Demon Knights reminds me a lot of Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. I’m not suggesting in any way this is a bad thing — I simply have (probably) seen the same media as Paul Cornell, a Doctor Who writer and one of the few Doctor Who novelists in the ’90s that respected the television show more than their own ill-fitting ideas.
Cornell takes advantage of the new 52 absence of continuity to rebuild the Demon from the ground up. The Demon is evil, but he’s not stupid evil. He also possesses a sense of humor that isn’t based upon depravity. His droll commentary adds freshness. He neither sounds like watered down Kirby, nor the cursed rhymer. Cornell emphasizes that the rhyming is a quirk in Etrigan’s character not a necessity. The Demon lacks hellish omnipotence. He’s a flappable individual that can be taken completely unawares and go down in flames just like an ordinary person.
The teaming of Morganne Le Fey and Mordru is inspired. The Shining Knight is fantastic as is the gender/orientation humor associated with the character. Al Jabr seems to have wondered off the cel of Hanna-Barbera’s Arabian Knights. When subtracting the mild cursing, you can listen to Don Messick as Al Jabr speaks. Again, not exactly a complaint, just an observation. The Horsewoman comes off as a blank, and Exoristor strikes me as, “Couldn’t get Wonder Woman and Big Barda was in the shower when the phone rang.” Still, it’s early, and Cornell could flesh out these characters.
Ray Tate’s first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, “Spider Without a Web,” published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he’s young at heart. Of course, we all know better.