We are one week away from the next chapter in Dark Nights: Death Metal #5, but before we get it it’s time for Lobo to take charge in Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! #1! This is the off-the-wall kind of comic that asks the question, “If you can have lots of Batman variants, why not Lobo variants?” This one-shot is an anthology featuring three stories that connect in an outrageous adventure tying back to Lobo’s appearance in Dark Nights: Death Metal #3. It seemingly serves as a one-shot with the tenacity to tie into the event, but is it must-read material?
This entertaining reads opens with a story by Frank Tieri and Tyler Kirkham a Bat-Bastich for Lobo to tussle with. This Batman-Lobo is the main antagonist in the story and sets in motion a chase sequence as Lobo attempts to nab some important Nth metal. It features some clever humor — “What is this, Frazetta Batman?!” — and some obvious dirty humor only Lobo could pull off in a DC comic. Lobo is a dirty, immoral, and an otherwise jerk of a hero, but the creative team does well to capture he’s still on the good-guy side. The violence gets a bit graphic too, further cementing this as one of the more “metal” books in the event.
The script naturally moves on to a story by Becky Cloonan and Rags Morales that features Hawkman and a surprise alternate Lobo for Lobo to tussle with. It’s yet another bonkers story of violence and Lobo attitude. Colors by Andrew Dalhouse add nice volume to the realistic-looking figures and surroundings by Morales. This tale does a decent job connecting Hawkman and his knowledge of Nth metal to the narrative, though it is a brief scene.
Moving on, the next story takes the multiverse idea and flips it on its head, revealing what Lobo can do with the Nth metal and its reality-altering abilities. Titled “Lobo Land,” if you’re wondering how DC Future State might spring from this event this might be the issue to start with. Sam Humphries gets to write a few alternate origins on the trinity but they are Lobo-fied. The art by Denys Cowan — with colors by Chris Sotomayor — is gritty and speckled with dirt and grime. The old school look helps pull off origin stories in the darkest way imaginable. Frankly, this story is so good it’s worth the price admission alone. Bill Sienkiewicz inks and you can tell, bringing that old school feel.
Closing out the book is an epilogue that connects with the opening story, raising the stakes. The art is a tad confusing; the last panel needs some extra eyeballing to figure out what is going on, but it’s nice to see the first story wrap up.
If you’re unfamiliar with Lobo or don’t have a childish sense of humor you may want to skip this book. Lobo’s sensibility is to be crass and a bit angry so his conversations tend to be a bit one-note and pointless. That said, if you don’t like Lobo and are still picking this up…why?
Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is a unique multiverse experience framing the “main-man” as the reluctant hero in a story filled with offensively crass versions of Lobo. It’s flawed, but an engaging tale that’s creative in its attempt to show how Lobo would taint the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.
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