Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is the beginning of the follow-up series to Dark Nights: Metal. The issue is published by DC Comics, written by Scott Snyder, with art from Greg Capullo, inks by Jonathan Glapion, colors from FCO Plascencia, and letters by Tom Napolitano.
While Wonder Woman is the warden of hell, which was formerly Themyscira, The Batman Who Laughs reigns supreme over the surface after the world is enveloped by the Dark Multiverse. The Justice League struggles to keep any semblance of order while humanity crumples under the harsh new conditions of the earth. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have all been separated and while there is little hope, they continue to fight to stay alive and take back the world.
Right out of the gate Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 introduces readers to some wild concepts including a chainsaw-wielding Diana and a robot dinosaur with the uploaded consciousness of Batman. Similar to its predecessor, Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is a Batman book; however, the opening issue’s focus on Wonder Woman is a welcome change. For a while now I have been wanting to see Snyder dive more into writing Diana. Her role in Dark Nights: Metal was one of the biggest highlights of the book for me so to see her return and be at the center of the issue is exciting.
Capullo’s Wonder Woman is stunning. Diana has broad shoulders and comes off as an imposing figure. Her spectacular design — chainsaw and all — is incredibly empowering. But even outside of just Wonder Woman, Capullo’s haunting visuals add horror elements to the book. The corrupted versions of Batman look grotesque, with eery, small details that bring the art to life. This, coupled with Glapion’s inks and FCO Plascencia’s colors makes the book incredibly unique. Despite taking place in a dark, cruel world, the pages are vibrant. The color palette primarily uses cool tones so the pops of color don’t feel out of place. The only area that features a warm palette is hell. The fiery oranges reflect beautifully on Diana’s skin and hair, creating vivid blue highlights.
This is a lengthy issue with a hefty script, which is par for the course with Snyder’s writing style. Luckily, Napolitano’s lettering never feels cluttered. My only criticism is that I wish less of the lettering was in red because it can be difficult to read, but even that is nitpicking.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is nonsensical and convoluted, which is everything I wanted from the series. The opening issue does not hold your hand and instead throws readers immediately into the thick of the story, giving almost no background to prior events. That being said, half the fun of comics is not having all of the information. Readers shouldn’t feel discouraged about picking up the book just because they didn’t read the previous event or any of the major books that followed it. At the end of the day, Death Metal #1 is a wild ride and an absolute must-read for DC fans, particularly anyone partial to Wonder Woman and Batman.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is available now everywhere comic books are sold.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #1
At the end of the day, Death Metal #1 is a wild ride and an absolute must-read for DC fans particularly anyone partial to Wonder Woman and Batman.