Wonder Woman is still fighting The One Who Laughs. Everyone else is still bashing said bad guy’s demon hordes. Heroes die. Heroes come back as part of Black Lantern Batman’s gang. Everyone knows reality is going to be rewritten any minute so few folk seem to be taking things seriously.
By the power of Just Because, Diana is a magic yellow giant strong enough to fight an evil cosmic god! But he’s way too powerful to be beaten! He’s punching her through time and everything! But she taps into the indefatigable spirit of her friends and foes and beats him anyway, punching him into a super-sun. Yay Diana! No one is going to rewrite reality in their image today.
Well, except this ‘gal’.
It seems that recreating creation is OK if the galactic god doing it is a fan who’s into Golden Age cosplay. But there’s a price. Wonder Woman must agree to forego her place in the new reality and watch over it from afar. Which means she misses the big party back on the reborn Earth.
I’m sure she plays a mean tambourine, too.
Barry Flash takes Wally Flash to view the latest thing in Superdom…
… and the new DC cosmology is explained.
So it seems the heroes are in for some big headaches, as memories – and old friends and enemies – return. The idea that realities lived by different versions of characters, ‘alternate pasts’, can be recalled by the current version strikes me as a terrible one. By all means have stories that haven’t been referenced in decades brought up once more if there’s a good sequel to be had, but how do you live your life when someone else’s experiences, with the accompanying emotions, are liable to descend at any minute? Are we going to end up with the Justice League of Crazy Janes?
And what’s the sense in the Justice League and Legion of Doom getting together to oversee things? Why would the heroes give villains such as Luthor and Vandal Savage, who want to rule the world, the keys to multiple realities? And how can they be used as antagonists by comic creators when they’re so pally with the good guys?
We’ll see how things go, and if it doesn’t work, fear not, the next reset is due in 2025 or something.
Meanwhile, the final page brings back one of my favourite super-teams, fighting alongside Sgt Rock who, for some reason, has been popping up throughout this series, narrating. So that’s good!
Scott Snyder’s script has some witty lines, the persistence of the heroes in the face of the coming Nonsense Bomb is strangely admirable, and the demise of Formerly Known as The Batman Who Laughs But Actually The Batman Who Bores is much appreciated.
The art for the last battle, by penciller Greg Capullo, inker Jonathan Glapion and colourist FCO Plascencia, has a gnarly energy to it. Their cover, which has a very different tone to the main body of this mini-series, is lovely. Yanick Pacquette takes over for the Golden Age Wonder Woman (she wore culottes, dammit!), party and infodump scenes, and the clean edge he brings is very appealing. Nathan Fairbairn applies bright colours to match the optimism. And Brian Hitch illustrates, and Alex Sinclair colours, the dynamic Second World War scene which closes the book. Tom Napolitano letters every one of the 40 pages with style.
The original Dark Nights: Metal series was advertised as a loud, deliberately silly, summer blockbuster. What was really silly was that it grew and grew, into a two-year project that’s wound up rewriting the DC Multiverse. I haven’t loved everything I’ve read, a lot of it is the very definition of sound and fury signifying nothing – 38 issues of Snyder’s Justice League side series were waved away as unimportant in one panel – but there have been some great moments, often in the tie-in books. And I admire Snyder and Capullo’s mad ambition. With the first Future State books appearing this week, let’s hope the long ride proves to have been worthwhile.