Justice League #33 (Metal Tie-In)
Justice League #33
- Cyborg steals the show
- The first glimpse of hope against the Dark Knights
- Raven in a guest starring role
- The stage is set for Metal #4
"Bats Out of Hell" - Finale
The Bats Out of Hell tie-in crossover reaches it’s conclusion with this issue. Let’s find out if the finale is as satisfying as the rest of this storyline has been. And, in a welcome twist, the focus of this issue is in fact, Cyborg. Let’s dive in.
To quickly recap the story, Bats Out of Hell, whose events take place between Metal #3 and Metal #4, is about the meeting between the rest of the Justice League, minus Batman and Superman, who are trapped in the Dark Multiverse, and the Dark Knights. Needless to say, it does not go well. Cyborg has been dismantled by the Dark Knights, as they try to access his Mother Box. Meanwhile Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, who were all on missions to further the counteroffensive plan devised by Dr. Fate, were separated from their companions and trapped by each of their respective Dark Knights, (The Drowned for Aquaman, The Dawnbreaker for Green Lantern, The Red Death for Flash and The Devastator for Wonder Woman), in “Nightmare Batcaves” designed specifically for them. At the end of the last part of the story, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32, Green Lantern was facing the Dawnbreaker. After an absolutely spectacular battle, Hal loses and is bound by the Dawnbreaker and brought to Challengers Mountain in Gotham, where it is revealed that the other Justice League members have lost their respective battles as well.
And, that is where we pick it up, with Cyborg enduring the torture of the Dark Knights as they attempt to extract something called Element X from his Mother Box. To do so, they are flooding it with Dark Multiverse energy, showinf him visions of all of his possible failures.Suddenly, his Mother Box tells him he is “ready.”
His Mother Box explains that Element X is at it’s heart and is the purest, brightest metal in the cosmos, coming from the World Forge itself. The MOther Box explains to Victor that if he becomes one with it, he will achieve his perfect form and will be able to defeat the Dark Knights. However, his “original programming”, meaning him, will be deleted. His Mother Box tells him that it’s true power is in it’s connection to the Multiverse, and if he dies not embrace it, Barbatos will win. Just as Cyborg seems ready to give in, a second voice in his head tells him to resist the Mother Box’s offer and that he doesn’t have to fight alone.
Back in Gotham, Murder Machine’s “Alfred Protocol” is beginning to glitch. When the Batman Who Laughs asks him about it, Murder Machine tells him something is interfering with his connection. Suddenly, Cyborg makes his entrance, and it looks like he is ready to go. He frees the other members of the Justice League and now the battle is on again. Cyborg also frees the League’s companions and Dr. Fate suggests an immediate retreat. But Cyborg pauses, as he looks for and frees Raven, who turns out to be the other voice he heard in his head. Raven says the Batman Who Laughs wanted her darkness. With his new upgrade, Cyborg shows the heroes the origins oof the Dark Knights. The Batman Who Laughs calls forth Barbatos, who tells them all roads lead to darkness. After the heroes depart in a boom tube, Barbatos tells the Batman Who Laughs that Cyborg’s transformation is an unknown, but the Batman Who Laughs is confident they will be back, since they still hold the Teen Titans and the Suicide Squad captive.
The heroes end up in Hypertime, outside of the Multiverse. Cyborg tells them that the Dark Knights will begin their hunt for them soon. He also tells them that to get what they needed, he had to partially give into his Mother Box and he is now fighting it for control. Cyborg also takes the opportunity to assume more of a leadership role. He sends the teams back to respective Nth Metal gathering missions, emphasizing it’s importance. Meanwhile, he, Raven and Flash are off to “hack the Multiverse.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds awesome.
We are left this issue with the Batman Who Laughs asserting that the heroes are unknowing spreading Barbatos’ darkness throughout the Mutiverse. This story will be continued in Metal #4.
Joshua Williamson handles the writing on this issue, and brings this side story home with a bang. The first three parts of this story made things look really bleak for the Justice League, really hammering home how overmatched they are against the Dark Knights. In fact, the end of the last part is about as hopeless as you can get if you’re the heroes. But, there is hope, and it comes from an unlikely source. If you could have told me that Cyborg would be the hero who would save the Justice League, I would never have believed you. The fact that I not only find it believable, but absolutely LOVED it, is a huge credit to the writing skills of Mr. Williamson. I can’t wait to see what happens next with the new and improved Cyborg.
Art details for this issue are handled by Tyler Kirkham & Mikel Janin who bring this story to an action packed and very vibrant conclusion. There are some very ambitious splash panels, and a kick ass single full page Cyborg illustration. Color is handled by Arif Prianto and Jeromy Cox and color again proves to be the “icing” on this proverbial “cake.” The colors are vibrant and bold and the energy effect on the aforementioned Cyborg full page illustration is amazing, I can never remember Cyborg looking better.
IN THE END: Bats Out of Hell comes to an end and fulfills it’s mission, namely to put everyone in their place for the next issue of the “main” Metal book. But, aside from that, this issue also becomes a springboard for a whole new status quo for Cyborg, which was an unexpected pleasure.