Dark Nights: Metal #2 Review
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Capullo, Glapion and Plascencia
SPOILER WARNING: Usually our reviews are relatively spoiler free, allowing you to read and enjoy the issue. While this issue is still readable and enjoyable after reading this review, it may contain more spoilers than our normal content
Previously: Kendra Saunders, also known these days as Lady Blackhawk, took the Justice League to Blackhawk Island and explained her and her husband’s journey investigating the origins of Nth Metal. She told them of a prophecy that states that Bruce Wayne will be the one to summon a powerful and evil entity known as Barbatos from the Dark Multiverse, and she swears that she will kill Batman before she allows this to happen. Batman steals the last fragment of pure Nth Metal from Lady Blackhawk and escapes back to the Batcave. While examining the Nth Metal, Batman discovers Hawkman’s Journal buried beneath the floorboards in his manor, and is visited by Dream of The Endless.
Metal’s second issue opens up with a worldwide manhunt for Batman. Superman and Wonder Woman can see from space that glowing bat symbols have appeared all around the world, and the Justice League has dispatched their allies to help find Bruce, who is the only one who can give them answers and help them figure out what’s going on. Never one to make things easy, Batman has place dummy translators and doppelgangers all around the world. Many of the Justice League follow Dick Grayson disguised as Batman into the Parliament of Trees, and are chased away from Swamp Thing. Superman picks up a Batman being transported in the back of a truck being driven by Damian Wayne, but he turns out to be Clayface. Ever the dedicated actor, Clayface did learn enough from Batman to tell Superman and Wonder Woman a little bit about what’s going on. He tells them that The Judas Tribe has been targeting Batman for weeks, poisoning him with different metals. Electrum, Dionesium, Prometheum, and now Nth Metal, all of which have appeared previously in Snyder’s Batman run. There is only one Metal left, and Batman has a plan to stop them from finishing the job.
Meanwhile, Lady Blackhawks visits The Immortals at their headquarters, which is submerged in an antarctic lava and looks exactly like the classic Legion of Doom headquarters from the Superfriends show. The Immortals are aware of the danger that Barbatos poses, and have seen signs that his arrival is fast approaching. They have devised a plan to shoot the astral brain of The Anti-Monitor at the Rock of Eternity in order to destroy the Dark Multiverse. Ra’s Al Ghul steps forward and says it’s not wise to underestimate Batman, and asks Kendra where he’s likely to be if he were to take matters into his own hands. This causes Kendra to panic, as she realizes that Batman would go to the tomb of Hawkman, or at least what he thinks is the Hawkman’s tomb.
We finally see where Batman is, as Superman and Wonder Woman catch up to him in the exact place Kendra thought he would be. He calls out to Dream, to ask if he’s on the right path, but is only given a cryptic answer and an offer to help later before Dream vanishes and Clark and Diana confront Bruce. Bruce holds up Darkseid, who has been transformed into a baby after the events of Darkseid War, and explains his plan to his allies. The last time he faced Barbatos, it was a result of Darkseid’s Omega Sanction, and he believes that he can use the Omega Beams to go back in time again and erase himself from the world, sacrificing himself and stopping the prophecy from coming true. Wonder Woman and Superman begin trying to talk him out of it, but they are interrupted by the arrival of the Strigydae, the dark priests of Barbatos. What Batman thought was Hawkman’s tomb was in fact the tomb of his greatest enemy, Hath-Set, and he had walked right into a trap. In walk members of the Court of Owls, who tell Batman that they are the descendents of The Judas Tribe that betrayed the Bats and the Birds long ago. They place the fifth metal on Batman, a new metal made by the Court called Batmanium. The dark priests incapacitate Superman and Wonder Woman as Batman begins to transform due to the metal, and the Court eagerly await the arrival of their god. But it’s not Barbatos who arrives first.. Out of the portal come vicious children dressed as Robin, who kill the court of Owls. Behind them come Barbatos and The Dark Knights, seven evil versions of Bruce Wayne who have come to bring death to this world.
Thoughts on the issue:
The second of issue of DC’s big event is very much like the first. There is a lot of setup and exposition necessary to explain how the storyline is happening and where it’s coming from. Scott Snyder balances this with the manhunt for Batman, which gives the issue a singular plot to follow, as well as a few solid misdirects and charming moments with various members of the DCU. At the end the issue focuses back in on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, somehow making a scene that’s intimate, foreboding, and funny, complete with Baby Darkseid to make us feel fear and humor from the same face. Greg Capullo continues to deliver excellent art throughout the whole issue, culminating in the terrifying image of the Dark Knights telling you “I’m right here” as they stand over the fallen bodies of two of the most powerful heroes in the DCU that literally gave me chills.
One Last Thing: Shooting the brain of the Anti-Monitor at the Rock of Eternity is supposed to destroy the Dark Multiverse? I don’t know why I would or would not believe that would work, but that’s just one of the craziest sentences I’ve read in a comic in a while, which is saying something because comics are crazy.