Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse

details
Title: Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse.
Writer(s)Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Jeff Loveness, Tim Seeley, James Tynion IV, Mat Groom, Doug Moench, Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns & Marv Wolfman.
Illustrator(s)Javier Fernandez, Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, Norm Rapmund, Kyle Hotz, Dexter Vines, Walden Wong, Danny Miki, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Tom Raney, Jim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, George Pérez & Mike DecArlo.
Colourist(s): Alex Guimarães, John Kalisz, David Baron, Allen Passalaqua, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Hi-Fi, Adrienne Roy, Glenn Whitmore, Alex Sinclair, Jeromy Cox & Guy Major.
Letterer(s): Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh, Tom Orzechowski, Richard Starkings, John Costanza, Nick J. Napolitano & Ben Oda.
PublisherDC Comics.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020.
Pages: 448.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779501370.
My Overall Rating: 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

thoughts

Choices. The consequences of our actions are often irreversible in their sequence but it is the opportunity to correct them in hope of redemption that allows us to grow in our wisdom. Sometimes, you also can’t help but wonder what your life or the world would be like if you had done things differently, if things didn’t go down exactly as they did. Wouldn’t it be curious to envision these alternate realities and their myriad of possibilities? What if the epic cosmic events of the DC Universe also happened in the Dark Multiverse? What if light and hope were inevitably absent in that corner of the world? This hardcover collects the five Dark Multiverse one-shots on top of the original issues depicting some of the iconic crisis events in the DC Universe over the past years from the pages of Batman #497, Superman #75, Blackest Night #1, Infinite Crisis #1, and Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3.

What is Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse about? Following the events of Scott Snyder’s Dark Knights: Metal, the DC Universe was introduced to the Dark Multiverse, a temporal and spatial discovery that instantly expanded and multiplied the DC history and timeline in unimaginable ways. Narrated by Tempus Fuginaut, a cosmic entity tasked to prevent temporal spillage from one universe to another, this collection presents fans with five alternate cosmic events set within the Dark Multiverse. Among the well-known and iconic events that receive a brand-new, darker, and hopeless twist in this collection are Knightfall, The Death of Superman, Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis, and The Judas Contract. The second half of the volume offers fans the chance to revisit the original ending to these unforgettable moments in the DC Universe.

These what-if stories were refreshing in their bloody and gory alternate visions of some of the most important and classical DC Universe events. Set within the Dark Multiverse, they offer fans the chance to discover how things went down in a parallel universe where darkness suffocates the light in every inch of the galactic system, assuring us that some of those pivotal moments in history take a turn for the worse and display some of the worse things imaginable for the heroes out there. Interestingly, the writers of each of these fifty-page one-shots bring forth very unlikely heroes as the main characters for these new events and tell truly compelling and concise stories in very little space; after all, the original events had plenty of issues to work with to tell those stories (not including tie-ins).

“Gotham is mine… And I am hers.”

Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins

Out of the five stories, Knightfall (written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Javier Fernandez), The Death of Superman (written by Jeff Loveness and illustrated by Brad Walker), and Infinite Crisis (written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Aaron Lopresti) were the most captivating and twisted of the bunch. They each draw heavily upon previously-explored lore to tell a plausible alternate story where hope is drowned in sorrow and where emotions are cranked up for key characters. The artwork for these stories is also equivalently bleak and horrifying. The deaths, the gore, and the blood displayed is definitely a tone that only some would want to explore and embrace.

The weakest stories of this collection would have to go to Blackest Night (written by Tim Seeley and illustrated by Kyle Hotz) and The Judas Contract (written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, illustrated by Tom Raney). The former has an interesting premise but poorly executes it, offering us a completely forgettable alternate story with characters that you’ll likely not even care much about too. The latter was utterly disappointing in its poor rewriting of events, especially in its cringe-worthy characterization of the Teen Titans.

It is worth noting that the original issues of each of these events is a welcome addition at the end of this collection but are tremendously pointless beyond their rapid reminder of iconic moments. In fact, if readers were to cluelessly dive into this collection, each of the Dark Multiverse alternate stories, on top of the original issues at the end, would make for blatant spoilers. I do believe that this works much better if you either don’t mind the spoilers or if you already have prior knowledge of all five events. Otherwise, it’s definitely best to go out and read the complete story-arcs of these cataclysmic events rather than just checking out these included iconic issues. Well-versed readers of these DC events will, however, find these issues useful to simply remind themselves of how it all actually went down.

Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is a gruesome and grim collection of alternate cosmic events unveiling the darker twist to the DC Dark multiverse’s faith.


EXHIBITA
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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