Thursday, 6 November 2014

Demon Knights, Volume 2: The Avalon Trap Review (Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves)


Ever hear a little kid tell you a story? I remember when I was in high school and did work experience in a class for 8 year olds. One of the tasks was for them to write what they did on the weekend and then read it out. The essays usually went like:

“I went to the park and played football and then we went and had an ice cream and it was good and then I saw a bird and it was black and then I went to my friend’s house and we played in the pool and and and and and and” – that x 25 for a whole week! And that’s why I’ll never have kids!

Little kids don’t have good stories and they don’t know how to tell them well – it’s all “and and and” until it just becomes white noise to the listener. But that’s what I kept thinking of when I was reading Demon Knights Volume 2. It’s a string of one dull thing following another until its mercifully over.

It’s been over two years since I read the first Demon Knights so I can’t remember why they’re still together as a group especially as they seem like a band of loners with nothing to stop them wandering off on their own journeys. Anyway they’re headed to New Camelot for some reason only to find Merlin assassinated - but he’s still kind of alive, probably because he’s magical? So they have to take Merlin to Avalon to revive him. 

Why? That dreariest of reasons: money. Even though I wonder what someone like Etrigan the demon would want with money, especially as Merlin was the one who fused him and Jason Blood together. To be more in character, he’d probably say “fuck money!” and tear Merlin to shreds. Oh well. 

They encounter the most impractical of pirate vessels – a sea serpent with a box for humans attached to its head (and what happens when it dives into the water, they drown?) – and become “wicked” versions of themselves which they like. They fight a skeleton and a sorceress and it’s done. Boring, boring book!

Also included is Etrigan and Jason Blood’s origin, and DC’s attempt at reaching out to a new demo: pervy Japanese men! They devote an issue to Etrigan and Madame Xanadu’s unusual relationship aka a demon and a hot woman getting it on. Hmm. Whatever floats your boat, I guess!

I’m not even sure why they still insist on calling this title Demon Knights as it’s basically Etrigan all the time. I can’t think of a single thing Al Jabr, Exoristos, Horsewoman or Vandal Savage did in this book, or why they’re even here. Oh right, money. Which is also clearly the only reason Paul Cornell’s writing this, because he’s obviously lacking in the inspiration department!

Apparently there’s one more Demon Knights book to go before the title got cancelled – and it’s not hard to see why! – but I’m not sure I can be bothered if the comics are this flat and uninteresting. Demon Knights Volume 2 is full of bad, clich├ęd fantasy and non-characters going on a story nobody could possibly give a hoot about. I honestly think the kid who writes Axe Cop would do a better job than Cornell did here.

Demon Knights, Volume 2: The Avalon Trap

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