last vestiges of Camelot against the tide of history.” Cornell promises a brightly-colored sword-and-sorcery-and-action comic book series, using the magical history of the DCU as a backdrop.

Etrigan, created by the legendary Jack Kirby in the early 1970s, has rarely been able to sustain his own series for more than a couple of years at a time. Then again, he’s a yellow, rhyming monster based on a mask made from livestock as seen in an old Hal Foster comic strip, so what do you expect?

But because the Demon is a Kirby character, DC (and a wide variety of writers) keep trying to bring him back and show everyone how cool he can be. The highlights of the Demon’s career as a character would probably be his 1984 appearance in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run and the 4-issue Demon miniseries from 1986 written and drawn by Matt Wagner.

The Creative Team: Paul Cornell’s best work in the industry so far is the combination of his Wisdom miniseries from 2006 and the follow-up series Captain Britain and MI:13, which bound Arthurian magic into superheroics and vampire invasions from the moon. In other words, Paul Cornell is pretty great. Penciler Diogenes Neves has done journeyman work on New Mutants and Green Arrow in recent years, but you’re unlikely to be buying this comic just for the art. Cornell (and Etrigan and company) will be the star of the show here.

Recommendation: Buy the heck out of it! I’d trust Cornell with just about any superhero concept, but this one sounds like a perfect match for his skills and interests. Faux-medieval superhero magic and violence with edged weaponry? Yes, indeed.


Tim Callahan writes about comics for Tor.com, Comic Book Resources, Back Issue magazine, and his own Geniusboy Firemelon blog.

5 comments
rob mcCathy
1. roblewmac
Prince Valient was Hal Foster. But yeah that's a read it.
John R. Ellis
2. John R. Ellis
The Demon series of the 90s lasted for five years.

That said, these days it's only remembered for being the book where Hitman got its start.
Robert Barrett
3. rwb
In recent interviews, Cornell has said that Shining Knight will be a character along with Etrigan and Madame Xanadu. He's also noted that the series is set several centuries after Camelot . . . so my hopes that Arak Son of Thunder and Valda Daughter of Britomart will appear in the book are still alive!
Ashe Armstrong
4. AsheSaoirse
I squeed a little when I saw the picture of Etrigan. I admit that my first encounter with him was in the Justice League cartoon but he caught me immediately. I've felt for a while now that the potential for a consistent Etrigan series is there, if only someone could take it.
John R. Ellis
5. Valrose
The Wagner mini-series was pretty awesome and has held up really well over the years. Matter of fact, I may need to break that one out and re-read it again.

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