Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 Review

Highway to Hell

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Placenciam and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 16, 2020

The behemoth is finally here, and it feels like forever since the Justice League ran through that door at the end of issue #39!  With Dan Didio gone and nobody talking about 5G anymore, it's up to Scott Snyder to steer the DC Comics ship toward new shores with his story that promises, "It All Matters."  Let's see what that means and if it is any good!

Sgt. Rock opens the issue telling the reading not to eat shit sandwiches and curly fries.  It's sound advice that I use in my everyday life, already, but I appreciate the friendly reminder.  I don't want to be a cynic here, but I think all curly fries are shit and never touch them!

While that was not the opening I expected, it did give off a badass vibe that I like, plus seeing Sgt. Rock does give the issue's beginning a sort of, "Holy Shit, everyone is going to be involved here," kind of feeling.  

Check out our Dark Knights: Death Metal Video Review

After the credits, we get thrown into the thick of it, and it's a shock to the system!  We are in Hell (formerly Theyscira) with Diana cutting apart her Invisible Jet while talking to a messed up, carcass of a Swamp Thing.  While I would say he should be six feet under, he is already at the gates.

Snyder seems to want to keep the reader on their toes, but I am worried that the lack of footing that some will have might cause them to write this off before it starts.  We have a bunch of issues left, so I am in for the long haul, but starting with such a cold open after the months of in-between space since Justice League #39 (and Hell Arisen) might be too much (or too little) for some.  There are even hints (the antenna, for instance) that go back even further.

We continue with a prisoner transfer, and there is some fun trying to figure out how we got to the point of having Wonder Woman and the Batcave Dinosaur throw shade at each other.  The big thing here is who the prisoner is, but that's for later.

I struggle so much with the red on black word balloons of the Batman Who Laughs, so after a page of me squinting, we see the big bad himself.  He's gathered his dark Justice League to tell them that Perpetua has destroyed Earth-22, and after the final eight are taken care of, they will remake the DCU.  While this is going on, Batman (the real one) telepathically tells Diana about using the Invisible Jet against the Batman Who Laughs.  The big thing here is that Diana can barely remember how things got the way they are.

Things heat up when Batman arrives, and we see the yin and the yang of the Justice League partnerships and that Bruce is willing to use death to write the Batman Who Laugh's obituary.  I'm not sure what's at play here since you usually have to be part of the creeping death for it to work.  It is cool, though, and lets me get a little of one of my favorite characters.  Plus, we get a peek at where and how the Dark Multiverse connects to Earth.

The rest of the issue shows that Diana doesn't want to do things the Batman way.  Batman seems to want to make the best of this horrible situation, while Wonder Woman wants to undo it all and get back what they've lost.  I'm with Diana here and love whom she gets to help her out.  Snyder starts opening up the story (or at least what lead to it) by the end of the issue and points to the path to fix it all.  It's all about opposing energies and stopping the Dark Multiverse, and it's forever happening crisis.  The issue then ends with a crazy thing I never thought would happen this early in the event, but it does show that anything can happen, and that does give me hope that it all will matter by the end.  Plus, we get a peek at how much the Batman Who Laughs plans ahead and it might be one of those, "Kill Baby Hitler and get Super Hitler in his place," kind of things going on here.

This is a tough one to score.  I recently reread Dark Knights: Metal, Justice League: No Justice and the end of Snyder's Justice League run and this falls right in line with everything we've seen up until now.  Yea, I wish we were privy to some more information, but since the characters aren't, we can't be yet either.  I am looking forward to seeing more of what's going on as Snyder widens the lens because while it's crazy, I am intrigued.  Greg Capullo's art is great as usual, and besides that whole red on black nonsense, I mentioned earlier, everything looks awesome.

Bits and Pieces:

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo kick off their Death Metal event with an issue that may be confusing to some, but after reading it, I am intrigued to find out more.  Things do line up with everything that Snyder had given fans up to this point, so those jumping in here for the first time may struggle more than others.  While it does come off as overly dark at first glance, there is a sense of hope running underneath that I hope surfaces more and more as we progress.