April 18, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise Of The New God #1 (October, 2020)

The Batman Who Laughs battles Perpetua, but that might not be important right now.

Oh great.  An issue about the Batman Who Laughs now that he’s a cosmic-powered being?  Just what I am least interested in.

Oddly enough, the same is true for the comic itself.

Issue:  Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God #1, October 2020

Writers:  James Tynion IV and Bryan Hill

Artists:  Jesus Merino, Nik Virella, and Vincente Cifuentes

The Plot:  A visitor from outside the DC multiverse appears to chronicle its last days.

Commentary:  Oh, I am so sick of the Batman Who Laughs.  He’s obnoxious, and his general “I can’t be beaten” manner makes him more tiresome than formidable.  Even the issue summary on DC Infinite seems to get that, saying that there’s a rule in the multiverse that Batman never loses.

Batman can lose sometimes.  It’s OK.  I’ve seen it happen.  He’s never as unstoppable as these Dark Multiverse Batmen always seem to be.

Regardless, I think writer James Tynion maybe gets that too.  He and Death Metal mastermind Scott Snyder worked together quite a bit, and he makes a good back-up writer to whatever big saga Snyder is working on.  So, as much as this issue opens with the Batman Who Laughs, now called the Darkest Knight, rising up to slam planets into Perpetua’s face as he thinks he’s the one in charge now, and even given what the title is, this is really about a being called the Chronicler.  He’s a weird alien that works for whoever is behind the multiverse, the beings that sent Perpetua off to create the DC multiverse in the first place and that contained her behind the Source Wall when she didn’t voluntary fizzle out of existence as she was supposed to when her creation work was done.  As such, the issue is really about, well, the history of the DC multiverse, like so many of these side issues have been.

See, the Chronicler’s whole job is to gather information on why this multiverse is ending.  Normally, when he does that, it’s just boring old entropy.  Here, it’s something else:  superheroes.  That’s colorful, but it’s not the same thing, and the Chronicler still has a job to do, extracting knowledge and information from the three beings who have the history of the multiverse in their collective heads, namely the Psycho Pirate, the only being who remembers life before the first Crisis; Brainiac 2, who has his father’s data on cosmic stuff; and finally a revived Metron, who just collected information from the dawn of time.

And then the Chronicler decides to stick around and help for some reason.  Will I see this guy in another issue?  I don’t know.  I somewhat suspect not.  Regardless, this one felt like something of a time waster.

Oh, and the back-up story has the Green Lanterns returning from their own mission and, seeing a need for reinforcements, asking how many of the assembled heroes from across the multiverse would like a Green Lantern ring.

So, not a bad issue, but also something that feels like a pointless one.  I even liked the set up.  I just don’t see how this adds anything to the narrative whole.

Grade:  C+