DC Takes a Jab at New 52 in Dark Nights: Death Metal

The events of Dark Nights: Death Metal are continuing to revolutionize the DC Comics universe, as the remaining heroes go out of their way to try to stop The Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua. Along the way, there have been a pretty wide array of references and subversions of iconic DC events, all with the goal of reconstructing a significant new multiverse. The latest issue of the event took that into a surprising new direction, while paying homage to one of the most significant and polarizing DC retcons in the process. Spoilers for Dark Nights: Death Metal #4, from Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano, below! Only look if you want to know!

The issue saw Wonder Woman and her resistance be thrown into some unexpected circumstances, as they were thrown into some dark alternate universes in an attempt to harness Crisis energy against The Batman Who Laughs. As the issue went along, this involved multiple monumental events, including Wonder Woman convincing Superboy-Prime to fight alongside the good guys, and Jonah Hex being brutally murdered. It all culminated in the team returning to the Metalverse, only to be met by The Batman Who Laughs, who had recently rebranded himself as The Darkest Knight.

The Batman Who Laughs revealed that he'd actually been one step ahead of the team all along, making sure to rig the Mobius Chair to give him the power that would have previously gone to the heroes. As The Batman Who Laughs put it, his goal was to remake the Multiverse in his own image -- and he quickly showed what that would entail. He unveiled a section of small Earths in his hands, which he'd dubbed "the Last 52".

dark nights death metal 4 the last 52
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

This, of course, is a reference to DC's New 52, the publishing initiative that rebranded DC's entire line in 2011. The idea not only consolidated DC's comic output into fifty-two new series, but it established that the overall canon had fifty-two positive matter Earths within it.

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It's unclear at this point exactly which Earths are part of The Batman Who Laughs' "Last 52", but the fact that he feels bold enough to consolidate all of his efforts into these remaining Earths is definitely harrowing. Especially considering how many established alternate Earths we've seen destroyed thus far, it's safe to assume that whatever exists within the Last 52 could be pretty gruesome.

What do you think of the establishing of the Last 52 in Dark Nights: Death Metal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!