If I were awarding a ‘line of the week’ award, it would go to the Penguin.
I think ‘I have a very sharp rock’ is funny even without context – I’m a fan of Terra in Teen Titans Go! – but if you need such, Superman has gathered a squadron of supervillains to raze the earth.
Despite the hard rock – no pun intended – look, the Man of Steel hasn’t turned eeeeeevil. Nope, it’s Crisis time again, and with the planet’s destruction seemingly guaranteed no matter who wins a fight between cosmic gods Perpetua and The One Who Laughs, destroying it first actually gives every creature on it a chance of survival/rebirth.
Just go with it… it’s not like I can explain the ins and outs, such as why Superman and Wonder Woman are adorned by matching oil slicks; I’ve not read this series since the first issue. I hopped on for this one, though, having heard it would feed into the upcoming big multiversal reboot that will relaunch The Line of DC Superstars.
So yes, two deities are having a bit of a barney in the aftermath of the destruction of dozens of universes.
It comes after the ragtag Justice League’s battle against Castle Bat – Gotham City animated by the mind of a (more then usual) twisted Batman.
Happily, Lex Luthor is on hand to save the day…and maybe what remains of the Multiverse.
At the start of Dark Nights: Death Metal I was turned off by the randomness of events. It’s somewhat alarming that I loved this issue, by the same core creative team of writer Scott Snyder, penciller Greg Capullo, inker Jonathan Glapion and colourist Ivan Plascencia.
As well as the bonkers Castle Bat, and pugnacious Perpetua looking like a silhouetted Olive Oyl, there’s a fascinating Lex anecdote, a surprising team up between Wonder Woman and Lobo, and the strangest invaders of Earth ever. I don’t know whether it’s due to the undoubtedly talented creatives pulling their story together, or because I’m four months further into a very strange year, but this issue works wonderfully well for me. OK, I’m not about to go out and buy a tie-in focusing on some annoying little scrote named Robin King, but I was a tad disappointed when the cliffhanger arrived.
Somewhere down the line the Batman Who Laughs seems to have become The One Who Laughs, and his voice must have changed, because letterer Tom Napolitano is no longer required to use the unreadable scratchy red-out-of-black font. There are other fancy letterforms, and Napolitano nails them.
The big action set pieces entertain, while little Easter eggs of nostalgia – Castle Bat’s weapons, Lex’s sketches – add extra enjoyment. And huge credit to the three artists for drawing some proper Crisis crowd scenes – any page that features Red Bee, Anthro and Liberty Belle is more than OK by me. There’s a real energy to the art, but also a delicacy epitomised by the translucent beauty of Wonder Woman.
The cover, by the interior artists, is another winner, a movie poster-style mood piece. The perfect entry point to a weirdly delightful comic book.