Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Secret Origin #1 Review


Punching Upward

Writer: Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder
Artist: Ryan Benjamin, Francis Manapul, Jerry Ordway, Paul Pelletier
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: December 22, 2020

While I have been lukewarm with many of these Death Metal tie-ins, Scott Snyder teaming up with Geoff Johns had me intrigued when DC Comics announced this, and then they threw Jerry Ordway into the mix?  Oh my!  So, does this one-shot tell a good story AND manage to be critical with only one main Death Metal issue left?  Let's find out...

If you didn't already know, this is a Superboy-Prime issue.  Cool, right?  Well, if my man, Eric Shea, is to be believed, you never, ever trust Superboy-Prime, and it seems like that advice is well known, even the hellscape of Death Metal!  However, Snyder and Johns give us Clark's origin story before we get to that, and it's a quick refresher for those who don't know it and also puts Superboy-Prime in a sympathetic light right off the bat.  That will serve well later, by the way.

When we do get to the present, nobody but Kypto wants any parts of Super-Boy Prime... nobody but Krypto.  It's such a smart move since everyone loves Krypto (they better!), and there is no way he would steer us wrong, right?  While this is going on, we get more nasty reactions from our heroes, even as SBP tries to keep his badass facade going.  Seriously, there are a couple of times when you want to hug SBP because you know that's all he wants and needs... but we can't trust him, right?!?

As the issue continues, we get some inner dialogue that reminds readers what the Batman Who Laughs was offering SBP, and we even get it again in the issue.  The Batman Who Laughs can provide everything that Clark ever wanted, and seriously, I thought he would take it by the end.

Instead, we get a pretty cool fight, another massive multiverse shattering punch, and a possible redemption story for SBP,  except nobody saw him do it... except Krypto.

The issue has a cliffhanger page that allows writers to continue the story later, but I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon since I liked the ending here.  I am not a huge Superboy-Prime fan, but it made me smile, seeing him help our heroes and get what he wanted by being a hero himself.

I liked this story a whole lot.  It was essential to Death Metal, which I love, and made me smile in a Rebirth kind of way.  You could feel Geoff Johns' influence throughout, and if this is what we get from the Snyder/Johns team, then I want more of that! The art was also a plus for me, and big props to Jerry Ordway because his pages looked fantastic!

Bits and Pieces:

Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Secret Origin #1 was a good read that put a smile on my face and was also important going into the finale of Death metal.  Imagine that!  Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns gave this issue Rebirth feels I've been missing and has me more optimistic about what's coming up in 2021 because if it's anything close to this, I will be delighted! 



  1. You're definitely right. Of all the tie-ins, this is the one EVERYONE should get if they're reading Death Metal. It has great art, writing, and a solid heartfelt conclusion that really matters. Superboy-Prime shines here as a villain truly seeking to be a hero again. I didn't expect much from Superboy-Prime other than the cool fight with the Batman Who Laughs as the Darkest Knight. I'm glad this comic surpassed my expectations.
    I hope the events of this comic truly carry over into the proper DC setting after the event's over, It's too good to be wasted here. But I'm not getting my hopes up considering Future State and all that.

    1. I actually think I went too low! I loved it and it felt like the kind of story we've been missing from this event and DC Comics in general!!!!

    2. I couldn't agree more. This story and Speed Metal (the one with the Flashes) are what the rest of Death Metal should've been like. Using the best parts of past and present DC comics to bring extreme yet compelling stories that speak to the heart of the overall DC mythos. At least this one was pretty great.

  2. This was the best one shot issue I read in all of 2020.
    But $6.00 was too much for 35 pages of story.

    1. I really can't argue that at all...and love the name!