Scott Snyder’s Dark Nights Metal and Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock have long been claimed by rival fans to be the greatest comic books arc ever released by DC Comics in the 21st Century. Let’s see how one fares against the other.
Dark Nights Metal: The Batman Who Laughs
Dark Nights Metal’s single greatest contribution to the comic book world is the introduction of the Batman Who Laughs, an evil version of the Batman who has the intellect of Bruce Wayne and the insanity of the Joker. The Batman Who Laughs is being termed as the greatest DC Villain of the 21st Century. He is ruthless and brutal. And he is here to stay. The Batman Who Laughs is part of the reason Dark Nights Metal holds a fighting chance against Doomsday Clock.
Doomsday Clock: Dynamic Meta-Textuality
The early eighties were a very tough time for the comic books. Comic book sales were taking a dive and the entire industry was suffering. Comic books suffered a lot and DC Comics bore the brunt of that onslaught till two comic book arcs changed the game – Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. With that came an adult, more mature and graphic form of storytelling that has shaped DC Comics and made it into what it is today. The world we are in today is changing again while the digital age heralds another revolution in the works for the comic book industry. Doomsday Clock shows us how the evil machinations of Doctor Manhattan have changed the DC Universe during Re-Birth and how the world is fighting back to those changes just like how the real world is fighting the consecutive relentless rampages that are being inflicted upon it.
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Dark Nights Metal: The New Age of DC Heroes
The New Age of DC Heroes began with the end of Dark Nights Metal. A whole plethora of meta-humans took birth after the cosmic metal alloys that were the prima facie for the arc got into their bloodstream. Characters like Sideways, DC’s version of Spider-Man with space-time manipulation powers, and Rampage – a superhero very similar to the Hulk but much more powerful, came forth. A whole new generation of superheroes began with Dark Nights Metal. Doomsday Clock could not boast of such a feat.
Doomsday Clock: Turning New 52 into a Parallel Universe
For the eons that came before it and the eons that lay ahead, the one thing all DC fans universally despise and hate will be the unimpressive and frankly rather offensive New 52 reboot. We will never forget what DC did to us with New 52 because of the way it treated prominent superheroes and turned them into a bunch of hastily prepared nasty jokes. Many characters were lost and many more unnecessary superheroes were added onto the fray. While there were some saving graces for the New 52 timeline, it is universally disliked for multiple reasons. That is the reason making it an entirely different parallel universe that could just be kept in the corner of the Multi-Verse, never to be visited again, was what made Doomsday Clock so great.
Dark Nights Metal: Debut of the Dark Multiverse
The Dark Multi Verse houses a set of universes that are doomed to be destroyed and their energies to be used on forming the multiple parallel universes in the Actual Multi Verse. The Dark Multi Verse is the one the various evil Batmen hail from. It holds a door to an infinite amount of possibilities since the Dark Multi Verse could give rise to an infinite number of evil versions of DC Superheroes. The Dark Multi Verse is yet to be explored in detail but it is the very prospects of having such a concept in the larger DC Continuity that makes Dark Nights Metal so innovative and unique.
Doomsday Clock: Gary Frank and Geoff Johns Together
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have come together to create some really amazing comic book arcs. Doomsday Clock sees them back again, penning another great story line for DC. The last time they came together were when they told the new origin story for Superman, and completely changed the way we looked at the Batman. They also headed the Captain Marvel issues, now known as Shazam after the New 52 ret-con. Doomsday Clock is full of some gorgeous visuals and engaging plot lines because of the work of these two DC artists. It would be nice to see them back again. If you are a comic book fan and love a well-illustrated arc, you will fall in love with the masterpiece that is Doomsday Clock.
Dark Nights Metal: Incredible Action
Dark Nights Metal was not a story as dense as Crisis on Infinite Earths. But it did have its moments to shine. One of the highest points of the arc was the amazingly well-written action sequences. Greg Capullo really knows his way around a comic book. He gives us dinosaurs, beings from other universes, Gods hailing from outside the Universe, extra-dimensional realms, and of course the dual-axe wielding Dark Knight. There is murder, mayhem, and adrenaline pumped, high octane action unlike any DC Comic Book arc ever seen.
Doomsday Clock: Doctor Manhattan as the villain
Doctor Manhattan is a being as powerful as space and time itself. He is all-knowing, all-seeing, and omnipresent. He has powers to literally rewrite the entire universe in his own image if he so wished. Why did Doctor Manhattan do what he did in Doomsday Clock? The answer is simple – because he could. Manhattan wanted to experiment with the Universe by unleashing his own version of the Crisis on the Multi-Verse. And he almost succeeded in his attempt at seeing what happens when you tinker with some vital turning points in history. Manhattan turned the entire Watchmen Universe into his personal playground and he went on to meddle in the affairs of the mainstream DC Universe. It is the sheer veracity and animosity with which he did it that makes him so dangerous.
Dark Nights Metal: The Nth Metal Connection
The mysterious Nth Metal is mostly associated with the superhero Hawkman. It has several properties like giving its user the power of flight, super human physical attributes as well as a host of other powers. The Nth Metal has the potential to become for DC what Vibranium is for the Marvel Comic book Universe. Its obvious connection to the larger event puts the impetus on the Nth Metal’s shoulders. Dc will probably use the Nth Metal Connection in larger roles in future comic book story arcs. But it all began with Dark Nights Metal.