[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/demon_knights2_9009.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:The cast.[[note]]Clockwise, starting top left: The Horsewoman, Vandal Savage, Al Jabr, Exoristos, and Sir Ystin(a), the Shining Knight. In center: Etrigan the Demon (top) and Madame Xanadu. Not pictured: Jason o' the Blood.]][[/note]]

''Demon Knights'' is an ongoing comicbook published by Creator/DCComics, initially written by Creator/PaulCornell and later by Robert Venditti. It was launched as part of the ComicBook/{{New 52}} and is set in TheDarkAges of the DCUniverse.

After a prologue establishing ComicBook/MadameXanadu's and {{Etrigan}}'s roles in the last days of KingArthur, the story skips forward a few centuries. Xanadu and Jason o' the Blood visit a small village in Europe, where they meet VandalSavage, [[SevenSoldiers the Shining Knight]], a Saracen inventor named Al Jabr and an Amazon warrior named Exoristos. They join forces when the Questing Queen and her [[TheHorde horde]] attacks the village on its way to sack the nearby city of Alba Sarum. In defending the village, they meet the Horsewoman, who has been protecting it, and afterwards embark on other quests together; some for the nobility of assisting those in need, some for profit, and some for reasons all their own.

The series shows the origin of the AncientTradition of the rebooted ''{{Stormwatch}}'' (which Cornell began), its lasted 23 issues.

[[NamesTheSame Not to be confused with]] ''Film/DemonKnight''.

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!!This comic has examples of:

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Madame Xanadu tells Etrigan that she loves him more than Jason, [[SubvertedTrope but she tells Jason the same thing]].
* AmazonianBeauty: Exoristos. Bonus points for being a literal Amazon.
* AppropriatedAppellation: A soldier from Avalon calls the group "The Demon's Knights" in issue seven, revealing the origin of the non-indicative name (see below).
* TheAtoner: Exoristos, first for being thrown out of Paradise Island for some unrevealed reason, and second for [[spoiler: indirectly causing the little girl's death]]
* BadDreams: The Horsewoman again.
* BiggerOnTheInside: The tower of Camelot is gargantuan on the inside, and is said to be ''all'' the Camelots merged together.
* BloodKnight: Vandal Savage ''[[BoisterousBruiser loves]]'' to fight, and assists the villagers not because he sympathizes or cares for them, but because it will be a great battle. [[spoiler: He betrays them to the Questing Queen just before the siege is about to begin, then betrays the Queen herself once the battle is joined]]
* BoisterousBruiser:
** Exoristos, who was raised a warrior.
** Surprisingly, Vandal Savage, whose reaction to a bunch of dragons bursting in to kill them is "Excellent, I haven't eaten one of these in centuries!"
* BritishEnglish: Sod the bloody tart.
* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS: Madame Xanadu has "M X" on her bodice.
* CallForward
** (possibly MythologyGag depending on what official policy on Creator/VertigoComics is this week): Lucifer is easily bored, and while he's certainly happy to [[spoiler: invade Avalon]] he can't help wondering what the point is. You get the feeling that in a mere thousand years, he'll decide to [[Comicbook/TheSandman quit altogether]] and [[Comicbook/{{Lucifer}} do something else]].
** At the end of #14, King Arthur calls them his "Watchers of the Storm" and describes them as "eminences of blades, modern Apollos, doctors of magic, an engineer". All codenames from the current ''{{Stormwatch}}'' apart from "doctors of magic" (which may be {{foreshadowing}} the Doctor from ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' being introduced to ''Stormwatch'').
* CastFromLifespan: Xanadu and Mordru both do this.
* CategoryTraitor: A few lines early on suggest that due to her Amazon upbringing, Exoristos sees both Madame Xanadu and Shining Knight as this on the basis of their sex -- Xanadu for being the "wrong" kind of woman by Amazon brawler standards and Shining Knight for presenting as male. [[CharacterDevelopment She gets better,]] but it's implied this still strains their team dynamic [[spoiler:and might have ended her later romantic relationship with Ystin.]]
* TheCavalry: The first arc repeatedly mentions that the Questing Queen is only attacking the protagonists because they are between her and the city of Alba Sarum, a powerful city that she needs to catch unawares in order to be sure she can conquer it, and the protagonists know that their greatest hope is in [[InvokedTrope sending a warning to Alba Sarum so that their army can come to their rescue]]. [[SubvertedTrope Unfortunately, all their messengers are killed before reaching the city]]. [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubverted After the initial messengers are killed the Horsewoman gets through and the Alba Sarum army storms to the rescue]].]]
* ChainmailBikini: Exoristos' 'armour'. Lampshaded: Ystin mocks it, and Exoristos says that when she is fighting against men, as she usually is, it has its advantages. Then this promptly proves to be a bad idea as [[spoiler: the Horsewoman shoots her in her exposed stomach for encouraging a girl to do a mission which resulted in her death.]]
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler: [[AntiMagic The Waters of Avalon]], a minor detail from the beginning of the second arc, end up being the key to defeating the armies of both Lucifer and the Questing Queen in the climax of the third arc.]]
** [[spoiler:The Black Diamond that Exoristos took as part of her deal with Lucifer to get released. It causes strife and hatred, ultimately leading to Exoristos and Ysitn's break up, along with causing strife within Al Jabr's city after she leaves it there. Ultimately it becomes the key to defeating the Giant's army and controlling the power of the Holy Grail. ]]
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: [[spoiler: Vandal Savage is quickly becoming this.]]
* ClarkesThirdLaw: Al Jabr, with advanced science from the Middle East, is mistaken for a magician by the townsfolk.
* ContinuityNod: Horsewoman gets her powers from a force in the blood that binds all animals together. WordOfGod [[http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40562 is that this is]] [[ComicBook/AnimalMan the Red]].
* CoolHorse: A WhiteStallion (with [[{{Pegasus}} wings]]) for a Shining Knight.
* DeadpanSnarker: Ystin (but only in [[ForeignLanguageTirade Welsh]]).
* {{Egopolis}}: Issue #9 reveals that Alba Sarum, the great city that the protagonists have been talking about since the first issue, is named for its two princesses: Alba and Sarum.
* EngagementChallenge: The princesses Alba and Sarum have sworn that they will not marry each other until their city has been declared New Camelot. Unfortunately, when Merlin is murdered it looks like their city will ''never'' become New Camelot, [[HonorBeforeReason but they will still never marry because they made a vow]].
* EternalRecurrence: The fall of Camelot. "All is lost. Again." Apparently, Merlin helps a King Arthur found a Camelot every few thousand years, and it always ends badly, but he always tries again because the consequences of not trying would be worse. Etrigan and Xanadu were at the fall of knights-in-shining-armour Camelot four hundred years ago, and the Shining Knight was at the fall of prehistoric Briton Camelot 9,000 years before that. Vandal Savage was at the fall of several Camelots, mostly among the raiding forces.
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: True dragons.
* TheExile: Exoristos
* FaceHeelRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler: After his plan of stealing money from the Horde goes south, Vandal Savage claims that his FaceHeelTurn was all a distraction to help the village, and not a way to make a quick buck out of the confusion of battle, he later does this a few more times before the series end.]]
** [[spoiler:Etrigan after the second arc betrays the team and sends them to hell but by the post time skip arc most of characters still tolerate him because of his power.]]
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: A young child tells Exoristos that she dresses like a tart[[note]]prostitute[[/note]], which Exoristos takes as a compliment, [[IsItSomethingYouEat while wondering if it is some kind of pastry]].
* GadgeteerGenius: Al Jabr.
* GambitPileup: Between Xanadu, Etrigan and Vandal Savage, it's rather hard to tell who's backstabbing whom.
** Lucifer has a plan for your plan in his plan. As long as it keeps things [[ItAmusedMe interesting.]]
** And [[spoiler: the Questing Queen]] has a plan that takes advantage of ''all'' the above ones.
** And [[spoiler: Arthur and Merlin]] have prepared for ''that'' too...
* GenderFlip: Sir Ystin/Shining Knight, pulling double duty as a ''Sex'' Flip depending on your interpretation, as in other continuities he's been both a cisgender man and a [[SweetPollyOliver crossdressing woman]]. (See SweetPollyOliver below.)
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: The Questing Queen, the BigBad of the initial arc.
* GoodShepherd: After Etrigan claws a local village priest, which is not only a fatal wound but will also ''drag the priest's soul to hell'', the priest spends his final moments trying to find the will to forgive Etrigan, since offering that forgiveness is more important than praying for himself.
* HandicappedBadass: The Horsewoman
* HonorBeforeReason: The two princesses of Alba Sarum, Alba and Sarum, have made a vow that they will not wed one another until their city has been declared New Camelot. However, when Merlin is murdered it looks like their city will ''never'' become New Camelot, but they declare that they will stick to their vow regardless, even though it means they will never wed the woman each loves.
* InfantImmortality: Averted in the first story arc.
* IsItSomethingYouEat: When [[FromTheMouthsOfBabes a small girl]] tells Exoristos, "You dress like a tart," Exoristos' reaction is, "Again, thanks! Is that some kind of pastry?"
* KingArthur: Arthurian mythology plays a significant role in the series. The founding and destruction of Camelot was experienced by multiple characters, [[EternalRecurrence multiple times]], and the series takes place at the beginning of a new cycle, with the city of Alba Sarum hoping to be declared New Camelot. [[spoiler:KingArthur himself joins the team briefly, having left Avalon.]]
* KnightInShiningArmor: The Shining Knight, appropriately enough.
* LargeHam: Vandal Savage. Cornell said that he wrote him as if he were played by {{BRIAN BLESSED}}.
* MagnificentSevenSamurai: Incredibly influential. The writer even stated he is more interested in the character dynamics than the setting.
* MeaningfulName: The princesses of Alba Sarum note that Al Jabr is Arabic for "the numbers" (It is actually Arabic for "restoration").
* MerlinSickness: In the vision in issue four, Merlin says that he is aging backward, and remarks that the fact that he is still very old suggests the universe has a few years left in it.
* MuggingTheMonster: Issue #10 opens with pirates attempting to rob the team as they travel to Britain, unaware of just who it is they are robbing.
** And in issue #22, a ''half-dozen'' thieves attempt to mug them. It goes about as well as could be expected:
-->'''Sir Ystin''': We've faced dragons, demons, and a giant sea beast, but you common thieves have us ''truly'' scared.
* NobleDemon: Etrigan, quite literally when it comes to Madame Xanadu.
* NonindicativeName: There is only one demon on the hero side, and even he shares space with a human. For that matter, there is only one knight, too.
** The name comes from something Sir Ystin shouted during a vision quest which the rest of the group decided was AGoodNameForARockBand. Said vision quest was supposed to ''warn'' them about a group of Demon Knights. [[spoiler:[[CallForward The Daemonites]].]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: A lot of the human cast have immortality as a factor, but Sir Ystin in particular has been around a ''long'' time (though their apparent age varies depending on the artist).
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: True dragons are flesh-and-blood dinosaurs, whereas "Heraldic" dragons are mechanical devices controlled by people.
* ProudWarriorRaceGirl: Exoristos.
* QueerAsTropes: To a surprising degree. It isn't made a big deal out of, either.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: We have a Muslim tech genius, a paraplegic horsewoman, a lesbian/bisexual exiled Amazon, an immortal transgender knight, a proto-supervillain comic relief, and a demon, his dude and their magic-wielding polyamorous girlfriend.
* ARareSentence: Savage gets "Look! It's a ''pirate'' sea serpent! That is something I have ''never'' shouted before!" And considering he's an immortal caveman, that's ''impressive''.
* RashomonStyle: Issue 8, [[UnreliableNarrator Madame Xanadu and Etrigan]] each explaining to the others the nature of the romance between Jason, Xanadu and Etrigan and how they each say it began.
* RhymesOnADime: Etrigan, when he's showing off his demon authority or being particularly badass.
* SapientSteed: [[spoiler: Vanguard]].
* [[LukeYouAreMyFather Savage, You Are Our Father]]: As part of Vandal Savage's entertainment program in Hell. And he's been quite procreative.
* ScrewDestiny: Merlin and Xanadu ''desperately'' want to stop the eternal cycle of war and death, despite being urged by others that it must continue this way.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: The two princesses of Alba Sarum, Alba and Sarum, are able to be a publicly engaged lesbian couple because they run the city. Madame Xanadu is happy for them that they can live their lives as they truly are, but also hopes that the common woman who does not have such power will get the same rights.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:The Black Diamond]]
* SeenItAll: They are a team of immortals, so they have all seen many things. Vandal Savage exclaims with glee any time he encounters something he has ''not'' seen before, or when he encounters something he has not seen for centuries.
* ShadowArchetype: The Questing Queen to the Shining Knight; both [[spoiler: seek the Holy Grail]], but while Ystin is idealistic, desexualized and self-sacrificing, the Questing Queen is mature, feminine and ruthless.
* ShipTease: After seeing Shining Knight slay a giant wolf monster, Exoristos exclaims that Knight's performance was arousing. Knight does not quite know how to respond. In issue #14 Exoristos asks if Ystin would like to [[spoiler: ''move in together''. Y'know, once they get out of Hell and all that]].
* {{Shoryuken}}: Vandal Savage does this to a ''giant sea serpent'' in issue #10.
* ShoutOut:
** To ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} and the Goths'' in #2. "Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and every other sort of Goth."
** And then to ''Asterix and Cleopatra'' in #13. "Such a pretty nose."
** [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings "One does not simply]] [[WalkIntoMordor walk into Hell."]]
* SirSwearsalot: Madame Xanadu.
* TheSmartGuy: Al Jabr, who is equal parts GuileHero and ScienceHero.
* SomethingWeForgot: In #16, Exoristos, the Horsewoman and Sir Ystin are thrown in a dungeon. Exoristos and Sir Ystin are chained together on either side of a wall to prevent them trying to escape. A guard comes and fetches Exoristos and the Horsewoman, leaving Sir Ystin on the other side of the wall wondering where everyone has gone.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: The Horsewoman, naturally, speaks fluent Horse.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To Creator/GrantMorrison's ''SevenSoldiers''.
* SweetPollyOliver: Sir Ystin. Nobody is fooled with regard to his sex, however.
** Turns out Ystin is actually [[spoiler: [[{{Transsexual}} a trans man/genderqueer/intersex/something else]], depending on your interpretation of the following quote]].
-->'''Shining Knight:''' I was born this way. I've kept ''saying'', whenever anyone asks. [[spoiler: I'm not just a man or a woman. I'm ''both''. ]]
* TimeSkip: The series jumps ahead thirty years after the events of issue 15
** [[spoiler:The only character that shows visible change is [[BadassNormal Al Jabr]].]]
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: The immortals [[MagnificentSevenSamurai are going to help the villagers defend their home]], but Vandal Savage is also trying to prepare them to assist and show that they ''deserve'' help.
* TriangRelations: Between Jason, Xanadu, and Etrigan (as detailed below). Looks like a type seven.[[spoiler: May turn out to be a type four, with Xanadu and Jason love each other, unfortunately Etrigan has the hots for Xanadu as well.]]
* TroubledButCute: Jason Blood.
* TruceZone: In #0, Merlin meets Morgaine at "the truce place, by the waters that lead to Avalon". This may well be the future site of Time In A Bottle, from Cornell's ''Knight & Squire'' miniseries.
* TwoPersonLoveTriangle: Madame Xanadu is romantically involved with both halves of the Jason/Etrigan body sharing. She tells each half of duo that she loves him more than the other half.
* VictoryIsBoring: Lucifer seems to think so.
--> '''Lucifer:''' LEGIONS OF HELL -- TODAY WE CONQUER A NEW LAND OF THE DEAD! [-...Which is very exciting. I suppose.-]
* WarIsHell: The series focuses heavily on the civilian casualties and property destruction of combat; when the protagonists are being congratulated on their great and glorious victory (And it ''was'' a great and glorious victory, since their actions saved a vast city and thousands, possibly millions, of lives) the 'camera' focuses on the dead bodies and burned buildings that came from the fight.
* WipeThatSmileOffYourFace: [[spoiler: Vandal Savage seems to have done this to Jason after the TimeSkip.]]
* WouldHurtAChild: Vandal Savage kills a village boy when [[spoiler:the boy discovers Vandal leaving them to fend for themselves against the questing queen.]]
* WrongGenreSavvy: The entire team is surprised when, after slaying a giant wolf monster, it transforms back into a regular wolf. Al Jabr points out that he was not expecting it to be an ''actual'' wolf.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: All the immortals unite against the Questing Queen because they happened to pick the same inn to rest at, and that inn happened to be in the Queen's path, though the Horsewoman only met them (briefly) after the inn was destroyed.
* YouShallNotPass: Exoristos says this word for word as she is the last person remaining that's protecting the village. Then TheCavalry arrives.
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