Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman have finally reunited... but are even they mighty enough to defeat not one, not two, but three crises unleashed at once by the mad goddess Perpetua?!
Meanwhile, Harley Quinn, Swamp Thing, Jarro, and Jonah Hex join their assault on Castle Bat... but their assault may have turned into a suicide run when the insane Robin King shows up!
“Crisis” is a loaded word when it comes to DC continuity, and author Scott Snyder doesn’t shy away from that fact in Dark Nights: Death Metal – Trinity Crisis #1. It might seem like something of a nostalgia exercise to revisit (however briefly) the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis – and to an extent, it undeniably is – but in doing so, Snyder is deliberately amping up the stakes for his Death Metal magnum opus. The goddess Perpetua thrives on “crisis energy,” you see, thus she has the ability to recreate crises past as a means of thwarting our heroes.
But honestly, the three crises aren’t necessarily the best part of the story. Sure, they’re fun, and yes, they convey big-time superhero stakes. But they’re the storytelling equivalent of a popcorn movie. Fun, but ultimately empty calories. The real emotional meat of the story revolves around the assault on Castle Bat, and the remaining heroes – Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn, Jarro, and Jonah Hex – realizing they’ve unwittingly arrived at a suicide run when the evil Robin King shows up, in a moment not unlike the arrival of Sauron in the opening battle of The Fellowship of the Ring. There are wonderful moments of humanity, particularly between Harley and Hex, that show our heroes at their best, even up against impossible odds, at the (possible) end with a smile on their face.
Jarro, of course, steals every scene he’s in. Of all Scott Snyder’s contributions to Justice League/DCU lore, he’s easily the best.
Trinity Crisis serves to begin the second act of Death Metal, and does so with a careful balance of cosmic-level craziness and heart. As the story unfolds into a myriad of new directions (there are a total of three one-shot tie-ins this month in lieu of the main series’ fourth issue, which releases in October), the wheels are all spinning, but nothing narratively seems to be spinning out of control just yet. Sure, the story is big and will only get bigger, but right now, Snyder’s hand seems steady at the wheel. Add to it some compelling art from Francis Manapul – always a master of page layout/composition in a way that does the ghost of Will Eisner proud – and you have a fun, though not mind-boggling, comic. And unlike many event series past’s various tie-ins, this one actually matters. If you’re invested in the ongoing Death Metal saga, don’t miss this issue!
Dark Nights: Death Metal - Trinity War #1 is a fun romp through crises past as the stakes are upped, but it also doesn't forget to have some heart and strong character beats. Don't mistake this comic for being a throwaway just because it's a tie-in - it's essential!
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Trinity Crisis #1: Amongst the Catacombs
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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