Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Greg Capullo, Penciller; Jonathan Glapion, Inker; FCO Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
Ray: It’s been a long, wild road of over ten years since Scott Snyder made his debut as a DC writer and nine years since he and Greg Capullo partnered to give us an iconic Batman run. Now it all comes to a close with this final issue of their masterpiece cosmic event. The DCU has largely fallen against an army of twisted doppelgangers, and the last hope stands with Wonder Woman. Newly powered up as something beyond human, she confronts the Darkest Knight in one last battle beyond time and space, while the surviving heroes battle on at ground zero. While Diana’s segments are haunting, almost dreamlike, the Earth segments are painfully gritty and surreal. It’s one of the best depictions of heroes at war I can remember.
Superman and Batman, on their last legs, get phenomenal moments, but this issue belongs to Diana in more ways than one. The Darkest Knight tries to tempt her, claiming to be the multiverse’s savior against the mysterious beings known as the Hands, who are coming to destroy it. The Hands are mostly kept in shadow, something older and more powerful than even Perpetua (who ultimately became a footnote to her rival villain). His temptation seems rooted in nostalgia, in comfort, much the way Hal Jordan’s Parallax tempted the heroes back in Zero Hour—and the way the worst elements of comic fans often call back to. But Diana chooses something else, something messier and more beautiful than stasis, and is rewarded for it.
I’m kind of sorry one of the best moments of the issue—and one of the best moments in recent Big Two comics memory—is spoiled on the cover, because it’s a stunning segment. What’s left is a very different DCU, one that leaves a lot of unanswered questions to be filled in by other writers. But the little we see of it is incredibly promising. It’s a world where the true scale of the universe is realized at last, where the line between heroes and villains can be blurred, and where everyone is present—with one major exception. Diana isn’t gone, but this issue sets up a very different future for her. I’m not sure how this new change to her status quo will be received, but if this is the final traditional Wonder Woman story for a while, it’s one of the best she’s had in a long time. This is destined to go down as one of the very best comic book events of all time, alongside the legendary Crisis on Infinite Earths.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.