The first “Demon Knights” storyline looks to be running seven issues (based on advance solicitations). At this point, it’s hard to keep from feeling like it should have just been six. So while hitting the end of this issue and finding that the village of Little Spring is still under siege is a bit disappointing, Paul Cornell’s script does have some buried gems that will keep your interest up a bit.
The best part about the latest “Demon Knights” is that we’re getting more of a focus on Exoristos and the Horsewoman. It’s been easy to get a strong focus on pre-existing characters like the Demon, Madame Xanadu and Vandal Savage; less work is required because most readers know who they are, and they don’t have to be built from the ground up. As a result, Exoristos and the Horsewoman (along with poor Al Jabr, who barely gets a role this month) have suffered a bit, but it’s nice to see them getting a spotlight here.
At this point, hints about each character have been laid well enough that seeing them in action shouldn’t be a surprise; attentive readers will have pieced them all together. It’s still fun to see the Horsewoman’s abilities kick in, though, and Exoristos kicking butt in all of her Amazon glory is entertaining. Now that Cornell has been increasing their roles, hopefully they won’t fade back into the background.
The part of the issue focusing on Xanadu and the Demon is clearly all set-up for next month’s conclusion. It’s a lot of teasing hints about a plan, but of course we’re not shown the crucial moments where it’s put into action. It’ll probably result in a great moment in “Demon Knights” #7, but for now it just feels like a build-up with no release. Good pay-off next month, but right now not so much.
Diogenes Neves and Robson Rocha split the pencils this month, and it’s a good match. Rocha’s art is a little smoother than Neves’, but both have an overall similar look and feel. If I had to zoom in on a single thing that I liked here, it’s that Neves manages to make the tall Exoristos look both willowy and powerful; it’s not an easy combination, but somehow she manages to feel somewhat slight even as she’s walloping the living daylights out of her enemies. It’s a fun contrast.
“Demon Knights” is a nice series overall, but I suspect I’m not the only reader ready to see the cast move on from Little Spring. Fortunately, that conclusion is just around the corner. “Demon Knights” #6 will probably read much better as part of the greater whole in a collection, but as a single issue, it’s a slow patch livened up only by some of the supporting cast getting a chance to shine.