Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal #1

"Death Metal" - Book One
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Color Artist: FCO Plascencia
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Steve J. Ray
Wow. Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 has blown my tiny, little mind. If you thought the original Metal series was crazy, this follow-up is seriously going to rock your world(s)!

This series isn't just a sequel to Metal, No Justice, Batman/Superman, Justice League and The Batman Who Laughs; it's aptly subtitled "An Anti-Crisis", a statement that will speak volumes to long-term fans of DC Comics, but can be completely ignored by newcomers. Scott Snyder has, quite brilliantly, written a first issue that completely stands up by itself. Yes, ultra nerds like me will get a further layer of awesomeness - because of all the ties to the stories that have come before - but new readers will get a brilliantly bonkers, action-packed, comic-book roller coaster, that can be enjoyed all on its own.
This is the story I've been waiting for since Crisis On Infinite Earths #12 (1986), so this comic has really made me very, very happy. Scott Snyder fans will see links to all his Batman work, right back to "The Black Mirror", his stellar New 52 run, and the brilliant Batman: Last Knight On Earth. Comics fans who are just looking for fantasy at its finest will still get an extremely fun, enjoyable and intriguing story.

The New DCU

The art in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is drool inducing. Every cover is gorgeous (I'm gonna be broke by Wednesday) and the interiors are every bit as good. Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion can do no wrong, and this series could be the finest work they've ever produced. From the opening sequence, with a ranting Sgt. Rock (no-one could ever call this soldier spineless), page 2's Tolkien-esque Map of The DCU, and everything that follows, every page is eye candy of the highest order.

Detail, charm, storytelling... this issue has it all. Mind-blowing double spreads cataloguing the history of the DC Universe, several circles of hell, and new Batmen, so off the wall that they make the Dark Knights of the original Metal look tame, by comparison.

FCO Plascencia and Tom Napolitano are also working overtime, and firing on all thrusters. The pages with Wonder Woman at the furnace almost made me sweat, I could feel the heat. The Batman Who Laughs' distinctive dialogue, and the flowing captions on the amazing DCU history double spread are all absolutely killer. I salute you both!

Conclusion

Universes - real or imagined - heroes corrupted, villains in charge, and a world in ruins. This series has started off very strong indeed, in my opinion. Yes, there's a ton of stuff that many may find too wacky, or surreal... let it go! Ride the wave and see where it takes you, I say.

There are ideas so simple that I can't believe no-one's used them before (the uses for parts of Diana's invisible plane... genius!). There are also story beats so bonkers that I wonder if the creators aren't actual time-travellers who never escaped Woodstock. My one complaint is that on all the covers, and all the previews leading up to this book, we saw a ton of Superman, but he only gets the briefest of mentions in this issue. (You teases, you!). Apart from the that, Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is an absolute gem of a comic.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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