Demon Knights is one of the ten or so New 52 comics that I eagerly read by choice every month. But there's been something nagging at the back of my head, and this issue gave it an extra tug.
Demon Knights is a Dungeons And Dragons game, given narrative form. Writer Paul Cornell used to play Dungeons And Dragons regularly with friends (his wife always had to be a cleric because, well, she is a cleric) and in Demon Knights he seems to have found a place to stretch those muscles again in a very literal fashion. And no more than this issue.
Dungeons And Dragons, for the uninitiated, is a game based on Tolkein-related fantasy fiction, where each player takes a character and is given a mission by the Dungeon Master, working from a gamesheet the players cannot see. They take decisions, throw dice to discover the success of their actions, and live with the consequences.
In Demon Knights, we are given a set of disparate fantasy characters with little in common, just like the traditional D&D. A knight, a demon, a horsewoman, a barbarian, a sorceress, a warrior… all working together, for the most part.
And today's issue smacks so much of the Dungeon Master giving all the players a test. Each one is confronted by the bad guys and made an offer. Whether they will accept or not will see them either bond together or betray the team. With Horsewoman getting one of the more tempting…
I can just hear Paul Cornell doing the voices as well. Roll the dice…
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics of London – whose tenth anniversary new website will be going live any day now.