Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights Metal #1 – Scott Snyder, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Writers; Karl Mostert, Penciller; Trevor Scott, Norm Rapmund, Inkers; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The Dark Multiverse anthology wraps up—for now—with a story that takes on the most recent event. The sequel to Metal is just about to wrap up, so why not revisit the original now? This takes the ending as the divergence point, with the heroes failing to turn back Barbatos’ invasion. The Earth fell, followed by just about every other world in the multiverse. The heroes have been transformed into horrible monsters, including a Gorgon Wonder Woman and a massive dragon-like Batman puppeted by Barbatos. The only hero remaining? A mysterious Monitor wearing a stolen armor and traveling from world to world trying to save them—and failing. Under the mask? None other than Duke Thomas.
Duke is a smart choice for the lead here, being a relatively new character for whom Metal was his intro into the larger scope of the DCU. He’s also one of the more optimistic heroes in Batman’s network, and it’s brutal to see him lose hope and start to succumb to the darkness here. But that may turn around when he discovers that there are other surviving heroes—surprisingly, most of whom are taken from the recent Justice League arc. A punk-rock themed Nightwing is joined by Hawkgirl—who is protecting a feral Hawkman—a Detective Chimp fused with Red Tornado, and a Flash who has run himself to the bone. Literally. He’s a skeleton held together by the power of the Speed Force.
Once Duke is ready to rally the troops to make one last stand against Barbatos and his dragons, this issue kicks into high gear with an absolutely crazy finale that involves the famous Joker Dragon. The visuals are phenomenal, but the writing team does a great job of capturing the feeling of hopelessness and screaming against the void that makes the best of these one-shots succeed. This isn’t just an “Everyone dies” rehash, it’s a bold new take on just how bad things could have gone. The ending should be very satisfying for anyone who was tired of watching Tempus Fuginaut monologue while everything falls apart around him. Overall, between this and the Crisis on Infinite Earths one, they saved the best for last.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.