Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 is published by DC Comics, written by Scott Snyder, with art by Greg Capullo, inks by Jonathan Glapion, colors by FCO Plascencia, and letters by Tom Napolitano. With Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman having plunged into the Dark to find the crisis energy to power the Mobius Chair, the rest of Earth’s heroes desperately stall for time. But can they hang in there long enough for the Trinity to come through?
With literally all of creation hanging in the balance, the stakes cannot be higher than they are here. With the superhero genre filled with so many bombastic moments, it is often hard to create the proper energy when situations spiral out to the scope that Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 takes on. Happily, Snyder manages to pen a story that does the magnitude of the situation justice. After a brief recap for any that might have missed some of the spin-off issues, the story’s full effect is thrown at the reader, and it never stops. Whether the reader is following the Flashes as they attempt to out run the One Who Laughs, or Harley and Swamp Thing being pursued by the Robin King, it just builds itself to more and more tension. And then there is Diana.
Ever since issue one, Diana has stolen the story. Despite the comic being labeled as a Batman tale, Diana shines so brightly in Dark Nights: Death Metal #4. Snyder gives the character not only an amazing amount of strength, but equaling her strength with similar measures of compassion and conviction.
While overall the story delivers some great beats and powerful character moments, it isn’t perfect. It so nearly is. But it stumbles hard for me at the end of the book. No spoilers, but it’s an issue I’ve struggled with in comics before, and it is disappointing to see it crop up here to put a tarnish on an otherwise flawlessly delivered story.
While the story delivers a string of excellently crafted moments in it’s own right, these moments wouldn’t land nearly as well without the fantastic work of the art team. From Capullo’s lines and Glapion’s inks to Plascencia’s colors, everything about Dark Nights: Death Metal #4′s visuals knock every moment out of the park. And while this whole story is captured amazingly well, I must give a special shout-out to Capullo’s alternate character design work, particularly with Darksied. This version of the Lord of Apokalipse is the most daunting I’ve ever seen. A gorgeous work in and of it self.
Lastly, we have Napolitano’s letter work. Just as every other aspect seems to be going all-out to deliver something truly special here, the letter work doesn’t lose a single step keeping up. Lots of different bubble designs and fonts are used to give characters their own distinct voices. Each one of these is striking and never done in such a way as to hurt the readability. Napolitano combines this creativity with clarity as he serves up Snyder’s dialogue-heavy script in a clear and easy to follow manner. It is everything one could ask for from a letterer.
When all is said and done, Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 delivers a great character-driven, high-octane story that plows ahead at max speed throughout its pages. Though it does have a minor stumble at the end. Even with this misstep, I can still say I’m looking forward to seeing what the next issue brings. I’ve loved my time with some of these versions of DC’s classic characters and I can’t wait to see more.
Dark Knights: Death Metal #4 is available October 13th wherever comics are sold.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #4
When all is said and done, Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 delivers a great character-driven, high-octane story that plows ahead at max speed throughout its pages. Though it does have a minor stumble at the end. Even with this misstep, I can still say I’m looking forward to seeing what the next issue brings.