As a whole, I’ve been a bit mixed on Dark Nights: Death Metal. The comic tonally has been all over with gonzo ideas that don’t match its “metal pitch.” The comic also is clearly the latest “Crisis” to hit the DC Universe forgoing the classic title. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like it cements this event’s place in the ongoing “Crisis” of the DC Universe and is a key issue of the event. It’s enough of a key issue one has to scratch their head and wonder why it wasn’t?
Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 picks up as the heroes of the DC Universe are freed and the plan is laid out as to what to do next. The stakes are laid out and it’s clear that a multi-pronged plan is the way to go with various teams focused on specific objectives. Wonder Woman is calling the shots this time pivoting away from Superman and Batman, who are clearly hiding something from here and predictably whatever it is will be revealed at a pivotal moment to make victory difficult or prevent an easy initial win.
Scott Snyder handles the story of this tie-in that mainly focuses on Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and their team that includes Jarro, Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex, and Harley Quinn. Their mission is to harness to “Crisis energy” of the Dark Multiverse to be used later to help spring forth a multiverse DC’s heroes will create and direct. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 is so far the strongest of all of the issues released for the event. It’s an interesting launching point for the next chapter and direction of the story that will drive DC’s future into whatever comes next.
And that’s part of the frustrating aspect of Dark Nights: Death Metal as a whole. It’s a bridge to yet another “reboot.” When Dark Nights: Metal launched, I felt that it should have been the bridge between the dark and gloomy “New 52” and the more hopeful “Rebirth.” Dark Nights: Death Metal feels like it emphasizes exactly that and is a missed opportunity to really bridge the two eras in tone and in a more coherent and clean transition.
Snyder lays out what’s at stake and the issue well. It feels like a vital chapter that should have just been a part of the main series. There’s a tenseness about it all that builds and builds well, even if the latter aspects of the comic are foreshadowed a bit too much. It’s still an intriguing chapter that really makes you wonder what’s to come in this wild ride of an event.
Francis Manapul handles the art. With colors by Ian Herring and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the comic has an energy about it that Manapul is known for. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 delivers visuals that are both tense and have you jumping with enthusiasm like a good popcorn flick. There’s also a lot going on. The details at time are a little packed in but the team does a solid job of fitting a lot into the issue. There’s a great balance of use of panels and page layouts to also emphasize the chaotic nature of what’s going on delivering an almost claustrophobic feel for a while before exploding into the latter half.
Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like the issue where this event just admits it’s the latest “Crisis” storyline for the DC Universe. It does a solid job of both diving into DC history while also leaving it open enough for new readers to enjoy. But, again, there’s a fault of the issue for not being part of the main series. It’s an odd choice. Still, this is the second recent release for Dark Nights: Death Metal that acts as a jumping on point or an explanation of what’s happening. If you’ve been following the event, it’s a must get. If you’re intrigued by what’s going on, this isn’t a bad place to start to begin the latter half.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Francis Manapul
Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review