Heroes & Villains: Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights + More

It’s currently 64 degrees Fahrenheit where I live and there is a small but dedicated group of psychopaths using the community pool adjacent to where I live. In their defence, I suppose, Michiganders will traditionally pull out the short pants and drop the tops on their convertibles once the temperature hits 40.

This week’s column is about space and needing more of it. I’m extraordinarily tired this week, so much so I made the inexcusable sin of screwing up there/their/they’re in the above paragraph. Thankfully, I caught it and am now writing about it to pad out my word count. Now I’ll make an appointment with you for LATER in the week to check out my Figure Friday column because I’ve got some good stuff coming to write about, brother AND/OR sister.

Death-Metal-Legends-of-the-Dark-KnightsDark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights
Various (W/A)
DC Comics

Stealth Gripe! I bet you thought you were going to get my thoughts on why it’s both “Dark Nights” and “Dark Knights” in the title BUT NO! I’ve been trying to get a copy of the last issue of Doom Patrol from DC’s excellent Young Animal imprint for literal weeks now, but thanks to DC ditching Diamond as a distributor and introducing a NEW and CONFUSING ordering system to retailers…my LCS neglected to order the last issue of Doom Patrol.

Anyways, I’ve been trying to get a copy for about a month now but I was informed by my LCS that DC isn’t printing extras. So now I have to order it digitally. Booooo, I say, BOOOOOOO!

So, Legends of the Dark Knights is a whole load of short stories about all the most interesting characters from the first TWO issues of Death Metal. How could that possibly be enough to fill an entire one-shot’s worth of stories? Well, issues one and two of Death Metal included both B. Rex the dinosaur Batman AND the monster truck Batman.

Batmanasaurus Rex by Marguerite Bennett and Jamal Igle was both the perfect length and somehow criminally short at just two pages…but what two pages they were! If B. Rex were a Marvel character he’d be in five monthly titles along with having a Kevin Smith-penned Hulu series that’s already been cancelled before the first episode was even produced. What I’m saying here is I hope DC gives us a B. Rex one-shot or miniseries.

Daniel Warren Johnson brings us Batmobeast (the Batman monster truck) in Road Warrior and having read his book Murder Falcon this really is the perfect…vehicle for him. I’d offer to show myself out but I just may threaten to hold this column hostage until we get a B. Rex/Batmobeast team-up book.

giant-size_x-men_fantomex_vol_1_1_gist_variant.jpgGiant-Size X-Men: Fantomex
Jonathan Hickman (W)
Rod Reis (W/A)

This may be the second or third of the Giant-Size X-books I’ve covered and I cannot reiterate enough that they are INCREDIBLY worth your time if you’re an X-Men fan. The X-books are the best they’ve been in years and you for sure should be reading them. It’s funny that now that the X-Men are in the house that Mouse built the books suddenly got really good again and The Inhumans got dropped like a day-old burrito.

But I digress. Jonathan Hickman is clearly working on these titles like a proverbial man possessed and is an idea factory of near-mythic proportions. Which is fitting since he takes a closer look at one of Grant Morrison’s creation from the New X-Men era of the title…Fantomex. The character was Morrison’s riff on the Italian comic book character Diabolik (MST3K fans will know about this) and later received more fleshing out in Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run.

In this one-shot, Hickman cleverly fills in some gaps in the character’s ever-changing backstory and Rod Reis provides some appropriately trippy visuals inside of Fantomex’s home of The World. The book also stitches together the Morrison and Remender takes of the character into what feels like a cohesive whole. Well, as cohesive as you can get when it comes to Fantomex.

The Giant-Size books are great when it comes to telling stories that wouldn’t necessarily fit in the main, monthly X-Men book and I’m excited to see Marvel actually allowing for more space for these tales to be told. I’m not sure if these titles will all eventually be collected in a giant-Giant-Size collection or if they’ll be included as bonus interludes in other collected editions. It could be an interesting move if Marvel chooses not to collect them and leave them as single issues only.

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