Black Knights of Steel #7
Expected arrival in store: June 7, 2021
Cover date: August 2022
Screenwriter: Tom Taylor
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Covers: Rafael Albuquerque and Ejikure
Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer
This issue opens with the Kryptonians destroying the world. Zala kills Diana, and the three humiliate and slaughter Bruce. While the prophecy is told and the green man laughs. This then shows it to be a nightmare Bruce is having while recovering at the Kents’ farm. A green dog approaches from the darkness as it moans about demons and all things green. The Kents come in to help and Raven reveals that something inside him is killing him.
In the Realm of Storms, Ras brings Prince Jacob to John, resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. Ras reveals that if Jacob returned to court, he would be killed because everyone saw his dead body. John promises to help Jacob get revenge on the Els. Ras, meanwhile, hints that there are bigger threats to the world, threats that require him to get the teenagers.
At the Kent farm, Raven heals Bruce as he sleeps. When he wakes up, he recoils from her in horror, calling her a witch. Bruce then comes face to face with Cyborg, Kory and Raven. They hate Bruce because of his attempts to exterminate their kind, those who are different and gifted with abilities. The teenagers confront him with his own gifted heritage, their contempt is obvious. Johnathan tells her about his mixed parents, explicitly stating that everyone knew Thomas Wayne was not his father. Kory interrupts the discussion by holding Richard upside down. Richard reveals that he followed Bruce to this farm and tells him about the invasion fleet heading for the House of Els. Bruce then apologizes to the teenagers for his crimes, but before their conversation is over, the demon head arrives at the farmhouse. Bruce tells the teenagers to wait inside while he battles the new enemies. Johnathan and Martha gather their armor and weapons to confront the demon’s head. Ras summons Etrigan and the battle begins. Etrigan and Bruce face off, revealing his gifts. The fight heads to the farm and the teens enter the battle with Beast Boy transforming into a giant green dragon. This turns the battle in their favor. Talia hints that something much more disturbing is happening. The Kents convince Bruce to return to the House of Els to aid them in the upcoming battle.
Story – 5: A problem. We made it a problem without having Batman as a goal. His shoulders must be tired from carrying DC the way he is. I’m only partly joking. This problem continues the resurgence of this miniseries. The introduction of the Teen Titans was an exciting surprise, and using the Kents as Professor Xavier-type characters helping to hide and train those who are different was a brilliant idea. I hope the Titans will join Bruce when he returns to the capital and can participate in the war. This issue balanced action and exposition pretty well. We get a lot of background for the Kents, as well as some great action sequences in the fight with the demon’s head. I’m very curious to see what that other threat is that the Ghul keep referring to. I hope it’s a threat of universal size, like Darkseid or Anti-Monitor of this world. I’m also excited to see the resolution to the attack on Bruce, how long before he finds out who really attacked him and the Storm King. We’re just over halfway through the series and the momentum has picked up.
Art-4: Nathan Gooden and colorist Arif Pianto do a great job here. The action jumps off the page, and the more fantastic elements are thrilling to watch. However, there are a few faces that seem off. All in all, however, a great deal on an artistic level. It continues a disturbing trend of changing artists, I think in seven issues we had three different cartoonists, it will be very shocking in the commercial format.
Coverage – 5: I love this cover! Batman in his medieval glory, wielding his sword above his head riding Beast Boy like a green dragon! Oh man, this gives me juice! Flames spewing from the mouth! More like this please!
Cover variant – 2: It’s a perfectly fine blanket. But it has a few key issues. Problem number one, these characters don’t appear in the comics so it has nothing to do with the story. Problem number two, they’re in a bit of a boring pose. Problem number three, they aren’t important so far in the story. How important these characters will become in the story; their coverage should have included more of what has happened to them so far.
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