DC Comics is doing their Dark Nights: Death Metal event a little differently by featuring many one-shot stories that are relatively necessary to read to enjoy the series, but can be skipped if you’re strapped for cash. The latest one-shot features the main story and a backup that tie into the grand omniverse that is in turn tied to the multiverse the Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua are hellbent on destroying. Things have changed of late in the event, though, as Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs are fighting to see who is the true apex predator. The events in Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God #1 may determine if the heroes have a fighting chance.
If you’re a fan of the multiverse in DC Comics, you’re going to want to read this. You’ll also love it. James Tynion IV and Jesús Merino start their story where Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 left off as the Batman Who Laughs is now powered up to a god-level threat. With so much power in his hands, the heroes who have been fighting up to this point are ants to him and it’s time for a knock-down, drag-out fight with Perpetua! In true comic book fashion, the two spend much of this issue sparring with their fists and also beating each other with planets. It’s kooky, outrageous, superhero stuff.
While that’s happening, Tynion focuses on a new character who may be even more powerful than the main villains of this event, but he’s impartial. Similar to The Watcher in Marvel Comics, this character enters the story to learn what he can of our universe before it is destroyed. Their journey in this story is interesting if you like high-level storytelling, and it’s a proper way to prepare readers for the final act of this event. This character effectively adds a new point of view on the event while also reminding us what the stakes are. It also adds new wrinkles to the hierarchy of power in the universe as well as new possibilities outside of the Multiverse. It’s mind-bending stuff.
Super-fans are going to love who we get to see this new character interact with and Merino does a bang-up job rendering them all. Merino’s style is a bit simpler than the common hyper-detailed fair, but that adds a sense of dreamlike wonderment to the tale that works.
Following this story is a backup by Bryan Hill and Nik Virella that plays into the next chapter in the event well. Green Lantern fans are going to want to read this one simply to keep track of where the characters are at. Given they are one of the most powerful police forces in the DC Comics universe it’s nice to see they haven’t been forgotten during the event.
DC Comics has done well to pull off an even that is made up of more one-shot stories than the event itself. Add Death Metal: Rise of the New God to the list of good comics storytelling that adds weight and stakes to an event that can feel unseemly and hard to fathom.
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