After days of teasing, DC finally announced what we’ve all been expecting since Scott Snyder’s Justice League wrapped: Dark Nights: Death Metal, the follow up to the gonzo 2017-18 crossover Dark Nights: Metal, the event that introduced the Dark Multiverse to the DC cosmology, a nightmare version of the DC Universe full of Bat-themed baddies.
If Metal read like it was born out of Greg Capullo whispering “memento metal” into Snyder’s ear as they walked into a DC writer’s retreat, then Death Metal sounds like what happens when Capullo trebuchets a milk crate full of Megadeth records through a brooding Snyder’s living room window, convincing the writer to become what his enemies fear most: totally fucking brutal.
In case you haven’t been following Metal or Justice League for the past few years, here’s a refresher:
Metal saw evil-Batman versions of the entire Justice League from the Dark Multiverse invade the regular Multiverse and attempt to destroy it. These dark Batmen marched under the leadership of The Batman Who Laughs, a Jokerized version of Bruce who went mad and killed his entire family on his own Earth. The miniseries also featured a giant Hawkman battling the Monitor and Anti-Monitor’s brother, the Forger of Worlds, as well as the dark bat god from “Dark Knight, Dark City” wailing on his axe to start the destruction of the Earth. Oh, and Batman punched a Joker dragon in the nose. While our heroes defeated the evil Batmen in the end, the Dark Multiverse survived, The Batman Who Laughs continued to terrorize the DCU through Snyder’s Justice League run, and a giant hole was punched in the Source Wall, the barrier that kept an even bigger threat from invading the universe.
Snyder used Justice League as a brief, calm interlude — just kidding, this 39-issue run is totally nuts. The Legion of Doom, led by Lex Luthor, is back, working to convince the universe that everything is terrible, so we should all be selfish dicks. Luthor does this to curry favor with Perpetua, mother to the Monitor kids and all-powerful being now freed of her imprisonment in the Source Wall and looking to remake the Multiverse to increase her power.
The Justice League fights this new threat by traipsing through the Multiverse (with a brief foray into the Sixth Dimension) to gather allies and use the hope they inspire to seal Perpetua once again. Long story short, Lex spends more than half of the Justice League run wearing Martian Manhunter like a speed suit, the League loses, everything is terrible, and it ends with the League heading into the Dark Multiverse for their final battle.
Meanwhile, Apex Lex Luthor uses the Legion of Doom’s considerable resources to go to war with The Batman Who Laughs and his Jokerized Justice League (Commissioner Gordon, Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Supergirl, Hawkman, and Shazam) in James Tynion IV and Steve Epting’s Hell Arisen. The Batman Who Laughs is the last outstanding threat to Perpetua’s master plan, and Lex is at presently working to neutralize it.
Death Metal presumably picks up from there, with Capullo, inker Jonathan Glapion, and colorist FCO Plascencia reuniting with Snyder and reforming the New 52/Last Knight on Earth comics supergroup.
“I’ve been waiting to do this story since we finished Dark Nights: Metal,” said Snyder. “As much as it was a complete event, we left some threads hanging there for sure. I’d hoped that if people liked the first series enough, we’d have a chance to set up something bigger, and that’s our plan for Death Metal.”
The new series will run for 6 issues, starting in May, taking August off, and concluding in November. Snyder has confirmed that, while the first Metal event was Batman-centric, Death Metal will focus on Wonder Woman in a big way:
As you’ll see from the art below, Diana is certainly taking center stage this time around. We can’t wait!
“For all of us, Dark Nights: Death Metal is about the fun factor,” adds Capullo. “Comics should be fun, bombastic, and over-the-top. This series is going to be exciting and jam-packed with great ‘metal-esque’ moments that will make fans lose their minds when they see them.”
Preview art for this book shows Wonder Woman swinging a chainsaw around with her lasso, as Superman has one Darkseid arm and his cape wrapped around his knuckles, and Batman is cosplaying as the reaper that Blue Oyster Cult so insistently demanded I not fear. Check out the art below: