Spoiler! In the first issue of Dark Nights: Death Metal, Wonder Woman ran an enchanted, invisible, chainsaw through The Batman Who Laugh’s torso. Yep, she had enough of the twisted version of Batman, and put an end to his reign. But, um, this is comics, and this was the first issue. So, obviously, Diana’s actions are going to backfire. And quickly into Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo show the ramifications. It’s worse than you think.
The Batman Who Laughs is No More. Long Live the Batman Who Laughs!
Seriously, lots of spoilers coming ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ready to continue? Okay. What could possibly be worse than the merging of Bruce Wayne and the Joker? How about Bruce Wayne, the Joker…and Dr. Manhattan!?!?! Yep, there’s a Dr. Bruce Manhattan (?). The other Dark Knights, in a move similar to Avengers + X-Men: AXIS, put the Batman Who Laugh’s brain and put into the Blue Bruce Wayne’s body. Resulting in this:
Well, it can’t get worse than this. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
But if a blue Batman Who Laughs seems terrifying, it gets worse. The now all-powerful villain abandons his name and his appearance and becomes a new kind of monster altogether: the Darkest Knight.
It got worse. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
This is bad news. The Darkest Knight isn’t just a threat to the remaining heroes; he is now even a threat to Perpetua, the god who the Batman Who Laughs the ability to reshape the world after Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. We don’t know what the Darkest Knight will do with his newfound power, but it can’t be good news for Wonder Woman and Batman—even if Batman has a zombie army.
Death Metal #2 Proves that Wonder Woman and Batman Need to Communicate
Jonah Hex is just wondering why he’s in this panel. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
We don’t know why yet, but Wonder Woman and Batman avoid each other as much as possible. But Wonder Woman realizes that for her plan to succeed, she needs Batman. And Batman, by himself, doesn’t have the power, strength, or flat-out bravery to face The Batman Who Laughs. Also remember, they don’t yet know that their adversary is even more powerful now. An obsessive Batman, even when he is doing what he thinks is best, is dangerous. For instance, how can this not backfire:
I’m a sucker for good Lord of the Rings reference. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
Bruce recreated the original Nightmare Batmen, the Dark Knights, from Dark Nights: Metal, all of whom caused widespread death and destruction. But one of the secrets he kept close to his bat-nipples is his bunker filled with Toymaker’s inventions, including the giant Justice League robot from Metal. In Metal, the Snyder and Capullo used the robot for a cool opening, and then we didn’t see it again. Get ready for some kind of crazy battle.
The Justice League are Slowly Coming Together Again in Death Metal #2
This is a pretty cool Justice League lineup. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
One more character joins the fight—Barry Allen, the Flash. With how bleak this series already is, seeing Barry return added a bit of light and hope. Part of Wonder Woman’s plan requires speed. But this is about more than the Justice League coming back together. We’re seeing the team grow exponentially. Soon, the Justice League will be like the Avengers during the final battle in Endgame—everyone! We already have three Flash’s, Jonah Hex, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn, and more. Who else will join the battle?
Death Metal #2 is mostly a stage setter, but even at that, it’s really fun. Between this and Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #1, it’s a great week for comic book events.
Grade: Triple-Flash Hug!
(Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
(Featured Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.