Dark Knights: Metal #6
Written by: Scott Snyder
Pencils by: Greg Capullo
Inks by: Jonathan Glapion
Colors by: FCO Plascencia
Cover by: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO 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
What You Need to Know:
The Dark Knights have invaded! Seven evil versions of Bruce Wayne from the Dark Multiverse, each one representing a member of the Justice League, are led by Barbatos to conquer the Earth. The scattered heroes of Earth have broken into teams to search for Nth Metal weapons to use against the Dark Knights, and were met with varying degrees of success. Meanwhile, Batman and Superman escaped from their psychic prisons in the Dark Multiverse and went to the Forge of Worlds, only to find it guarded by a Barbatos-controlled Hawkman. Wonder Woman and Lady Blackhawk have obtained Hawkman’s mace and are on their way to save Superman and Batman.
What Just Happened:
The situation is bleak as the final chapter of Metal opens. Barbatos has used the Anti-Monitor’s Tower and sunk the Earth down into the Dark. Wonder Woman and Lady Blackhawk have been fighting the various nightmares from the Darkness, but have had no success alerting their allies with Diana’s Bracers. Kendra suggests that she use the Nth Metal Mace against her Eight Metal Bracers, and the Metal on Metal alerts the rest of the League, who are barely holding their own against the Dark Knights. She tells them she has the Mace, but needs their help getting it to them on the top of Challenger Mountain. They don’t have any Nth Metal, so Mr. Terrific makes a desperate plea to Plastic Man to help them, and after all this time Plastic Man finally lets loose, successfully creating a path up to Barbatos. Plas is shaky, and afraid of losing control, but he manages to explain that Barbatos is too strong, but there is some source of his power that he can feel, somewhere in the Dark. Wonder Woman takes the Mace and gives her Lasso to Kendra to use as a tether. She grabs one end and dives headfirst into The Dark to find Carter Hall in his giant beastly form. Kendra tries to get through to him, but Barbatos insists that he is The Dragon of The Forge, and nothing more. He is interrupted by the sudden arrival of The Ultima Thule.
The Flash, Cyborg, Raven, and Detective Chimp have been around the Multiverse, and have come back with their own army of Batmen to help level the playing field. Carter begins to recognize Kendra, and this gives Wonder Woman faith that Batman and Superman can be saved. She dives headfirst into the Forge, as Kendra tries as hard as she can to shake Carter from Barbatos’ influence. Suddenly, The Forge erupts in bright white light, and out of it come Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. The three of them are decked out in bright white metal armor, Tenth Metal from within the Forge of Worlds. Batman has a small amount of Tenth Metal that he took with them, and believes that he can combine it with Cyborg to raise the Earth back out of The Dark, but Barbatos quickly smashes down the Ultima Thule with Cyborg and company still inside it. Cyborg manages to radio them that he’s okay, and they should take the Tenth Metal to the Cosmic Tuning Fork in order to channel it. Batman mounts a giant Joker Dragon and flies it up the mountain. He uses the spiritually malleable Tenth Metal and forms it into Batarangs, which he then throws at Aquaman and Green Lantern, who get Tenth Metal armor of their own. This gives them the edge they need to effectively fight back against the Dark Knights. Carter Hall finally breaks through, and attacks his former master Barbatos. In desperation, Barbatos calls to The Batman Who Laughs to enact their final plan.
The Batman Who Laughs is in a cave inside Challenger Mountain and removes the hood of his mysterious captive to reveal that it was the Over-Monitor, still reforming after the last Multiversal Crisis. He tells his prisoner his master plan, to combine the Over-Monitor’s energy with the Anti-Matter energy of the Anti-Monitor’s astral brain and the Dark Energy from himself to create a detonation that erases all of reality, creating nothing but Darkness. The read Batman interrupts his monologue to taunt and challenge The Batman who Laughs. The energy of the cave renders both their Nth and Tenth Metals inert, so the two go toe to toe without any powers, just their wits and their fists. The Batman who Laughs taunts Batman, saying that he has one rule as well, it’s “Batman always wins,” as he stabs Bruce in his stomach. Bruce falls and endures some more monologuing before finally cueing his secret weapon. A “Bang” flag flies through The Batman who Laughs chest as he turns to see The Joker standing in the cave. Batman and Joker attack The Batman who Laughs together as the battle continues to rage outside. Barbatos and Hawkman have been slugging it out, but finally Barbatos has him pinned. He is about to finish of his Dragon but suddenly Lady Blackhawk flies right through Barbatos’ chest with Wonder Woman’s Tenth Metal Bracer, saving her husband and incapacitating Barbatos. The heroes don’t have long before he will be back up, and have to act quickly Challenger Mountain begins to fall, and Bruce comes running out of the cave with The Over-Monitor in his arms. The Over-Monitor explains that the Tenth Metal armor the Justice League are wearing can be used to raise the Earth to back up out of the Darkness. They all band together and reached out with their minds. They banished Barbatos from Earth, they rose their home back to its rightful place, and as they did their minds reached out beyond The Source Wall and witnessed The Source itself.
With the day saved, The Justice League assembles as Wayne Manor to celebrate, along with Kendra Saunders and J’onn J’onnz, who Bruce welcomes to be new members of the team. After granting congratulations to his team, Bruce also mentions that there is more coming, and we get a series of teases for upcoming plotlines. Carter Hall is resting and will soon fly again as Hawkman, a New Age of Heroes is dawning, The Immortal Men are watching, and the Dreaming has been disrupted. But that’s not all Bruce mentions because apparently they also saw some glimpses of the future when they communed with The Source. They saw The Darkstars, arisen Atlantis, a conflict between The Flashes, and a new Dark Pantheon of cosmic beings. The Justice League will be prepared for these things, Bruce assures them, but for now, it is time to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate something so Metal than with a rock show, complete with Alfred on the drums. As the heroes enjoy their success, Bruce takes Clark and Diana into a back room to show them some upcoming plans, and blueprints for the Hall of Justice.
The epic rock concert that was Metal ends the way any good rock show should: loudly, with a lot of lights, and leaving the audience smiling. Greg Capullo showed no signs of fatigue on this extra-sized issue, with epic battles including all kinds of awesome nightmares, intense clashes, and the awesome Joker Dragon that Batman makes a steed out of. The climactic battle at the end is suitably brutal and badass, but admittedly the appearance of The Joker at the end is a little strange given that he hasn’t been mentioned or seen since the prequel issues of the series, not even properly part of Metal until the moment he saves the day. The encore at the end feels more like an ad than an epilogue, but that’s to be expected from an event of this magnitude and does help point the reader towards where to find the answers to the questions they’re left with. The inclusion of the new members of the Justice League is exciting, it’s particularly nice to have the heart and soul of the Justice League back on the team. All in all, the total story of Metal was an exciting, dark, and kick-ass experience, and definitely a ticket worth getting.