Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is an interesting comic. For the first half, I felt like I was completely lost and had missed something. In reality, I did. I’ve mostly skipped DC Comics‘ “Year of the Villain.” But, writer Scott Snyder does something interesting. There’s a point the comic pivots and catches up the reader. While you might be lost to start, after a while, the comic becomes new reader-friendly. The deep end becomes a shallow wade into the pool.

The Earth has been enveloped by the Dark Multiverse. The Batman Who Laughs has won the favor of Perpetua. The Justice League is at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity struggles to survive in a hellish landscape twisted beyond recognition, while Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have all been separated and fight to survive.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 kicks off the latest chapter of Scott Snyder‘s meta-narrative that has added so much to the DC Universe. Along with his co-conspirator, artist Greg Capullo, this first issue ups the “metal” to straight-up “death metal.”

This issue is an interesting one as much of its enjoyment is to see what crazy ideas are come up with. With the Dark Multiverse opening up an infinite playground, The creative team gets to play in an endless sandbox creating variations of Batman that becomes part of the fun. B-Rex anyone? Yes, there’s a dinosaur Batman now. But that cranking it up past 11 also means each sequence needs to really bring it as well. Batman raising a ghost army. The reveal of a mysterious prisoner. Wonder Woman’s actions. It’s all amped-up and exciting keeping the readers on their toes. In a world where any twisted idea is possible, we get some pretty crazy twisted ideas.

There are some issues with the comic in that not enough is explained and things feel like they’re a bit too focused on a few locations but the action is tight and exciting reveals keep readers on their toes.

That action is helped by Capullo’s art which does sinister with a rock twist. You could easily go over the top in the scary department when it comes to The Batman Who Laughs, but Capullo never crosses that line giving us a darker take on the traditional superhero style. That just means a lot more spikes and pointed teeth really. Capullo is helped on ink by Jonathan Glapion, coloring by FCO Plascencia, and lettering by Tom Napolitano. It all comes together with an attitude that near matches the hype. There’s a few images that are fantastic (no spoilers) and a weakened Swamp Thing stands out in a comic that’s full of interesting visuals.

The team really nails the first issue. At first, you might feel lost but it all comes together. Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 really starts to connect the dots and finish the puzzle of a big picture story that was started years ago. We get some action but we also get the start of an event that feels like it’ll begin to really pay off for those who have stuck around for so long and trusted there was a bigger picture at work. You might think this is the next chapter of Dark Nights: Metal, but Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 ties into so much more of what’s been going on.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo
Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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