(+++ WARNING: This review for Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 contains some slight spoilers. +++)
Wonder Woman versus The Batman Who Laughs. To the death! And another explanation of what the new DCU will look like going forward, in case you didn’t get that message explained enough in the last issue.
But before the final curtain there’s still time to include the odd last minute revelation that helps to explain to readers all these changes. Of course, its more exposition contextualised within the colour world of superheroes point of view rather than the crueller corporate reality. A reality that involved mass layoffs and the reappropriation of publishing plans put forward by Dan DiDio before his own sacking. It’s rather ironic that good triumphs over evil, while those of us following the layoffs at DC Comics would argue the triumph is the other way around. We get a new DCU, but at what cost?
But I digress. After all, fans are probably picking this up because it’s been such a big, bombastic blockbuster that sees the DCU reforming. And reforming for a good time to come, one hopes. I lived through both the New 52 and DC Rebirth and now the new reality coming out of the dust of the old DCU. I’m not too sure I could live with a further resetting any time soon.
So, onto the comic and Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, good-bye (for now) to DC Comics; with a little help from Jonathan Glapion (on inks) and FCO PLascencia (on colours). It’s another drawn out and well drawn issue, with familiar faces teaming up with equally familiar foes for one last push. One last excuse to throw into the mix some of the outrageous and amazing alternative universe doppelgängers that we have seen come through in this series’ various and plentiful one-shots. Many of which were more than just a tie-in but produced some great tales. Especially Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Secret Origin #1 I reviewed recently here. A great “summer” event all round.
And while this is most definitely Wonder Woman’s ultimate triumph, Snyder and Capullo give themselves away and their love for Batman by including a good deal of Bat family members too. After all, the prequel series to this was more Batman heavy. But, this has been a pleasant change with Princess Diana coming to the fore. Something DC Comics have been working on for a while, what with her being revealed to be the DCU’s first ever superhero, appearing in another Snyder penned tale a while back now in last year’s Wonder Woman #750. Although there is some silliness still included with the revelation of “the Hands”; a cosmic group that includes any hand-at-the-dawn-of-time we’ve ever seen in a DC Comic. When Diana kicks the “Cosmic Hand of Creation” glowing, gigantic hand into The Batman Who Laughs face, he’s not the only one laughing. But, this is a slight criticism for a comic that delivers epic panel after panel of dynamic, down and dirty fighting on such as cosmic scale.
Where once Superboy-Prime punched Jason Todd back into existence, Diana’s punches the power out of her new nemesis, and knocks him through time itself. All done across a number of widescreen panels and splash pages that really do put across the scale of this last battle. Plus a good dose of Kirby crackling only helps emphasis the cosmic element to this fist fight.
Whatever crisis the DCU faces, each time there always seem to be some kind of space and time travelling element to the reforging of the universe and this concluding issue is no different. Diana’s fight is the hook up the whole new DCU is being hung upon. She is literally smashing a new DCU into existence. That, and a great imagination.
Overall this is the brave and bold conclusion we are promised and it does not disappoint. The surprise inclusion of not one but two epilogue illustrated by Yanick Paquette and Bryan Hitch respectively, which only cements this series even further in my mind as a great example of a DC crisis done right. And, the winner of any category for “Best Event Comics of the Year”. If we did one.
Snyder pulls together all of his dangling threads from way, way back to the start of his Justice League run to forge a fond and respectful farewell to DC Comics, for now. In his time at DC Comics Snyder has managed to leave his mark. Something not all writers do. But, with his Court of Owls, the extend cosmic family of the Monitor and Anti-Monitor, the Sixth Dimension versions of the Justice League and so, so much more, it’s no surprise his last, great mark is in reforging the DCU itself from the bottom up. Nice leaving gift, Scott.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 is out now from DC Comics