Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SPOILERS: Dark Nights: Metal #1

This book was promised to be a high action over the top love letter to the DC Universe, and I can tell you right now that it delivers on every single level.

The Spoilers:

 So, a prelude to everything, narrated by Carter Hall, there were three tribes way, way back in time, the bear, wolf and bird, they were all good until something Bat shaped came along.

In the present, somehow after the events of Action Comics, Mongul has a new Warworld type planet, which he has the Justice League trapped in, all geared with armor made from metals that reduce their powers. Mongul used an enslaved Toyman to create death machines for the JL to fight, but he eventually tips of Batman to the ability to use the machines to create a Justice League megazord which the League uses to win, hooray. On their way back to earth, Superman prods Batman a bit about his research, which Batman doesn't want to say anything about, but that may not be up to him as the JL returns to Gotham in crisis, as a giant mountain of unknown material and origin has found its way into the middle of the city. Long story short, it has something to do with the Challengers of the Unkown, which are also housing a dormant Red Tornado. The Justice League is met by the Blackhawks inside, whose leader turns out to be none other than Kendra Saunders, who leads the Justice League to Blackhawk island to tell them what's really going on.

Kendra and the Blackhawks have been operating on their own looking into the research of a lost Carter Hall. Everything stems from Nth metal, which they believe originates from the dark multiverse, which was recently discovered along with the idea of dark matter. Carter had spent years upon years trying to unlock the secrets of Nth metal, as he and (most recently) the Challengers had found warnings of a beast coming from the dark multiverse and invading theirs. This monster's name?


Sound familiar? It should, as Batman recognizes the name. Kendra continues, saying that Barbatos arrives through a human vessel, using said vessel's nightmares to fuel its army. In the scripture they found, the vessel is described as a "wagon," which is the root of the name "Wayne." It's at this point Kendra and the rest of the Blackhawks try to apprehend Bruce for possibly bringing this horror to light, but at the same time, Red Tornado wakes up and is pissed for them opening the doorway. Bruce takes the advantage of the situation in order to make his escape.

When Bruce returns to the cave to hastily do some more research, we get more Carter narration, describing Barbatos as having searched for its targert since the beginning of time, finding him in a "final moment of crisis." Bruce and Alfred hear something that sounds like a tuning fork coming from upstairs. In the manor, Bruce finds a symbol of the bat glowing in his floor, as Carter's narration says he left his journal with the family he trusted the most, the Waynes. As Bruce picks up the floor, he finds Carter's journal which confirms everything... OH, also, Dream of the Endless is there too, just to tell Bruce how fucked everything is about to become.

The Opinion:

This is exactly what I've been missing from DC ever since like... Blackest Night. A true sense that the universe is connected and builds off of everything that came before it. If you didn't catch what was described above, not only has Snyder built off everything from his run, but he made Final Crisis and the Return of Bruce Wayne the true kick off to the threat found within Metal. That's what I love, adapting past continuity to allow new stories to grow and flourish, all while remaining respectful to what laid the foundation.

I can't tell you how happy this issue made me, from how crazy it began to how deep it went into Morrison continuity stuff. Then there's other continuity stuff like reintroducing Red Tornado, to re-contextualizing the Blackhawks, with Hawkgirl in command of them, it was all just so, so good. As a DC fan, there's really nothing to dislike about any of this, as the past few years had been so devoid of continuity rich content like this.

Then we've got the art. Look, I'm not a big Mark Millar fan, so a year without Greg Capullo and company in my monthly life, that was rough. But Capullo, Glapion and FCO, who all illustrated Batman and friends so well, are now illustrating the entire DCU, and it fucking rules. Nothing more to really say about that, other than it's just the best.

Also, the last page? I'm not a Sandman guy, as it was before my time and it's a lot to jump into now, but sure, why the fuck not, be crazy with it. We're already doing Dr. Manhattan in the middle of this.

Man, I don't know what else to say. Everything about this made me happy. I thought about it all day after reading it, which is more than I can say about some of the titles that even now I hold as my favorites. It really just seems like DC got their balls back and went all out. Can't wait for the next issues, and I'm already going to say that if this is the quality we can expect, five more issues seems like a cruel, small number.


  1. GOD.

    Really good first issue! I wonder if we will see Simon Hurt pop up in this?

    1. I was thinking the same thing! Lol Dr Hurt has to return.

  2. Excited to see where this goes. Hoping to pl in this soon, and possibly an appearance by the outsiders.

  3. Just a reminder, Barbatos debuted not in Morrison's Batman, but in a Peter Milligan Riddler storyline "Dark Knight, Dark City" from 1990, which Morrison referenced with Hurt as one of the colonists that summoned him (back then it was spelled "Barbathos", but it was obviously the same thing).