Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Previously: The Dark Knights continue their reign in Gotham as Superman decides to go off to find wherever Batman has been trapped. Barry Allen is dealing with the devastation of Central City, and has yet to face the true horror of the Red Death itself.
This time: As Superman flies through the portal into the heart of the dark multiverse itself, Barry is left with Steel who considers the ramifications of what they just did. Barry’s thoughts go to the people of Central City in danger; of Wally and Iris, as Steel considers to ponder exactly what the Anti-Monitor’s tower is doing in the Fortress of Solitude, and why it can link to the dark multiverse. Barry manages to unite them both in the inspiration of seeing Superman fly off, even when it’s to unknown adversity. The rest of the Justice League check in over the comms, as everyone heads off to their missions, when Cyborg barely manages to transmit a last minute warning. But it’s a minute too late, as Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Mr. Terrific, the Plastic Man egg, and Deathstroke are all captured in a trio of dark boom tubes, sending them off to who knows where. As Barry and Steel try to consider what just went down, The Murder Machine and The Devastator arrive, ready to kill, and quickly trash the tower to close off the portal to darkness. Steel tells Barry to get out when he still can, and the scarlet speedster wastes no time dashing through a remaining boom tube, to the now treacherously wrecked Central City. After a brief moment’s re-meeting with an aged and battered Wally and Iris, the very earth itself opens up to consume Barry whole. As Barry and the other three captured leaguers awake to twisted realms of the lands and cities they know, the dark knights go in for one-on-one fights to the death, as the Batman Who Laughs does that namesake in what he does best.
Reed Strong’s Good Read: This was Metal #3.5, and that’s great. While this issue does round around what Barry is doing and his greater piece in the woodwork of, ironically enough, Metal, it manages to feel like it matters. It’s taking the Justice League to their next steps in this struggle, dropping the characters off where they need to be. This still works as an issue of the Flash, but it strikes that rare balance between tie-ing in and complete derailment. The Dark Knights themselves are still simple fun to read about, and getting a few more ideas about exactly what the dark multiverse is remains one of the whole mysteries of the event as a whole. Metal has had great success so far in not taking over DC’s whole line, but managing to leave a strong impact and a well told story. Flash continues that streak as surely the next chapter of Metal will as well, and the more Metal, the better.