I’ve been a bit mixed about the Dark Nights: Death Metal event. The story so far hasn’t quite lived up to the “attitude” that was pitched. It’s not so much “death metal” as “geek/nerd metal”. My other issue is that the event feels like the latest “Crisis” but with a different title. There’s also a habit of key events taking place in one-shots instead of the main title. Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End #1 is one of those “key” event stories which is frustrating but the issue has a lot going for it too. Those things? That’d be humor and heart.
Written by James Tynion IV, Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End #1 focuses on the teams whose role is to destroy the various towers fueling Perpetua. Dubbed “Justice Incarnate,” heroes from across the multiverse have teamed up to save the day. John Stewart, Guy Garder, President Superman, and Captain Carrot, are just some of the characters featured in the comic and each role is interesting.
There’s a lot to like about the comic. For those who haven’t been reading the event, Stewart acts as narrator catching readers up with the details. He presents the current situation to Owlman who has captured Stewart and debating if he wants to help save the day. It’s the best description of the current event and how it ties into classics DC “Crisis” events. It’s also the nail in the coffin that this is indeed just the latest of those. What Stewart delivers is a clearer understanding of DC meta history. After reading the issue, I actually “got it” and could explain things better. It’s info that’d be so useful in other aspects of the comic event.
But, the comic is more than a primer to Dark Nights: Death Metal and the previous Crisis. Tynion delivers an action packed issue of the heroes attempting to shut down the towers to stop Perpetua from siphoning more energy. With different teams on different worlds, we get to see Justice Incarnate battle vampires, Nazis, and the Crime Syndicate. Each fight has its own moments. To see Guy Gardner and Captain Carrot punch Nazis delivers a bit of catharsis in these times.
And, Tynion delivers some heart too. While it feels a little bit out of place, there’s moments where character reflect on their friends lost and the hope they’re delivering. Much of that is through Captain Carrot who I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of after the dust settles from the latest event.
Tynion also has some fun with the silliness of the event. Perpetua sends more Evil Batman creations to stop the heroes introducing the Rainbow Batman Corps led by Evil Batman Baby. Yes, a baby Batman who’s cute as can be but also deadly like a small dog on the attack. Tynion recognizes the over the top nature of it all and just goofiness and decides to make that a part of the story as the evil Batman Corps is battled. There’s a layering to the story like that which provides a fascinating aspect.
The art from Juan Gedeon delivers a Simon Bisley Lobo vibe to the comic emphasizing the exaggerated nature of events and adding to the humor of it all. There’s a lighthearted aspect in that way as punches are over the top and the action full of color delivered by Mike Spicer. Nazis, vampires, and more never quite feels like an ominous scary threat. The situation is dire and downright depressing at times but there’s a cartoonish quality to the style that makes the comic fun. Punches lack “pow” and “blam” but the style has readers adding that as we bounce from fight scene to fight scene and planet to planet.
Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End #1 is a chapter in the bigger picture event. It doesn’t quite stand on its own but there’s a certain insanity to it that almost makes it worth it. But, what’s truly impressive with the comic is a self-awareness that doesn’t seem present elsewhere. It makes fun of itself and the silliness we’ve seen throughout the event. It goes all out, then makes fun of itself for doing so. And that brings a certain enjoyment.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Juan Gedeon
Color: Mike Spicer Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Zeus Comics