Dark Nights: Metal–A Huge Crisis Crossover

If it’s an even-numbered year, it must be time for a multiverse-shattering cross-over event!

It certainly often seems that way. Dark Nights: Metal is so huge that it takes four collections to pull everything together. On the whole, it’s an amazing run with some remarkable observations about some of the DC Universe’s most important characters and their relationships.

In the history of DC crisis crossover events, Dark Nights: Metal is likely to stand out as the one which most freaked out the readers. Metal takes elements from the history of the DC universe, literally upends them, adds fresh perspectives, and then pushes them through a meat grinder of terror and villainy. Dark Nights: Metal is not for the faint of heart, an success has an unexpected look when it is–as it must be–snatched from the slavering jaws of apparently certain and irrevocable defeat.

Dark Days: The Road to Metal introduces the reader to the huge multiverse-shattering world of the Metal crisis crossover. A hard world, made harder and more difficult for Our Heroes lay between the covers of this volume. Things can get worse, as they can only in comic books, then then they do get worse. Then they get worse than that. It’s fun, but a long way from joyous. Tread carefully, but do tread. A powerful introduction to a compelling story which shakes the foundations of the DC Universe, and pokes the soft spots in some of the most important relationships among the characters.

Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Knights Rising brings you your every long-wished for nightmare Batman. Crawling up from the underbelly of the DC Universe’s multiversal dark side, This volume collects several one-shot terrors where Bruce Waye, the Bruce Wayne from several alternate horror-show worlds are given the irresistible offer to Fix the World! (This volume ships on March 26, 2019.)

Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance. A long: title: but… a lot happens. Hope is rekindled, though it remains a weak ember. This fourth volume in the Dark Nights: Metal crisis crossover brings together a variety of hero team-ups to face down the threats from beyond reality! There is a lot of failure, a little bit of success, and a lot of mayhem–just what you want from a crisis team-up!

Dark Nights: Metal winds up, as crisis crossover extravaganzas in the DC Universe must, rebooting everything, changing it all, changing nothing, clearing the decks, and preserving continuity. But that’s for the future. For the moment we can enjoy Dark Nights: Metal, an amazing and terrifying thrill ride through the id of the DC Universe.

Who Killed the Fonz?

The answer to Who Killed the Fonz? comes as James Boice brilliantly ties together the threads of this novel. Noir, sit-com, character study, and meditation on the distance from youth to adulthood weave together in a well-paced story. Set in the early 1980’s, Richard Cunningham returns to Milwaukee to mourn his lost friend. Readers are treated to vignettes from classic episodes, nostalgically enjoying touches from our own forty-odd year affair with Happy Days, while marveling at Boice’s ability to evoke those simple feelings and at the same time deepen the meaning of those times with the adult perspectives of Richard. Richard struggles to reconnect with old friends, and to find a place—even a temporary place—in a town he knows but no longer really understands. Old foes and new friends steadily draw Richard to a stunning revelation, as Boice shows you the threads of his Very Special Episode noir-style tapestry. He picks them up, fiddles with them a bit, makes you understand their importance, and puts them down. He shows the reader everything, and keeps the solution behind a beautiful screen of compelling plot and fascinating character until the very last second. 

 

Space Opera: The Highest of High-stakes Battles of the Bands!

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Species far and wide compete in feats of song, dance and/or whatever facsimile of these can be performed by various creatures who may or may not possess, in the traditional sense, feet, mouths, larynxes, or faces. And if a new species should wish to be counted among the high and the mighty, if a new planet has produced some savage group of animals, machines, or algae that claim to be, against all odds, sentient? Well, then they will have to compete. And if they fail? Sudden extermination for their entire species.

Enjoy an excerpt of Catherynne M. Valente’s sparkling prose:

So where is everybody?

Many solutions have been proposed to soothe Mr. Fermi’s plaintive cry of transgalactic loneliness. One of the most popular is the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which whispers kindly: There, there, Enrico. Organic life is so complex that even the simplest algae require a vast array of extremely specific and unforgiving conditions to form up into the mostbasic recipe for primordial soup. It’s not all down to old stars and the rocks that love them. You’ve gotta get yourself a magnetosphere, a moon (but not too many), some gas giants to hold down the gravitational fort, a couple of Van Allen belts, a fat helping of meteors and glaciers and plate tectonics—and that’s without scraping up an atmosphere or nitrogenated soil or an ocean or three. It’s highly unlikely that each and every one of the million billion events that led to life here could ever occur again anywhere else. It’s all just happy coincidence, darling. Call it fate, if you’re feeling romantic. Call it luck. Call it God. Enjoy the coffee in Italy, the sausage in Chicago, and the day-old ham sandwiches at Los Alamos National Laboratory, because this is as good as high-end luxury multicellular living gets.

The Rare Earth Hypothesis means well, but it’s colossally, spectacularly, gloriously wrong.

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