Dark Nights Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1
Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Peter J Tomasi, Marguerite Bennett, Frank Tieri, Daniel Warren Johnson and Garth Ennis
Art by Tony S Daniel, Riley Rossmo, Jamal Igle, Francesco Francavilla, Daniel Warren Johnson and Joelle Jones
Colors by Marvelo Maiolo, Ivan Plascencia, Chris Sotomayor, Mike Spicer and Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh, Dave Sharpe, Andworld Design, Rus Wooton and Rob Steen
I am Here – The Batman Who Laughs begins his journey to his final form. An ascension that will have him reach to every Dark Batman across the dark multiverse until he discovers his true and final purpose. A purpose that will inflict his greatest trauma across the multiverse.
A beautifully dark and disturbing story that is lyrical and twisting in its telling like a snake moving towards a victim before the final strike. Moving, revelatory and intensely scary, Scott Snyder showcases the danger facing the multiverse and gives the reader a real sense of dread in the power of its purpose.
King of Pain – Alfred relays the events that led to a massive battle with the most depraved, violent and vicious enemy Gotham has ever faced, Bruce Wayne.
The story is interesting and fun in a dark way. While the story is executed well and the premise is solid, there wasn’t too much to make this character stand out as something to fear beyond “what would happen if Bruce Wayne was born a sociopath?”
Batmanasaurus Rex – After a devastating accident in the Batcave, a broken and dying Batman has to find some way to save his magnificent brain. What follows is a new Dark Knight with power, strength and a new mission to deliver some prehistoric justice to the residents of Arkham.
I don’t know what tone Marguerite Bennett was trying to strike with this story, but I found it hilarious. I know there are a lot of dark things happening in the story and the art by Jamal Igle reflects that darkness brilliantly, but the premise is so laughable on its face that the seriousness of the tone just made everything funnier.
This Man. This City. – In a dark future, Gotham is overrun by crime and destruction. Bruce Wayne watches his city burn and is confronted by his son Damian who knows he’s failed at being Batman. Bruce knows the only way to save Gotham is to do something unexpected, he must become Gotham.
Frank Tieri does a great job with this story. It’s so interesting that I wished it had been longer. I wanted to see more of the effects of Bruce becoming a living city and what that not only does to the people, but also to his psyche.
Road Warrior – Batman decides that protecting the people requires being a part of every aspect of their lives. When the people revolt and destroy his mechanized creations, Batman finds his consciousness trapped in the last body left to him, a rolling nightmare.
This is another story that is more humorous than disturbing. It does a great job of building the world, but there isn’t much Daniel Warren Johnson can do within it and the character is too laughable to be taken seriously.
I Shall Become… – Batman always has a plan for the eventuality of his own demise. A plan that will always have a Batman protecting Gotham and that plan goes into effect with the consciousness and skills of Bruce Wayne being transferred into a new body. A new body that will have some growing pains.
I want to believe Garth Ennis intended this story to be funny because it was. From the first few panels by Joelle Jones, I knew this was going to be something different and unexpected and was not disappointed. A funny and interesting short that definitely lightens the mood.