Comic Book Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal

Details: This series is currently complete. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/comics/dark-nights-death-metal-2020/dark-nights-death-metal-1 and https://dcdeathmetal.world/

Score: 6.5/10

Dark Knights: Death Metal is DC Comics big comic book event for this year. It is a mess. The prior big annual event was also written by Snyder and that was also a mess. This was an even bigger mess and while entertaining if you read it superficially, it feels too disjointed and pointless. If there was any real point to this series, it is to relaunch the DC Comics universe yet again and to launch an enormous line of toys and action figures.

If you’ve been keeping up with Batman and the Justice League comic books over the last few years, you’d be aware of the character known as The Batman Who Laughs. He’s basically an evil Batman from a parallel universe with all of Batman’s intelligence, but none of his morality. The Batman Who Laughs has obtained god like powers and threatens the entire DC Comics multiverse. Now the heroes and villains must band together to fight him and his nightmare forces.

After reading this, it’s clear to me that Snyder’s forte is writing horror, not large scale science fiction. Scott Snyder first met success at DC when he wrote for the main Batman book. His run on Batman is considered one of the best runs on Batman in its history. The story arcs here that got the most praise were the dark ones that were full of that horror atmosphere and yet had an optimism that permeated those stories.

Snyder later moved on to Justice League and the Death Metal annual miniseries’ which were books that mostly turned me off. They were just so scatterbrained. Snyder writes all these plot points that build up almost instantaneously and offer lackluster, unearned payoffs. It’s a weakness that I’ve also seen in Jonathan Hickman’s stories where the writer just tries to cram in too many ideas into a story and what you get is a half assed story that doesn’t do justice to any individual plot point. There’s too many things going that were set up poorly.

The same is true in Death Metal. There are too many cameos, plot points, development, references to past comics, all bereft of any competent setup. It all just ends up feeling cheap rather than what was like intended to be an epic moment. Of Snyder’s DC books that he’s written since leaving Batman, it was The Batman Who Laughs that I enjoyed the most. That was a small, intimate story with horror tones and ample character development. Death Metal lacks all that. It feels like Snyder constantly overreaches and throws in poorly researched elements of DC Comics history and glues them together for an incohesive story.

The art is great. I always enjoy Capullo’s art. It’s a shame that the story is so scatterbrained because good art cannot shine in a comic book with at least a somewhat decent story behind it.

Overall, this book was disappointing. Ultimately, this book exists solely to relaunch the DC Universe yet again in hopes of drawing in new readers, providing new stories to old readers, and to sell a ton of new toys.

Comic Book Review: Superman: Secret Identity

Details: Written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Stuart Immonen. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/superman-secret-identity-2004/superman-secret-identity

Score: 7/10

Superman: Secret Identity is story about what would happen if someone gained Superman’s powers in the real world and how that person would live their life. It’s a nice story that reminds me of the recent book, Spider-Man: Life Story, excep thtat this book takes place in the real world versus a comic book continuity.

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Comic Book Review: Superman: Year One

Details: More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/comics/superman-year-one-2019/superman-year-one-1

Score: 6/10

How the hell did Frank Miller get here? He is one of the most legendary writers in the comic book industry and yet he can’t seem to write decent dialogue. It sound super fake and antiquated, like someone is trying to imitate a 1930’s gangster. It’s tough to sit through. I got through the first two issues all right, but that last issue was painful.

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Comic Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us

The above clip is just a preview for Grounds Zeroes I found on the DC Comics YouTube page.

Details: This is a review of all Injustice: Gods Among Us series. There are six series with each series ranging from twenty-four to forty issues. The six series are Year One through Year Five and Ground Zeroes. Official site is https://www.dccomics.com/games/injustice-gods-among-us-2013

Score: 6.3/10

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a surprisingly successful comic book series based on the video game of the same name. What’s so surprising about this series is just how successful it was and how much people enjoyed a derivative series based off another property. Usually, these things aren’t all that entertaining, but this series was really fun for a lot of people. I just thought it was okay.

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Comic Book Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race

Details: Started being released in 2015. Published by DC Comics. Written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello. Pencils by Andy Kubert. Nine issues in total.

After Frank Miller’s disastrous run on All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, I’d pretty much given up hope on Frank Miller and the Dark Knight series. Thankfully, Dark Knight III redeems Miller, or should I say that Miller does okay work when he’s supervised by a competent adult.¬†Writing duties for this miniseries fall to Miller and Brian Azzarello. It’s likely Azzarello’s influence that made this series so readable. I’m sure Miller has plenty of good ideas, but like George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels, sometimes you need someone around who can say no to you and tell you when your ideas are stupid.

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