Dark Knights: Metal #1

Dark Knights: Metal #1

Dark Knights: Metal #1

Pros

  • The entire New 52 Batman team reunites for a story that spans years of DC's Past and has a profound impact on DC's Present
  • Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo pick up where they left off, with mind-bending story and face-melting art
  • So much fan service.
  • DREAM FROM NEIL GAIMAN'S SANDMAN AND BATMAN TOGETHER!
  • One of the coolest covers I have ever seen on a comic

Cons

  • The comic had to end
  • My rating system only goes up to five

Dark Knights: Metal #1

Writer: Scott Snyder Pencils: Greg Capullo Inks: Jonathan Glapion Colors: FCO Plascencia Letters: Steve Wands

     The wait is over! After months of hype and speculation, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunite to blow the doors off the DC Universe with their explosive Summer Event: Dark Knights: Metal. And, if this series is anything like their six year run on Batman, we are all in for a wild ride. So, the biggest question is, of course, is it any good? The answer is a resounding yes! The ” dream time” are back and this dynamic duo is better than ever. 

     The story begins with the Justice League being out through the ringer on a new “War World” built by Mongul. He has also fitted each League member with armor that negates their powers. The different challenges they face have been created by the Toyman. The next one is called ‘Fulcum Abominus”, which turns out to be a series of large mechs, painted to look like the heroes. Each one is built to neutralize the skill set of the specific hero. Wonder Woman calls the heroes back to formation, which gives Batman an idea. He looks inside the mouth and sees a Batman button at the back of the throat. After pushing it, the mech begins to wrap Batman is coils and then “eat” him. Batman tells the other League members to do the same, explaining the symbols in the mouths. Despite their reservations, the go along with Batman’s plan. Batman tells them that he worked out the meaning of the name and Toyman is playing a trick on Mongul. Fulcum is a warrior formation cry, and that is exactly what is about to happen. Suddenly, a huge mech, made up of all the different smaller mechs, rises up, sending Mongul running from the arena.

     Whew! Let’s catch our breaths. Oh wait, guess what? THAT WAS JUST THE PROLOGUE! And now, on to the main event. The Justice League is flying back from the prologue adventure and Superman tries to ask about Batman’s investigation (These are the events that occurred in Dark Days: The Forge and Dark Days: The Casting) . Suddenly, Alfred makes contact with Batman and is fairly frantic. When the League lands in Gotham, they see why. There’s a frickin’ MOUNTAIN in the center of the city. What’s more the mountain appeared alongside an energy storm of dark lightning. Alfred said that the city itself seemed to make room for the mountain. Batman tells Alfred to scramble the family. Superman discovers that there is a bunker inside. Flash finds the door, which is adorned with a mysterious “hourglass” symbol that Cyborg cannot identify.

Inside the bunker, several members of the League, including Green Lantern feel the strange energy crackling inside the place, Hal recognizes it because of the events in the Batcave. There are people inside the pods and a somewhat familiar android (his name is Red Tornado, more on that later) The League’s investigation is interrupted by the Blackhawks, the mysterious covert team that has been following Batman (They appeared in issues 6-9 of Snyder’s All-Star Batman) Lady Blackhawk sudenly steps forward and reveals herself to be KENDRA SAUNDERS! (Oh Boy! Here we go) She tells them this is the first shot of a full scale invasion. She takes them to Blackhawk Island in the South Pacific, one of the places where the mysterious energy resonates from the Earth’s core. There are others (Dinosaur Island, Themyscira, Nanda Parbat, Skartaris, look it up, I had to). I’m not gonna get into all the metaphysical gobbledygook that is presented during this sequence, sufficed to say that Hawkman, the Challengers of the Unknown and Nth Metal are all referenced here. Kendra also produces a pure shard of Nth Metal in front of Batman, which is probably the worst mistake she could possibly make. She tells the story of how her and Carter Hall became Hawkman and Hawkwoman.the concept of a DARK MULTIVERSE is introduced. (Incidently, Dark MAtter is a real astrophysics concept and you should go look it up, it’s really cool)  After a neat cameo from Grant Morrison’s Multiverse map,  She also tells them that the foe they are fighting is a demon called “Barbatos” (Now WHERE have I heard that name before? Oh, that’s right, Grant Morrison’s Batman run!) She also says that history references a wagon that will let him in. Wagon, of course being the root of the name Wayne (C’Mon, we all knew that, right?) Kendra springs her trap on Batman, but RED TORNADO breaks out his case, screaming about his warning and assaulting the League AND the Blackhawks. In the chaos, Batman grabs the Nth Metal shard and escapes. (This next sentence is one I have always hoped to write) When we next see Batman, he is fleeing through the jungle ON A DINOSAUR! As Batman races back to the Batcave, more journal narration from Hawkman sets the rest of the stage, as Doctor Fate, the Metal Men and Plastic Man all begin to have strange visions of demonic Batmen. In the Batcave, Batman is analyzing the sample when a strange humming begins emanating from upstairs. Batman follows the humming to the study, where a bat-shaped outline conceals a hidden compartment. Inside, Batman finds the lost journal of Carter Hall, left there for him should Barabatos’ coming ever be nigh. As BAtman reads it, realizing it’s all true, he is interrupted by a voice. The voice belongs to DREAM OF THE ENDLESS (better known to most of us as Neil Gamian’s SANDMAN!) He tells Batman that this nightmare has only just begun.

WHAT I LIKED: Scott Snyder seems to have been born to write stories like this. This story is an amazingly ambitious achievement, stretching back years into DC’s history and creating a bridge from the past to the present. There is so much fan service in this issue alone, that I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I didn’t miss any of the references. I’m not going to name them all, but some of the ones that stand out are The Challengers of the Unknown, Barbatos, Red Tornado, Plastic Man, and, of course, the big one at the end, Dream of the Endless, who by the way, was used with the full blessing of Neil Gaiman. I don’t know where this story is heading, but I know I can’t wait to take this what is sure to be wild ride.

                                  And, as much as Scott Snyder was seemingly born to write this story, I can think of no one else who was born to bring it to life more than Greg Capullo. If their six years on Batman proved anything, it’s that when a phenomenal writer and a phenomenal artist come together on the same book, magic happens. It has been a long wait for their reunion, but they seem to pick up right where they left off, each a little more seasoned, but both more than ready to recreate that special synergy. Capullo is even more blessed this time, in that he gets to play with the entire DC Universe “toybox” and indeed, he gets to draw characters who have not been seen in some time, and in many cases, who have never been seen before. His art is instantly familiar and comforting, with his figures dynamic jumping to life on the page, with the detail and intricacy familiar to anyone who read his Batman run. Indeed, anyone reading this book will find themselves hard pressed to believe that any time has passed since Capullo last worked on Batman. It is great to have him back, and I can’t wait to see the next part of this astounding story. Assisting Mr. Capullo in bringing Mr. Snyder’s vision to life is a talented and familiar art team. Inks are handled by Jonathan Glapion, who was, of course the inital inker during Mr. Capullo and Mr. Snyder’s run on Batman, up to issue #17. He inked some of the most important storylines of the New 52″ era, including the Court of Owls and Death of the Family. And, if this is truly to be reunion of the whole Snyder/Capullo bat-team, then there is only one person who could be the colorist. That, of course, would be FCO Plascencia. Fortunately, he was available and so the whole team is indeed reunited. And, the results speak for themselves.

WHAT I DIDN’T: The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it had to end.

IN THE END: The story is fantastic. The art is amazing. GO BUY THIS BOOK NOW!

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