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Demon Knights, Volume 1: Seven Against the Dark (Demon Knights #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,402 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe, a barbarian horde is massing to crush civilization. It's fallen to Madame Xanadu and Jason Blood, the man with a monster inside him, to stand in their way–though the demon Etrigan has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than himself! It'll take more than their own power to stop an army fueled by bloodlust and dark sor ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by DC Comics
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Batman, Volume 1 by Scott SnyderWonder Woman, Volume 1 by Brian AzzarelloBatgirl, Volume 1 by Gail SimoneJustice League, Volume 1 by Geoff JohnsBatman, Volume 2 by Scott Snyder
The New 52
30th out of 286 books — 310 voters
Batman, Volume 1 by Scott SnyderJustice League, Volume 1 by Geoff JohnsAquaman, Volume 1 by Geoff JohnsBatwoman, Vol. 1 by J.H. Williams IIIWonder Woman, Volume 1 by Brian Azzarello
DC Comics New 52 Collected Editions - Volume 1
17th out of 52 books — 119 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 14, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This was easily one of the best titles I've read this week!
And, just so you know, I'm not generally a fan of the Sword and Sorcery stuff, or any of that Medieval Times bullshit.
No. Just no.

So what did this title have that held my interest?
Well, humor and a distinct lack of that goofy Prince Valiant speech pattern.
Although, DAMN that pageboy haircut was frekin' sexy!

Alright, here's my (veryveryvery) uneducated theory on why writers should just skip trotting out the Thee's
Nov 25, 2013 Gavin rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Well it wasn't boring! Some new (to me at least) characters, along with more familiar ones (Jason Blood, Madame Xanadu, Vandal Savage). This is the team-up where there's no actual cohesive unit or anything, but that's fine. The setting is great, Middle Ages, long after the fall of Camelot. Interesting thing here is to see the duality between Etrigan/Blood and both their relationships with Xanadu. I also very much enjoyed the Al Jabr character and hope to see Volume 2 do more with him. I've now c ...more
William Thomas
Nov 02, 2012 William Thomas rated it really liked it
When DC rebooted, I gave Demon Knights a chance for the first 2 issues and then dropped the series. There was just far too much exposition, Paul Cornell wanting to tell you instead of show you what was happening. Diogenes artwork seemed sloppy and inconsistent to boot and I figured it wasn't worth keeping up with.

Now that I've read the first six issues altogether in this trade, Demon Knights works on a variety of levels that impresses me more than I could have thought possible. Maybe it was the
Mar 04, 2013 Mike rated it liked it
The setting is definitely the coolest part of this book - Dark Ages, swords, magic and dragons? Easily the most unique and interesting backdrop of all the New 52 I've read so far.

Cornell's pedantic streak is subdued here - by choice or by virtue of circumstance, I haven't decided. He's still having every character introduce themselves as they enter a scene/throw the first punch/swing a sword, but the exposition is otherwise balanced well with action, plot and visuals.

In fact, while there's confl
Sam Quixote
Feb 22, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Set in the Dark Ages, a small group of extraordinary strangers happen to be in the same village at the same time when a hostile invading force attacks. Throwing up a magical shield, the Seven along with the villagers must find a way of defeating the siege and stopping the evil from overwhelming them.

Introducing Jason Blood and the demon Etrigan, magical Madame Xanadu, ruthless but charming rogue warrior Vandal Savage, “giantess” amazon Exoristos, a crippled expert archer who rides a horse known
Milo (Bane of Kings)
“A fun, weird graphic novel that will leave you wanting more. Great artwork and a great work of fiction by Cornell, Demon Knights is another strong offering in the New 52.” ~The Founding Fields

Writer: Paul Cornell | Art: Diogenes Neves, Oclair Albert, Mike Choi, Robson Rocha | Cover: Tony S. Daniel | Published: DC Comics | Collects: Demon Knights #1-7

I’m going to be honest with you here. I picked up the trade paperback of Demon Knights on a bit of a whim. I didn’t mind the first issue but when r
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 24, 2016 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure I'd like this since it takes place in the Dark Ages but I ended up really liking it. The story is pretty basic fantasy. The Questing Queen's Horde is on its way to ravage a city but in its path is a small village within a narrow passage. Conveniently seven immortal (or virtually) warriors have gathered here unknownst to each other. The book is very battle oriented full of violence, action-packed. Because the story is simplistic much time is spent on character. This is a team, come ...more
Matt Anderson
Originally posted on

As you’ve seen in recent days on our website, we have been posting various Halloween-inspired articles to celebrate a semi-sci-fi holiday. I knew that I would want my article to be a review of a comic, and Demon Knights was the first one that came to mind. This is a title that I had heard a lot of good things about, and had been meaning to check out, so Halloween gave me the opportunity to finally dive into this book. As a quick disclaimer before I
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
When I resigned myself to read all of the #1 issues of DC's "New 52" reboot, "Demon Knights" was one of the issues I only started out of a sense of obligation. I had never found the characters of Etrigan or Madame Xanadu at all interesting, so I went into issue #1 fairly certain I would never make it to issue #2. Little did I suspect that I would one day find myself eagerly awaiting the second volume of the trade paperback series!

Set in the Dark Ages. "Demon Knights" finds seven warriors trying
Now, it's no secret that I am a huge "Arthurian" fan. Nor is it a secret that I'm a big fan of DC's supernatural characters. So a combination of the two should be a sort of perfect storm for me. And while I'm intrigued by the story being developed by Cornell, Neves and Albert and the rest of the creators ... I'm not completely sold yet. This volume left me feeling like there was something missing.

Part of it might be my misunderstanding of the intended concept, I'll admit. I thought going in that
James Dunphy
Aug 20, 2014 James Dunphy rated it liked it
Demon Knights is supposed to be a DC title set in their middle ages of the New 52 reboot (although with dinosaurs
and barbarians sharing a world I doubt this is an accurate world...). That makes it technically the earliest.
cannon material of the new DCU alongside All Star Western.
The story is a very typical sword & sorcery type storyline where a Samurai Seven inspired group of heroes band
together and fight the rather generic Questing Queen, and DC's new introduction of the immortal Mordu. I
Dec 08, 2014 Zedsdead rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
A marauding horde led by a "Questing Queen" and her sorcerer lover attacks a small village en route to greater plunder, only to find that the local tavern is coincidentally packed with insanely powerful warriors and mages. None of whom are affiliated. They just happen to be there at the same time. By chance. Half of them are immortal.

Most of the volume is comprised of elaborately drawn, beautifully rendered stabbings, beheadings, disembowelings, and dragon/demon-burnings, with the occasional man
Nov 25, 2012 Travis rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Interesting mix of the Justice League, the Magnificent 7 and the Lord of the Rings.

After the fall of Camelot, a dark army is on the move and a small village is right in it's path. It's only hope for surviving rests with a demon, a devious witch, an amazon, a muslim man of science, an immortal bastard, and swords woman with a mystical connection to her horse and a young knight with some gender issues.

Someone finally came along and decided to combine two of my favorite things in literature: rousin
Apr 21, 2013 Alan rated it liked it
A good solid piece by Paul Cornell. Between his work at Marvel and DC (and yes I know he just left DC in a snit) he has shown his strength lies in tales told with a British setting, or at least a non-U.S. setting (see the very good Knight & Squire and the good MI-13).

The overall tale borrows heavily from the Seven Samurai. Seven warriors are brought together by circumstances and they end up defending a small village. Cornell creates two new characters, and I very much liked the Muslim Al Jab
Sep 03, 2012 Daryl rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
As much as I like super-heroes, I'm always fascinated by a non-super-hero comic. This was one of DC's new 52 line that really intrigued me. I bought the first issue, but that was it. (Somehow I didn't realize that Etrigan the Demon -- not a favorite character -- was the lead?) I moderately enjoyed the trade. It's a mix of old DC characters (the Demon, Mordru, Madame Xanadu), newer versions of older DC characters (the Grant Morrison version of the Shining Knight), and apparently new characters cr ...more
Jul 19, 2012 David rated it liked it
I think Paul Cornell is a pretty good writer and I like the characters featured in this series, the Demon, the Shining Knight, Madame Zanadu, Vandal Savage, Mordru and the rest. But while the story collects 6 or 7 issues of the series, we don't get a complete story. Like most current comic books the story is lean with minimal dialog per page. In earlier decades, this story would have been told with denser text in an issue or two. Here it just feels padded out. The artwork is mediocre. Perhaps if ...more
Neil McCrea
Apr 18, 2014 Neil McCrea rated it liked it
Demon Knights contains some of my favorite b-list DC characters (Etrigan, Xanadu, Vandal Savage, the Shining Knight)and some new folk (the Horsewoman, al Jabr, Exoristos) in a 7 Samurai style fantasy yarn. It's grand fun, if a little exposition heavy and a tad predictable. The art is passable. If I have a major niggle with the story it is only that the medieval world that the Demon Knights inhabit is obviously supposed to be the medieval DCU, but in terms of geography and history it seems somewh ...more
Nov 12, 2013 James rated it really liked it
The DC universe(s) is something that I partially LIVE in. I read so much of this stuff, and to experience a time long passed in this world of stories is delightful. When I put on some hard rock and start reading Demon Knights, I am gunning for oblivion with a smile on my face. This thing is badass. Etrigan, while usually annoying to me, is used wisely here. Vandal Savage in the Middle Ages is intriguing. Existos is naïve yet deadly. Every character (and there are quite a few!) is fighting to fin ...more
[Name Redacted]
It's...ok. It's not bad, it's not good. It's just...ok. They take a really interesting concept and some really interesting characters, but they just can't seem to escape the general crapulence of the New 52 universe. Given the writing, the dialogue and the characterization, it might as well take place in the modern DC Universe.
RIP horses and villagers. Wonder what is going to happen next. Interesting how a demon and a man share a man's body.
Oct 18, 2016 Silas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone who is just dipping his toe into DC comics, this was a good place to start, since I didn't have to know a whole lot about the characters. I knew that Amazons were strong warrior women, that Etrigan was a demon who was good (but apparently not yet when this story takes place), and that Vandal Savage was immortal. Beyond that, I didn't need much. It dealt with Merlin and Camelot, which I assume most people understand generally, and it is a medieval fantasy setting. The characters come f ...more
Rick Hunter
Mar 18, 2016 Rick Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the main cast and/or fantasy fans
This makes the 30th of 52 wave 1 books of the New 52 that I've now read at least the first volume of. This has quickly become a favorite series in the New 52. This would be one of the top 5 best books that I've read in New 52 universe so far.

Paul Cornell is the writer for the series. I've only ever read a couple of things by him now, but I'm loving his writing in this series. I know that there are only 2 more volumes of this series to go, but if it stays this good, I'll be seeking out more of hi
Dave Bell
Aug 30, 2016 Dave Bell rated it it was ok
Looking at this book from the perspective of someone picking up the series when it was first released, I can understand why Demon Knights would have been considered one of the breakout hits of DC's New 52 launch back in 2011. It was certainly unique among the plethora of titles they were releasing at the time. However, this book doesn't stand the test of time particularly well, in my opinion.

Once the "new hotness" effect wore off, the problems with the book were clear as day: The pacing is far,
Sep 27, 2016 M.i. rated it it was ok
Meanders along, felt disconnected from both characters and story.
Feb 15, 2013 The_Mad_Swede rated it really liked it
Collecting the first seven issues of the DC New 52 title Demon Knights, this volume reintroduces us to characters like Jason Blood / Etrigan the Demon, Madam Xanadu (here Blood's, and Etrigan's, lover), Sir Ystin the Shining Knight, Vandal Savage, Merlin and Mordru, and introduces us to Exoristos (an Amazon in exile), the mysterious Horsewoman, the Arabian inventor Al Jabr and the Questing Queen. The story is set in the Dark Ages and situates itself nicely within the paradigm of high fantasy, wh ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Burgoo rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012, comics
In the midst of the Dark Ages, seven strangers are forced to work together to defend a village from an advancing army. Of course, since this is a DC comic, & a supernatural one at that, the strangers are more than perhaps meets the eye. We have a demon, a sorceress, an amazon, an immortal, & several others who are more than normal humans.

Demon Knights gives Cornell an opportunity to play with a variety of comic & fantasy tropes. Our protagonists are more grey hats than white hats, ea
Nov 29, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-journal
Forget about Batman, this collection trades superheroes for swords and sorcery. The medieval village of Little Spring is caught between the fabled city of Alba Sarum and the Horde of the Questing Queen seeking its treasures. Little Spring’s only chance for salvation comes from seven supernatural warriors including an Amazon exile; refugees from Camelot; and longtime DC demon, Etrigan. However, shifting alliances and ulterior motives among this team of heroes mean potential doom for the village. ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Laurel rated it really liked it
For the most part Demon Knights is a fun romp through various fantasy tropes with an emphasis on Arthurian legend. We have the standard fantasy characters here: barbarian, sorceress, amazon, knight, etc. The 'team' comes together by chance when the various players are trapped in a village that is in the path of an invading evil queen.

The book is complex enough that the characters all have more than one reason for everything they do - and all motivations are not for the greater good. As another r
Dec 25, 2014 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc-comics, 2012
I'm not gonna lie, I started reading Demon Knights for Etrigan. I've always liked Etrigan, but I've never really read any of his stories.

Anyway, I liked this book. It was a little confusing at times and it took a while for things to get started, but when it finally got the pace up, it was pretty good. What took me by surprise was that Vandal Savage was in it (it really shouldn't have because he's immortal. I don't know why I didn't expect him to be in it). But what surprised me even more was tha
Sep 04, 2012 Kelsey rated it really liked it
A more-than-solid addition to the new 52. I didn't pick this up despite the great reviews because my pull list was already quite big; should have dropped Catwoman and picked this up.

The core 7 characters felt pretty well introduced and set up for new adventures. I look forward to seeing them fleshed out even further, especially the Shining Knight.

I wish, though, that in the 7 issues there could have been slightly more than "The Horde! They approach!" and the villain did kind of disappear in a cl
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Paul Cornell is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy prose, comics and television. He's been Hugo Award-nominated for all three media, and has won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, and the Eagle Award for his comics. He's the writer of Saucer Country for Vertigo, Demon Knights for DC, and has written for the Doctor Who TV series. His new urban fantasy novel is London Falling, out fr ...more
More about Paul Cornell...

Other Books in the Series

Demon Knights (3 books)
  • Demon Knights, Volume 2: The Avalon Trap
  • Demon Knights, Volume 3: The Gathering Storm

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