Comic Book Investing Guide: Dark Knights of Steel #8

April 4, 2023

Cover to Dark Knights of Steel #8. Art by Dan Mora. Image courtesy Ben Werner/FB.

The concept of the “multiverse,” and alternate realities in pop culture fiction is not new. In 1967, there was an episode of the original Star Trek TV series called “Mirror, Mirror,” in which Captain Kirk and some of his crew get transported to a parallel universe where the Enterprise crew is savage, barbaric, back-stabbing, and beholden to an empire. In that alternate reality, the crew encounters a version of Mr. Spock with a goatee to differentiate from the clean-shaven version in their home universe. If you enjoy watching familiar characters and story tropes upended in such ways, then you will enjoy Dark knights of Steel #8.

  • Dark Knights of Steel #8 (November 2022) 
  • Issue #8 of 12 in a Limited Series
  • Published by DC Comics
  • Writer: Tom Taylor
  • Artist: Yasmine Putri
  • Colorist: Arif Prianto
  • Letterer: Wes Abbott
  • Cover Artist: Dan Mora
  • Price: $3.99 USD

Dark Knights of Steel #8 – Familiar Story Tropes

In Dark Knights of Steel #8, the usual DC Comics characters that we know and love, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Ra’s Al Ghul, the Teen Titans, and others, exist in a medieval “Knights of the Roundtable,” and King Arthur-type setting. There are several kingdoms vying for absolute power, palace intrigue, political machinations and maneuvering, and a looming war based on a prophecy predicted by John Constantine.

This series initially began in November 2021 and have been plagued with delays since then. But issue #9 recently came out, the story may see its conclusion soon.

Dark Knights of Steel #8 is an “Elseworlds,” story. These are stories that take place in mirror universes that place well-known characters in new settings. If you are a casual comic book reader who loves comic book films, then you already understand the concept.

Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattison portray Batman in different universes in DC Studios films. A new Batman actor will be cast when James Gunn’s tenure as DC Studio’s head begins releasing his films. Margot Robbie and Lady Gaga are both portraying different versions of Harley Quinn.

The best example to explain this concept is Tom Holland, Tobey Macguire, and Andrew Garfield portraying Spider-Men from separate universes united to fight evil in the smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home.

While this may seem new with comic book films, comic books have been using the parallel universe trope forever. Superman: Red Son is a 2003 comic that shows what would happen if Kal El’s rocket landed in Communist Russia instead of Kansas. Gotham By Gaslight is a 1989 comic book about 19th-century Batman searching for Jack the Ripper.

Dark Knights of Steel is entertaining, but I wouldn’t call it required reading. It pains me to say so. Tom Taylor is one of my favorite comic book writers. Yasmine Putri’s art is dynamic, and compelling, and tells the story visually on its own very well.

But I can only tepidly recommend buying this comic to read or as a collectible investment.

First Appearance of Dark Knights of Steel

Dark Knights of Steel #1  (November 2021) DC Comics

Required Reading (If You Like)

You must read Dark Knights of Steel issues #1 through #7 first or you won’t understand the plot in Dark Knights of Steel #8.

There are a few tie-in comic books connected to the main series you can read, but they are not required reading.

Brief Bio and History – Dark Knights of Steel #8

Dark Knights of Steel is a story where DC Comics superheroes are situated in a parallel universe where the world is in medieval times.

People who have never read Superman comic books know the origin of the Superman mythos; a baby born in a dying world called Krypton is put in a rocket by its parents which crash lands on Earth. The baby, Kal El, lands in Kansas and is adopted by human parents and later becomes Superman.

In Dark Knight of Steel, Jor-El and Lara, Superman’s parents, escape with baby Kal El and come to Earth. The Els adapt to the primitive medieval era of the planet and become royalty analogous to the era of King Arthur and Camelot. Harley Quinn is their court jester.

In another kingdom, Jefferson Pierce, also known as Black Lighting, is the ruler of the Kingdom of Storms. And in another one, Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother, is the Queen of Amazonia.

Just like in Arthurian tales, or any generic Arthurian-type tales about galavanting knights, sorcery, and palace intrigue, all parties involved are being manipulated into starting a war that threatens the local common folk.

While executed well by the creators, this is not a story you haven’t seen before.

Dark Knights of Steel #8 – The Review

In the first few issues of this limited series, several rulers were assassinated, causing political turmoil and prepping the winds of war.

John Constantine is a political advisor for the recently murdered King Jefferson who employs political games and advising behind the scenes. After making a deal with a sorcerer, John resurrects the previously murdered son of King Jefferson for an as-yet-undisclosed plan.

Bat-Prince, the illegitimate son of the murdered King Jor-El and half-brother to Prince Kal El, takes refuge with the Kents after being cast away. The Kents are adoptive parents to children and teens with superpowers who are hunted by the kingdoms. 

Meanwhile, court jester Harley Quinn, general Amanda Waller, and several other characters vie to stop all of the kingdoms to march toward war. Meanwhile, the Green Man, a Lex Luthor/Joker/ Green Lantern amalgam, is making plans.

Unfortunately, this comic book has been suffering delays since November 2021. It’s a 12-issue miniseries, but as of this posting, I think only issue #9 has been released.  I had to reread previous issues just to make sense of the plot movement in this issue.

That said, the story was mid and derivative, to begin with. Tom Taylor is an in-demand writer, Yasmine Putri’s art is distinctive and a joy to look at, and Arif Prianto is a master at making dark-hue watercolor-style coloring evoke the right moods in the story.

But this story is just an average King Arthur and the Knight of Camelot story with DC characters instead. I’m a comic book reviewer, I’m paid to read this stuff, and I have no desire to see how this ends.

And it’s inexcusable to make readers who perhaps like this story suffer through multiple publication delays to enjoy it.

Dark Knights of Steel #8 – Buy It or NOPE

It’s a big NOPE from me. It’s hard for me to find reasons why people who have been following this story to continue reading it. If you haven’t been reading this, I can’t recommend jumping on now. 

If you love generic King Arthur-style tales, go for it.

A copy of this issue with a CGC rating of 9.8 is currently worth almost $22. There is a vocal fanbase for the writer and this miniseries, so this could be a worthwhile collectibles investment.

Ever wondered how you could make money investing in something you love? If so, then comic book investing might be for you! In this guide, A.A. Francis covers everything the casual investor needs to know in order to get started. Learn about what makes a comic book valuable, how to determine value on your own, and strategies for making a sale. Plus, find out why now is the best time to start investing in comic books.

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