REVIEW: ‘Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories Of The DC Universe,’ Issue #1

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Last Stories of the DC Universe

Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories Of The DC Universe #1 is an anthology one-shot published by DC Comics. Following the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the heroes of the DC Universe take one last day to make amends with family and friends before battling the Darkest Knight. The stories are bookended by a tale featuring the Teen Titans titled “Together” which is written by Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV, and Scott Snyder, illustrated by Travis Moore, colored by Tamra Bonvillain and lettered by Andworld Design.

“Together” is the story that sets the stage for this one-shot. The Teen Titans have been through various incarnations and fought all manner of tragedies, yet they’ve rarely gotten to do what all teenagers do: hang out and relax. “Together” showcases everyone who has ever been a Titan gathering together to share their memories. From founding members including Donna Troy and Beast Boy to new members like Miss Martian and Blue Beetle, the cast is stacked. Moore juggles all the characters with ease, especially in a double-page spread where he highlights the various incarnations of the Titans and on the end page where they gather together. Williamson, Tynion, and Snyder’s script is immensely heartfelt, putting the spotlight on Donna as she talks about what it means to be a Titan and why they’re more of a family than a team.

There are many great stories within the one-shot, but two, in particular, grabbed my attention. “Dust of a Distant Storm” by Gail Simone, Meghan Hetrick, Marissa Louise, and Travis Lanham features Black Canary and Green Arrow going on their first-ever date (yes, really) before the final battle, while “Man of Tomorrow” by Mark Waid, Francis Manapul and Josh Reed features Superman utilizing time travel to pull off a feat only Superman could accomplish.

“Dust of a Distant Storm,” if you’ll forgive the expression, was like an arrow in the heart. I’ve spoken before about my love for Black Canary and this story is a perfect focus on her relationship with Green Arrow and why it endures. They talk about their lives as superheroes, and how even at the end of things they want to be together. Through all the hardships these two truly love each other and it shows. It helps that Simone has written the characters for years and knows how to find their voices, and Hetrick brings a sense of joy to the proceedings with their facial expressions, particularly when Dinah’s eyes well up with tears or when Ollie looks contemplative while considering popping the question. Rounding out the artistic team is Louise, who bathes the entire scene in warm light. Color often helps set the mood, and even though they may be facing an apocalypse ahead I’m glad the scene was set for Canary and Arrow to have one perfect day together.

With “Man of Tomorrow,” Waid makes his grand return to writing Superman. Waid is a perfect fit for the Man of Steel, digging deep inside Clark Kent’s head and getting his perspective on the end. Even with the imminent end of the world, he’s going to make sure he helps people. Manapul gets to illustrate Superman in all manner of poses, from racing around the world to embracing his wife and son. Manapul also colors his own art, primarily using reds and blues throughout the issue to symbolize Superman’s costume. It’s only fitting that the last story features Superman at his Supermanliest.

Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories of the DC Universe #1 contains several heartfelt tales, as DC’s heroes face the end. Even if you aren’t following Death Metal, I urge you to take a look at this book as it features several meditations on heroism and most importantly family.

Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories Of The DC Universe #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

'Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories Of The DC Universe,' Issue #1
4.5

TL;DR

Dark Nights: Death Metal-Last Stories of the DC Universe #1 contains several heartfelt tales, as DC’s heroes face the end. Even if you aren’t following Death Metal, I urge you to take a look at this book as it features several meditations on heroism and most importantly family.