With the first major “Demon Knights” storyline over, Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves take a bit of a breather and invite in guest artist Bernard Chang to help tell the story of how Madame Xanadu and the Demon became a couple. While this isn’t a bad story, it does feel slightly misplaced in terms of series chronology.
The story of the relationship between the two characters is handled well; you learn about life in Camelot (or at least one Camelot), the troubles that Jason Blood and the Demon go through as they share the same body and why there’s anything but a happy ending in store for the star-crossed lovers. It’s a little slight in places, but it makes the love between Madame Xanadu, Jason and the Demon much more interesting; there’s a bit of punch to these two central characters.
More importantly, Chang’s art looks great as ever. He’s been using several different styles lately and for “Demon Knights” #8 he goes for a smooth, clean approach. It’s a good choice for Cornell’s script; it makes the scenes set in Camelot feel that much more classic and heroic and it helps them serve as a sharp contrast for when things go horribly wrong later down the line. For such a pretty art style, it makes the destruction of a town that faces the Demon’s wrath later look jarring and bloody, giving the moment an extra punch.
The one problem with “Demon Knights” #8 is that this story has to sidestep the bigger issues raised in the previous months. Vandal Savage’s betrayal of the team is brushed under the proverbial carpet on a single page, barely dealt with and certainly not in a satisfying way. Hopefully future conflicts between characters — especially ones of this magnitude — won’t be pushed aside similarly.
Still, “Demon Knights” #8 is a nice issue, but it’s a shame it doesn’t serve as well as epilogue to the previous seven issues as one might have hoped. It’s good, but I think it would have been better served in another month or two instead of on the heels of such a big storyline.