Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1 Review


Last not Best

Writer: Cecil Castellucci, Jeff Lemire, Christopher Sebela, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, Mariko Tamaki, James Tynion IV, Mark Waid, Joshua Williamson
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, Mirka Andolfo, Meghan Hetrick, Francis Manapul, Christopher Mooneyham, Travis Moore, Daniel Sampere
Cover Price: $8.99
Release Date: December 8, 2020

It's time for another Death Metal tie-in, and this is a big one! I'm not talking about what's going on, but rather that it's 80 pages and costs $8.99! With all the shit going on in the world right now, it better be good for that much money. Well, is it? Let's find out...
This is another anthology, and if you're someone who likes variety, there might be something here for you. If, however, you are looking for an essential and necessary read, you might just want to wait for the proper Death Metal #6 to hopefully get that.

The concept of the issue is what the heroes (and some villains) will do with their one night left on earth. Now, that doesn't jive with what we saw in Death Metal #5 (which this issue takes place during), and while I'm not a hero, I think I would get ready for the fight to save the multiverse. That's just me. It's all just a nonsense reason to get a bunch of creative teams to tell stories that barely make sense in this issue, let alone in the Death Metal event.

If you take these as individual stories and not worry too much about writers confusing timelines and earths and getting at least 79 Beast Boys, there are some highlights. I don't want to sound old, but my favorite moment in the issue is Sinestro getting his Mean Joe Green moment in Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque's Green Lantern story. I also liked the sentiment of Gail Simone and Meghan Hetrick's Green Arrow and Black Canary story.

Unfortunatley, those two battle for page space with Mariko Tamaki's Wonder Woman with its wonky setup and continuity all in the name of doing nothing at all. We also get Cecil Castellucci's continued attempts to make me hate the Bat-Family (she almost succeeded with Batgirl #50) with her surface-level takes on the characters and desperate reaching for feels. At least I got a chuckle when her Batman says he thought he was the father figure, when the Robins and Batgirl were the father figure to him all along. What?!? Oh my god, I'm laughing again!

Then there is the Chris Sabela Aquaman story, which bored the crap out of me but at least tied into the Death metal issues, the Mark Waid Superman story that was interesting but ended too soon and the Titan's bookend story that was 100% fan service. We do get the surprise return of a character, but it could and should have some real emotion, but there is nothing there.

Overall, I wouldn't suggest picking this up unless you are a completionist and have an extra nine bucks lying around. The art is strong throughout, but the stories just aren't there. I guess I can just say that if you've loved all the Death Metal tie-ins so far, go for it because you are DC's target audience. If you haven't been so happy, I don't think this will change your mind.

Bits and Pieces:

This is another wonky Death Metal tie-in that doesn't feel necessary to anyone but completionists. Seeing what heroes are are up to on their last night before fighting the Batman Who Laughs might sound good on paper (it doesn't), but besides the art and a couple of stories, this is a bust. I want to get to the main Death Metal issues instead of taking these unnecessary detours.



  1. I agree with you about all the unnecessary tie ins but as a Titans fan I can't hate the first and last chapters even if they do play havoc with what history is in continuity and what isn't. Notice Risk had atleast one arm (his other side was obscured by Argent standing there) so I guess his second confrontation with Superboy Prime never happened so does that mean the Sinestro Corps War never happened? Plus we have the New 52 incarnations alongside pre-Flashpoint teams and WHEN WERE THE WONDER TWINS EVER TITANS?!
    And I would have liked to know what Beast Boy and Terra talked about. So I guess her being alive in Deathstroke's Rebirth series still stands. I haven't been reading Deathstroke except for the Titans crossovers so was she given a backstory there? Is the Judas Contract canon? And was Jericho ever a Titan in current continuity? And why is he considered a villain? Is he insane again like he was after being resurrected?

    1. These are all good questions that frankly DC either won't address or have already answered but won't bring up. I can say that Jericho wasn't a titan in the Rebirth continuity. And during 2019's Year of The Villain, Jericho received a power-up from Apex Lex Luthor and was villainous for a while. I believe Deathstroke removed the power-up and by the end of his series, Jericho was fine again.

  2. Like you said this book is skippable. Some stories felt more sincere than others. My favorites are the Green Lantern and Sinestro story and the Superman story. Wonder Woman's was just filler while the least said about Batman's the better. One nitpick for me is Batgirl's outfit. I don't know why she isn't wearing her current Rebirth outfit.
    But I have mixed feelings on the "Titans reunion." On the one hand, I'm glad these young heroes finally get to be happy together and be on the same side. It's felt like recent writers keep trying to tear them apart. But on the other hand, it feels like the writers just wanted to win some points and makeup for the disaster that is Heroes in Crisis. It also feels like some interactions should've been more...heated than the book depicted, two in particular.

  3. So I know this takes place after Nightwing gets his memory back and goes back to being Nightwing but Donna Troy became infected and wasn't cured til Hell Arisen so does that mean her and Garth visiting Dick took place before she was infected? Because the alternative is current issues of Nightwing and for that matter current issues of Wonder Woman take place after the earth was remade by Perpetua?
    And shouldn't the Kents have been in the Superman story as well seeing as how they're alive in current continuity?
    Finally, is this and the recent Justice League story supposed to be leading into a new titans book written by Williamson? I hope so. That guy is kinda good at fixing other writers' mistakes like with Atomic Skull in Batman Superman and undoing what Bendis did to Kandor and correcting King's mistaken HIC by explaining Reverse Flash was influencing Wally.

    1. How dare you ask suck logical questions. Since Death Metal is going on at the same time as other on-going books, it will never work out in the long run so I guess we just have to go with the idea that everything takes place before Death Metal and after the Infected.

    2. I actually liked Atomic Skull before Williamson "fixed" him by blowing him up!

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