DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL INFINITE HOUR EXXXTREME! #1/ Written by FRANK TIERI, BECKY CLOONAN & SAM HUMPHRIES/ Pencils by TYLER KIRKHAM, RAGS MORALES & DENYS COWAN/ Inks by TYLER KIRKHAM, RAGS MORALES & BILL SINKIWICZ / Colors by ARIF PRIANTO, ANDREW DALHOUSE & CHRIS SOTOMAYOR/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE & ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS
Lobo was happy to ignore the total collapse of reality and the threat posed by the Dark Multiverse. All that nonsense about perpetual goddesses and the rewriting of cosmic continuity gave him a headache. Besides, the whole “saving the universe” thing doesn’t pay well enough for him to care about it. At least not until it becomes clear the boy scouts aren’t up to the job and someone else needs to make sure there’s still a reality for babes, booze, dolphins, money and Lobo himself to continue existing in. Or until somebody pays him to care.
Enter Lex Luthor, who has several compelling reasons for Lobo to help him track down the last piece of the reality-altering Death Metal in the prime universe. Apart from the whole continued existence thing. The Main Man might be greedy but he sure ain’t stupid. But he also ain’t the only one looking for the Death Metal. And the other bastich after this bounty is the Batman of a reality where Bruce Wayne injected himself with Czarnian DNA and went mad with power, becoming known throughout his universe as The Main Batman Who Frags.
Like most Lobo comics, Dark Nights Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme is based around a simple plot that exists purely as a justification for dark comedy and cheap ultraviolence. The concept of a Batman with the mannerisms of Lobo is a profoundly stupid one. It is also a hilarious idea and one which the writers of this special run with for everything they are worth. The second chapter of this issue features the similarly ludicrous Solomon Grundy/Batman mash-up called Black Monday.
Honestly, there’s little point to picking this issue up if you’re not a fan of Lobo and the sort of perverse insanity his comics usually involve. While it is based around the plot of Dark Nights Death Metal, you could substitute virtually anyone to act as Lobo’s client or the rival trying to claim the MacGuffin before him and it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. However, fans of the Main Man should be advised that Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan and Sam Humphries do Lobo justice and he’s written as the cunning bastich he is rather than the idiot some lesser writers paint him as. This comic may not be deep, but it is funny. Particularly after Lobo starts using the Dark Metal to amuse himself before turning it in.
The artwork is solid across the board, though the three art teams involved have distinctly different styles. Yet the whole comic remains true to the 90’s aesthetic that Lobo exemplifies. One chapter may be sketchier than the other and the other one have heavier inks and shading, but everything looks fantastic and there’s no doubt at any point that you are reading a Lobo story. That may sound like damning with faint praise, but it isn’t, as far too many artists in the past have proven with their own lackluster Lobo comics.
Dark Nights Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme may not be essential reading. Thankfully, it doesn’t pretend to be that. Indeed, the comic is much like Lobo himself; unpretentious and straight-forward. It’s a funny book for those who like high action and low comedy with solid artwork throughout.