Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End brings the mainline event’s trio of one-shots to an exhilarating end. All month long, readers have been treated to various oversized specials showcasing the scope and impact Death Metal seems to be having on the greater DC universe. Trinity Crisis focused on the titular heroes as more of a direct extension of the main book, and Speed Metal delivered a “wholesome superhero tale” following the Flash family. Now Multiverse’s End ties everything together through our hero’s final stands for what is left of the multiverse.
Since Death Metal’s beginnings, it has been touted as an “Anti-Crisis” that will shake the multiverse to its core. However, up until this point, the vast majority of the books have solely focused on the main Earth-0 as the battleground. However, Multiverse’s End takes it upon itself to finally deliver a grand multiverse spanning narrative of epic proportions. This issue in particular revolves around the Justice Incarnate and the Green Lantern Corps’ efforts to slow Perpetua’s destruction of reality. The pairing of multiversal heroes such as Captain Carrot and President Superman of Earth-23 alongside the galactic enforcers of Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, and John Stewart leads to some bombastic set pieces and thrilling stakes.
Alongside these epic battles for the fate of the universe, writer James Tynion IV weaves a smart recap of previous plot points. A fair criticism the event has received thus far hinges upon the fact that little legwork has been performed to clue new readers into how the DC universe was plunged into such a crisis. In response, side stories such as these have been filling in the blanks. Here, however, Tynion succinctly ties up all the loose ends anyone might be confused about and deftly places the event within the greater continuity of past Crisis level events. He accomplishes this through engaging style and well-timed humor on the part of the villainous Owlman lurking in the backdrop of the issue.
Paired with Tynion’s thrilling story is Juan Gedeon’s fantastic art. His line work gives the book its own unique texture and imbues the fights with frenetic pacing. You can feel each punch and blast of energy as heroes and villains are tossed asunder. Gedeon’s art also does an exceptional job of conveying emotions; his rendering of characters’ facial features exaggerates them to their absolute limits, which only enhances the impact of the emotions on display. Gedeon’s art style is then given even more depth through the excellent coloring from Spicer. His colors pop off the page and work wonderfully in tandem with Gedeon’s kinetic style.
The only real weak point of the issue can be its expository nature. With this issue serving as a major recap of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run and other relevant stories, longtime readers may come away wanting more. Still, in the case of readers new to the event, the issue definitely does a great job of providing a cohesive summation of Death Metal’s background.
Multiverse’s End also continues the event’s thematic thrust of hope in the midst of despair. Make no mistake, the universe that we know and love is crumbling at the feet of our favorite heroes and despite all odds, they still fight for the good of others. It is encouraging to see this driving theme continue to be woven into each offshoot of the main event and adds a layer of cohesion to the entire grand narrative.
Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End brings another solid one-shot that delves deeper into the event’s stakes for the DC universe. Epic action set pieces for the fate of the universe abound, all delivered through a killer art style.