It is over! After a climatic battle with the evilest version of Batman that ever stalked the multiverse (and ascended to a level of godhood that transformed him into the Darkest Knight), the hard-rocking odyssey of Dark Nights: Death Metal has bowed out. Like any reality-shattering event from DC Comics, Death Metal ended with some big changes for the universes and the people who inhabit it.
What’s different? Well before we buckle down for that, here’s the obligatory spoiler warning, with the rest of the details being below this incredible Doug Mahnke cover of Batman being metal.
Long story short, the Final Knight AKA The Batman Who Laughs, has been defeated. Bruce Wayne’s alternate reality doppelganger was on the verge of destroying everything, had unleashed armies of pure evil on the last remaining heroes and all hope looked lost as he sought to remake reality in his twisted image. Right after he killed the mysterious Hands who shaped the Multiverse that is.
Thanks to Wonder Woman powering up through sheer what energies though, that danger is over and the Batman Who Laughs is dead. Proper dead, shoved through a star that consumed all stories and narratives. Comic books. The Hands finally appeared, hit F5 and reality was reset to a status that can best be described as infinite. Or an Infinite Frontier if you will! So what are the key takeaways here?
Earth’s ultimate line of defense isn’t just reserved for heroes
Sure the Batman Who Laughs may be gone, but who’s going to stop the next big threat? Everyone. The Justice League is expanding, and it’s joining forces with Lex Luthor’s Legion of Doom in a new base situated on the dark side of the moon. The actual satellite, not the Pink Floyd album, and is described as “a shield protecting our world from future threats, manned by its greatest minds.”
Will everyone get along? Probably not, but Earth’s greatest individuals pooling their combined talents makes for a force that won’t be trifled with.
The Omniverse is the new home of the DC Universe
Writer Geoff Johns touched on this in Doomsday Clock, as the reworked reality of DC Comics basically boiled down to a single idea that gave birth to infinite possibilities. Changes within the Omniverse though have resulted in Prime Earth no longer being the center of creation, with that honour now being shared between two mysterious worlds: A Alpha Earth codenamed Elseworld (Kingdom Come and Gotham by Gaslight fans are going to be overjoyed) and an opposite planet that exists right on the other side of the spectrum that has been cooked up.
Could this be the home of DC’s greatest threat, Darkseid, who has yet to be detected in the Omniverse? If Elseworld is the Alpha World of this reality, then an Omega world would be the perfect home for one of the oldest powers in all the multiverses.
With The Hands having reset the doomsday clock, all the heroes who perished in the Anti-Crisis are alive once again. Superman and Batman have rejoined the realm of the living, and the door has been left open for any other previously thought dead character to make a return thanks to the machinations of The Hand. At which point, I’m going to start a fan campaign to bring Uncle Ben back to life in DC.
If you’re bleeding from the nose or frothing at the mouth, then my work here is done.
Forget about Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis or Flashpoint, as the work of all those events has essentially been undone. Every story, no matter how silly or grim, has happened. What this means is that everything matters, that all tales are relevant and all continuity has been folded into one gargantuan collection that even Hypertime can’t solve.
But what this truly means, is that DC’s not concerned with creating a tight and orderly continuity for its comic books. Instead the priority is on storytelling, with a devil may care attitude towards where these tales even fit in. And I’m surprisingly happy with that actually. Not having to worry about where a certain tale or saga fits into the grand picture frees up DC’s creative teams, allows them to push the envelope on what characters can do and are capable of.
Multiple Earths are back in action, the Dark Multiverse still exists, and even Grant Morrison’s wacky as heck 2014 Multiverse map is relevant again. The Multiversity has been restored, and it’s bigger than ever.
Last Updated: January 8, 2021