The Batman Who Laughs has fallen… LONG LIVE THE DARKEST KNIGHT!
Wonder Woman, Batman, and their loose collection of allies prepare one last, desperate gambit for restoring order in the multiverse from Perpetua’s dark reign… but if even Batman has doubts, can it possibly work?!
Plus: rise of the ROBIN KING! Who is he? What terrible thing will he unleash?!
But most importantly, HOW MUCH MORE INSANE CAN THIS SERIES POSSIBLY GET?!
Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any crazier than in issue one, Dark Nights: Death Metal #2 is here to prove you haven’t seen $#!t. More sound in both concept and execution than its predecessor series, Death Metal is exactly the kind of big, splashy, over-the-top insane summer popcorn film we can’t see in theaters this year. And to that end, it’s exactly the kind of brilliantly fun comic we (and the world) desperately need right now.
It might seem odd that a comic about a completely screwed-up world would be the antidote to the real-life screwed-up world we currently live in, but the sheer lunatic escapism wrought by writer Scott Snyder and artists Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion is undeniable. (Heck, it even has room for a great dad joke!) Forget the Batmobile; here’s the Batmobeast! Thought the Batman Who Laughs was over-the-top insane? Get ready for the Darkest Knight! You like the JSA? They’re back, baby! And SUPER OLD!! It would be easy to dismiss this series as a collection of “so cool it’s metal” moments, if it weren’t for the rock-solid foundation upon which the story is built. Everything is pretty straightforward; a casual reader could pick this (and the first issue) up and more than likely follow along. Sure, there’s some continuity minutia at play, but Snyder does a capable job of explaining things without getting bogged down in unnecessary exposition. And, perhaps more urgently, the story has a real sense of forward momentum. No decompressed storytelling here – when readers are done with Death Metal #2, they’re going to feel like they’ve consumed a full meal of comics calories. (Bonus: this comic concludes with the most Snyder-y Scott Snyder moment I think I’ve ever read on the final page.)
Snyder is doing the work of including Doomsday Clock into his narrative, too (much to the chagrin of poo-pooing traditionalists everywhere, but to the delight of everyone else). Yes, Dr. Manhattan makes a welcome appearance here – and as it turns out, has a much larger role to play (in a sense, I’ll never spoil it) in the story than it might have been previously thought. With the halting and janky state of DC’s post-Rebirth plans, which were originally set to culminate with DDC but have now been rejiggered to include Death Metal, DDC was something of a lingering fart in the room. How could such a sweeping series possibly be folded into a narrative that seemed, for all intents and purposes, to have forgotten it happened? Leave it to Snyder to provide the answer. It may not be perfect, but it’s definitely workable.
And while heaps of praise has deservedly been foisted upon the second coming of Greg Capullo for his long Bat-stint working alongside Snyder, there’s a sneaking chance he’s outdone himself with Death Metal #2. The sheer amount of over-the-top insane imagery is mind-boggling, and DEMANDS readers stop and gaze upon its glory before hurriedly turning the page. The colors by FCO Plascencia are exquisite, too, and leap off the page. Dark Knights: Death Metal #2 is the total package from start to finish, and if you haven’t started banging your head to its thunderous riffs yet, woe unto you!
Dark Nights: Death Metal #2 is, quite simply, the head-bangingest, most joyously over-the-top epic solo of a comic we've all been waiting for in a summer bereft of big popcorn movie fun! DO NOT MISS THIS!
Dark Nights: Death Metal #2: Altars of Madness
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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