Published on August 18th, 2020 | by Andrew Bistak
Dark Knight Death Metal Guide Book Review
Summary: The Dark Knight Death Metal Guide Book gives the reader some much needed back story to the main series but more importantly, is a great read from its assembled talent!
A sharp read!
The key to understanding our strange new world—and perhaps saving it—lies in the hands of the mysterious figure within this Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook preview.
The Dark Knights Death Metal Guide Book is another snapshot into the immersive “dark” multiverse created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo with a collection of fun stories. The first story is written by Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson with art by Doug Mahnke and tells the story of how the Justice League lost to the cosmic goddess, the mother of the multiverse, Perpetua as the skies of Earth grew dark again. It is also narrated by Lex Luthor who was responsible for freeing Perpetua from her prison.
He unleashed all hell on the heroes of magic
– Lex Luthor
And when the skies opened up on Earth so did the dark Batmen who swarmed the world. Not even the Justice League Dark or the Teen Titans could stop this army from the dark multiverse. And when Superman fell, the last heroes of Earth realised that their only hope was to surrender in order to buy more time and hopefully restore their world to normality. All told, it took about a week for the world to fall under the control of The Batman Who Laughs.
– Lex Luthor
While the remaining heroes were hunted down and imprisoned inside New Apokolips, so were the villains of Earth who were cast into a new hell built from the ashes of Themyscira. The story ends with Lex asking Lobo to find the last pieces of death metal before The Batman Who Laughs, including Superman’s antagonist putting together his own legion again that includes Braniac, Sinestro, Gorillia Grodd and Cheetah. This story continues in Justice League #53 and provided a great insight into the first issue of Dark Knights Death Metal that was not only well written but superbly illustrated.
Next up is a clever story about Harley entitled Harley Quinn In Metal Queen of the Desert by Chip Zoarky with art by Khary Randolf. This dark tale starts with Harley looking for the missing Suicide Squad in the Arkham Wastelands as she has been sent here by Dr Arkham, another dark Batman who is obsessed with experimentation.
While Harley does find the Suicide Squad, she also discovers that they have received a power-up courtesy of this poisoned wastelands and when it literally hits the fan for Harley, her hyena becomes a mutated dog that rescues her from the clutches of a dangerous Captain Boomerang. Writer Chip Zoarky should be commended on creating a “cute” yet dangerous Harley story in this dark universe.
The next story focuses on Aquaman in a story called The Seven Seas and is written and drawn by Becky Cloonan that sees our favourite King go up against a hideous underwater Batmonster who happens to be a mutated giant octopus. If you thought Bat Rex was crazy, wait to see you this dark Batman! Unfortunately this creature has the upper hand on Aquaman that ends with our King abiding by the wishes of this hideous creature. While this story was a little short, I’m sure it will be followed-up in the main series or one of the spin-off titles… hopefully.
The next story focuses on Poison Ivy who escapes her prison, only to be chased down by Wonder Woman. However when Ivy finally does escape her prison, she discovers why Wonder Woman was holding her captive because when she is freed, she finds herself on a desert devoid of plant life. Wonder Woman promises that they will take back their world and gives Ivy a gift, a small part of The Green to help nurture and become its caretaker. Well written, the author Vita Ayala captures both characters well and artist Dan Panosian brings the story to life in this dark and twisted world of Dark Knights Death Metal.
The final story revolves around Batman and Jonah Hex in a tale entitled Dragonlance as our Dark Knight asks for the help of this new resurrected cowboy order to find the crypt of heroes and avoid dying at the hands of the Joker Dragon! With the odds against then, Batman gives Jonah one last bullet that is made of white lantern energy.
While Hex was raised from the dead by Batman with his Black Lantern Ring, Bruce gives Jonah the pep talk he needs to help take down the dragon and also help our Dark Knight reclaim the world. This story by Christopher Priest and Eduardo Risso is another small puzzle in the main Dark Knight Death Metal series and while short is an entertaining read.
If you’re enjoying Dark Knight Death Metal, the Dark Knights Death Metal Guidebook is a must have comic that puts more content on the main series and more importantly is a totally enjoyable read from start to finish.