Dark Nights Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs #1

DC Comics

Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Patton Oswalt, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Saladin Ahmed and Brandon Thomas

Art by Juan Gedeon, Sanford Greene, Char Hardin, Scot Eaton and Thomas Mandrake

Inks by Norm Rapmund

Colors by Mike Spicer, David Baron, Enrica Eren Angiolini Hi-Fi and Sian Mandrake

Letters by Troy Peteri, Josh Reed, Carlos M Mangual and Deron Bennett

The Rundown: A series of dark stories tell the tale of a new dark multiverse where familiar faces encounter unexpected threats.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Multiverse

Robin King decides its time to tell some different stories beyond the ones we all know about the heroes we are all familiar with. Instead, he spins yarns about dark versions of familiar heroes. Versions that take new and destructive paths on their worlds and stories designed to taint the heroes of the universe and usher in a new, dark reality for the universe.

Snyder, Tynion IV and Williamson deliver an impressive intro filled with promise and possiblity. Juan Gedeon punctuates the dark tale with even darker imagery.

Feeding the Beast

Victor Zsasz is ready for whatever awaits him behind the doors of Arkham. In fact, he’s looking forward to what they plan to do to him and eagerly anticipates his transformation. What he finds inside is not what he was expecting. When he discovers that he is not getting the transformation he expected, he confronts the powers that be and discovers that he should have been more careful with what he wished for.

A brilliantly dark and sardonically funny short from Patton Oswalt. The tone is pitch perfect and the pay off is thrilling and entertaining. It’s an interesting take on some classic villains and a sharp indictment of Zsasz’s perceived menace. Even the ending was hilarious. The story is perfectly punctuated by Sanford Greene’s art as the dark beginning gives way to the unassuming before hitting you with the twist.

The Super-Threats

Krypto returns from a deep space mission to discover a floating horror. Seeking help from the Hall of Justice, Krypto discovers his fellow super animals waiting to tell him of the horror they barely survived. Unfortunately, it was a horror they unleashed on the entire world. As Beppo worked on a cure, the world descended into chaos and death. Unfortunately, when Krypto returned, there wasn’t much he could do and to make matters worse, it might not be over.

This was a fun short from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti and showcases some often forgotten characters in the DC universe. It has an interesting and engaging plot that makes it pace and conclusion all the more entertaining. Chad Hardin does great work with the art as well and gives every character a great look.

Hard-Traveled

In a dark future, two kids find themselves out after curfew and are being hunted by emissaries of the new overlords of the Earth, the Guardians. After finding themselves rescued by Green Arrow, they are unable to escape before being confronted by a former friend of the hero and the Earth’s lethal protector. But Oliver Queen is not usually found to be unprepared for a fight and he something special for his old friend.

Short, simple and brilliantly paced, Saladin Ahmed manages to tell a huge story in only a few pages. In those pages he manages to establish conflict, emotion and history before coming to a beautiful conclusion that makes you wish for more. Scot Eaton delivers some impressive art in this story and the final page is breathtaking.

The Fear Index

Scarecrow’s fear toxin blankets the world and the level of fear in any given place determines whether one should leave their house or not. For one young man, he is going to discover how dangerous a night out can be when he is assaulted and his mask removed, exposing him to the toxic air around him and his internal fears. When Steel arrives on the scene and rescues the young man, he tells him that there are many people who experience and process fear differently. Something learned from the dark history of this country. Something that makes the artificial fear the toxin produces something that can be survived.

Brandon Thomas takes an interesting premise and injects it with some hard, but relevant truth about the way some people have had to process fear. It’s a great story with a couple of surprising twists. Tom Mandrake beautifully captures the dark tone and mood of the story with the art.

Dark Nights Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs

9.4

9.4/10

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