Dark Nights Death Metal Guidebook #1
Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala and Priest
Art by Doug Mahnke, Khary Randolph, Becky Cloonan, Dan Panosian and Eduardo Risso
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by David Baron, Emilio Lopez, Tamra Bonvillain, Luis Guerrero and Eduardo Risso
Letters by Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands, Ferran Delgado and Willie Schubert
The Rundown: A group of stories showcases the new, dark world created by the Batman Who Laughs and how the heroes of Earth struggle to survive it.
The Fall of Earth – A lone figure chronicles the fall of the planet Earth and the attack of the Batmen. He tells the story of how Perpetua defeated the heroes and how they either became slaves to the new order or joined it to save who they could. As the figure chronicles the darkness that the world must live with, he is revealed to be a familiar face working on his own plans to stop Perpetua.
This is a great story that encapsulates everything at the emotional heart of this series including giving a character that seems without remorse a sense of tragedy that you can almost pity him for.
Harley Queen of the Desert – Working for Dr. Arkham, Harley Quinn is sent into the Arkham desert to find any traces of the missing Suicide Squad. The desert is filled with radiation and mutants bent on destroying her including a familiar face, but Harley is going to get some help from an unexpected source.
A fun short story that showcases Harley as a character that keeps her attitude despite her circumstances. Great art from Khary Randolph throughout.
The Umibozu – Aquaman goes in search of an ancient creature that he thinks can help him take back the seas from the dark Batman known as Bathomet.
The story is delightfully short, gets to the point quickly and crafts an interesting ending.
Seeds of Hope – A determined poison Ivy will attempt to escape to the surface. Using a small part of Swamp Thing to make her escape, Ivy will free herself from Tartarus and make her way to the surface. Unfortunately, she is being pursued by someone who is desperately trying to protect her from the truth of the world around her. Someone who offers the villain an act of kindness.
A well done story that showcases the complexity of Ivy as a character as well as Diana’s compassion. Dan Panosian delivers some beautiful art as well.
Dragonlance – Batman travels into the heart of enemy territory to locate a graveyard of fallen heroes. Along for the ride is Jonah Hex who reminds him that the Black Lantern ring he’s carrying is taking from him as much as its giving to him. The two have plenty of time to debate it as they’re pursued by a hungry Joker dragon.
The story does a good job of showcasing the issues Batman faces in the new world, but it never really hits on the effects or consequences.