Review: Demon Knights #8 by Paul Cornell, Bernard Chang, & Diogenes Neves

Demon Knights #8
The Ballad of Nimue and the Demon

Written by: Paul Cornell
Pencilled by: Bernard Chang & Diogenes Neves
Inked by: Bernard Chang & Oclair Albert
Colored by: Marcelo Maiolo
Lettering by: Jared K. Fletcher

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): After last issue’s pretty disaterous battle between our heroes and the forces of the Wandering Queen, the heroes are enjoying a little downtime with storytelling. Vandal Savage is still trying to convince them that he never really betrayed them, leading to one of my favorite lines in this issue from Horsewoman:

Eventually, the stories turn to Xanadu. The others are curious about her relationshop with Etrigan and Jason Blodd, so she decides to tell them their backstory. As we found out in issue 1, both Xanadu and Blood were at the fall of Camelot. Xanadu was one of Merlin’s apprentices, which surprises Shining Knight, who claims to have known all of Merlin’s apprentices. Vandal also has visited Camelot a few times, and never saw either of them. It is suggested that there have been many Camelots throughout history:

Jason Blood and Xanadu get seperated during the fall of Camelot and end up meeting each other again decades later. They end up falling in love, but Merlin had possessed Jason Blood with the demon Etrigan who is jealous of their relationship. He ends up causing lots of death and destruction whenever he finds evidence that they have been together.

In order to prevent this, Xanadu decides to lie to Etrigan and say she’s fallen in love with him. And that ruse has continued to this day. ¬†Etrigan’s version of the story is that she fell in love with him after he rescued her, and that they were married by some kind of demonic priest.

Meanwhile, in the city of Alba Sarum, there are hints that a new “Camelot” is forming. But this is quickly disrupted by the arrival of a Daemonite:

Review: Seems like I always end up reviewing all the even numbered issues of Demon Knights. It’s especially nice when those end up being focus issues on the characters. This time, the spotlight fell on Demon and Madame Xanadu, probably the two best known characters in this book.

One thing that is hinted at throughout this issue that I was very curious about was the idea that there have been multiple Camelots throughout history, and they seem to have all been destroyed in battles with the Daemonites. That definitely puts some interesting questions about the modern DC Universe. Will the Daemonites once against destroy Camelot? And where is modern Camelot? My money is on Stormwatch’s ship.

I also love how different Xanadu and Etrigan perceive their current situation. When Etrigan breaks the Fourth Wall and asks:

You can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t have a point. Etrigan can’t possibly be as dumb as Xanadu’s story suggests, and considering some of her actions throughout the series, I don’t quite trust Xanadu. I am really curious how this will play out through the series. I also like that we get some hints of Etrigan’s rhyming. I also loved that unique aspect of the character.

My only real gripe about this issue is that I would like to see an issue focusing on some of the newer characters. Shining Knight, Xanadu, and Demon are great, but I really wanna know more about Horsewoman, Al Jabr, and Exoristos. If the next focus issue is on Vandal Savage, I would be real disappointed. But the story was very well written, and like the last feature issue, hints at Demon Knights having a major role in the New DC Universe, so I would still score this book pretty high.

I especially loved thet Bernard Chang was on the art. I sort of felt that his talent was wasted on what was basically an average Deadman story over on DC Universes Presents. I really hope to see him continue to get more exposure at DC. He certainly deserves it. And Diogenes Neves has been great on this book since day one.

Demon Knights continues to be one of DC’s best books each month. As I’ve said many times before, I love these kinds of “quest-driven” fantasy books, and Demon Knights is doing it perfectly. Highly reccomended.

Final Score: 9.0 A great focus issue on Xanadu and Etrigan. Bernard Chang and Diogenes Neves make a great art team, and Paul Cornell is telling a great story here!

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