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Dark Knights Death Metal #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

DC Comics major, world changing event of the year kicks off in Dark Knights Death Metal #1, reuniting the all-star creative team behind Dark Knights: Metal and Batman Last Knight on Earth, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, for an epic encore that is sure to rock your world and the DCU to the core!

Following in the wake of Year of the Villain and Scott Snyder’s run on Justice League, Dark Knights Death Metal #1 plunges us straight into the heart of a dark new DC Universe.  The Earth has been enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, Perpetua is cutting a swathe of carnage across the multiverse, and the Justice League are now almost completely at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity clings on, battling to survive in a hellish, twisted world, while Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman have become separated and continue to fight on against the terrifying horrors of this new reality.

Dark Knights Death Metal #1 rocks right from the outset, quite literally in fact. Scott Snyder weaves an engrossing narrative peppered with intricate exposition that effortlessly draws you into this warped new reality. Wonder Woman is now Queen of the Underworld, the realm which had formally been Themyscira is now a fiery gulag, with cages and pits for those unfortunate enough to have been condemned to its depths by the Batman Who Laughs. Its great to see Diana take centre stage, the banter with her loyal ally — a rather emaciated  Swamp Thing –  is also brilliantly written by Snyder, and the build up to Wonder Woman’s eventual face off with the Batman Who Laughs leaves you in no doubt that Snyder’s firing on all cylinders here. Of course the one, true Dark Knight is waiting in the wings for his moment to strike, and believe me when Batman makes his move everyone sits up and takes notice.

Needless to say artist Greg Capullo brings every aspect of Snyder’s head-banging action-packed script to life in the most amazing ways imaginable. Capullo’s depiction of the Earth, along with its heroes and villains, warped almost beyond all recognition by the Dark Multiverse is an awe inspiring sight. You will find yourself flicking backwards and forwards through the pages as you try and process the sheer scope and scale of everything Capullo has achieved here, together with the inks by Jonathan Glapion and colors by FCO Plascencia, as Wonder Woman challenges a furious dinobot Bat-Rex, Robin’s lurk like grinning gargoyles on the rooftops, the charge of Batman’s undead strike team will blow your mind, and the Batman Who Laughs sinister delight in the chaos he has unleashed is so palpable it almost seeps from the page. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a bit overwhelming, because you’d be right. It is a little. Fear not though, for, if like me you don’t tend to read big comic book events all that often these days, Dark Knights Death Metal #1 does feature an in-depth recap of sorts around the mid-way point, so even if you’ve not read anything leading up to this event, you will be able to jump right in and enjoy it without too much trouble as Snyder has done a superb job in ensuring the big reveal of the new prisoner in the pit provides you with all the backstory you’ll need to bring you up to speed.

Events in Dark Knights Death Metal #1 also build to a thrilling, jaw dropping showdown and cliffhanger that’s so ingeniously orchestrated it will rip your synapses to shreds as it sets the stage for the conflict to come.

The hype and expectation surrounding Death Metal has been phenomenal. Some might argue the Perpetua, Dark Multiverse and Batman Who Laughs storylines have now been milked for all their worth. For me though Dark Knights Death Metal #1 delivers the goods on every level, Snyder and Capullo are on great form, it more than lives up to the hype, and looks set to change the landscape of the DC Universe by the time it concludes next year.

As we begin to take our first cautious steps out of the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown here in the UK its has been nice to enjoy some new comics again. I have to say as well that DC Comics are really knocking it out of the park right now and leading the way with some fantastic new issues and events as the comic book industry begins to restart after the shutdown. Dark Knights Death Metal #1 gets this comic book event off to a fantastic start, and it has all the ingredients that will make it a sure-fire-hit!

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Greg Capullo

Inks: Jonathan Glapion / Colors: FCO Plascencia / Letters: Tom Napolitano

Cover: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook