Dark Nights: Metal #2
Scott Snyder (Writer), Greg Capullo (Artist), Jonathan Glapion (Inks), FCO Plascencia (Colors)
September 13, 2017
For an event as big and bombastic as Metal, I feel it’s only fair to give each issue its own spotlight. With issue #2, we’re getting deeper into the meat of the story and we’re left in a bad place at the end. Like always, this review will have spoilers, so read at your own risk.
While many, myself included, enjoyed Dark Nights: Metal’s first issue, it was not without some valid criticisms. The two main concerns I heard from other fans is that it focused too much on Batman, and that it was inaccessible to someone who isn’t already deeply knowledgeable in DC Universe lore.
While I understand that first criticism, I think it’s too early in the story to make it fairly, and the way I’m reading the story is more as a DC Universe event with Batman as the focal point, much like Flash was for Crisis on Infinite Earths or Superman was in Infinite Crisis. I think this issue gives us a lot of reason to look at this story that way. For one, we didn’t even see the real Batman until more than halfway through the issue, though we got several fake Batmen. Secondly, the ending leaves me thinking we’re not gonna see much of Batman for awhile going forward.
The second criticism is one that I can fully side with. This series is definitely not for a newcomer to DC lore, but really, no crossover is going to be an easy entrance point. They’re meant to tell big stories with sometimes obscure characters and crunchy references. I remember vividly how confused I was the first time I read Crisis on Infinite Earths, but that series made me dive deeper into the universe to discover new pieces of it to love. My hope is that after Metal and Doomsday Clock are over we will get a series that is a good place for newcomers to pick up, akin to the History of the DC Universe book from right after the first Crisis.
For someone who is well versed in DC continuity, Metal continues to be packed with moments that play upon how vast and wonderful the DC Universe is. Watching Swamp Thing taking on the Justice League and seeing the Hall of Doom were two of those moments for me. Try as I might, I can’t identify all of the immortals and magic users in the Hall of Doom, though. I can identify most of them, left to right, back row first: Uncle Sam (maybe), Phantom Stranger, unknown to me hooded man, Shazam, Morgaine le Fey, Vandal Savage, Kendra Saunders, Abel, Ra’s Al Ghul, unknown man next to Ra’s. Front row in shadow: Cain, Felix Faust (I think), and Solomon Grundy (I think). Because the hooded man is chained to Shazam, I think it may be either Teth Adam or Billy Batson, but I have no real idea.
Aside from the ending, the biggest shock to me was Baby Darkseid, since I didn’t read the New 52 at all. But much like the first Crisis, this book makes me want to read referenced material I haven’t discovered yet. I want to read Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, I want to read Darkseid War. Metal is pulling me further into the DC Universe, and I love it for that.
And that ending! The emergence of Batman’s dark nightmares was an excellent and creepy moment, especially the four ravenous Robins. The fact that they are all trying to say “Crowbar,” but can only get out “Crow” is absolutely horrifying, especially as they devour the Court of Owls. The Dark Knights are absolutely terrifying, and that’s exactly what is needed to make this work.
With their three biggest guns seemingly taken off the board, the DC Universe’s heroes are looking at a bleak future. The future for us as readers, however, looks amazing. This continues to be the epic story that I have wanted from DC for years.