We’ve reached the penultimate issue of Dark Nights: Death Metal and it’s all down to an all-out war on the battlefield. The Batman Who Laughs is fighting for domination of our multiverse as he attempts to wrestle it from the fingers of Perpetua while Wonder Woman seeks a silver bullet to stop him with Lobo. Oh, and every hero we know and love is fighting for their lives against evil constructs of the Batman Who Laughs. It’s an all-out war in the event series as it prepares for the final showdown.
People forget that in many ways, this is Wonder Woman’s event. She’s the focal point in this issue, but really, she has been throughout. Here, she’s attempting to get an edge on the Batman Who Laughs who is more powerful than ever as he’s been bonded with Dr. Manhattan’s powers. It’s about as out-there and zany as comics can get, which is exhibited in the character shooting energy blasts at Perpetua as they float amongst asteroids in space. The issue builds well with hundreds of heroes fighting newly-formed threats made by the Batman Who Laughs, culminating into a refreshed showdown for the final issue. Both sides end up with new cards to play, which should make for an exciting finale.
Fans of Greg Capullo get a lot of treats in this issue with multiple pages of many characters littered on the page fighting for their lives. You’ll find yourself lingering more than once trying to make out who is fighting who and soaking in the action. The Batman Who Laughs vs. Perpetua scene is quite pretty thanks to some wild color choices by FCO Plascencia. If you’re a fan of details, this book has it in droves, which includes the aid of Jonathan Glapion on inks. A side effect of the hyper-detailed scenes with many characters is how they make full-page splashes even more epic.
One problem I’ve had with certain chapters in this event is how stuff sort of just happens without setup, and unfortunately, you get that here. There isn’t enough done to set up a choice Wonder Woman makes to make it feel personal or meaningful — instead, it’s a moment that leads to a badass ending that doesn’t feel earned. Losing yourself in the big and loud event is the best tactic when reading this since it is bombastic and over-the-top for a reason. It’s escapism turned to 11. Knowing this is possibly the last time Snyder and Capullo will play with these characters gives the added benefit of going out on top bigger and louder than anything they’ve done before. For that, this is an exciting, way over-the-top experience.
Further adding to that, this event works on a scale that’s zoomed out from the characters. Like The Sandman in some respect, this event has played around with good vs. evil and ideas about hope and caring for one another. The captions in this issue get into that element, focusing on prayer and the desire for the fight we undertake, win or lose, to mean something. That it is building towards a win in the long run even if the defeat is insurmountable. You get the sense Snyder is writing this story to imbue a sense of hope in us all, be it as a result of the U.S. election, the pandemic, or anything else humanity waits in anticipation for an ending to result.
When it comes to comic book events, this story has gone as big as possible, thrusting our heroes into a situation that is so dire their very molecules may not make it out unscathed. Dark Nights: Death Metal #6 offers all-out war, incredibly detailed art, and a setup for the final showdown fans of big blockbusters will need to read to believe.
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