REVIEW: Dark Days: The Casting #1

This second part of DC’s big Metal event hit the stores amid the mixed feelings of the previous issue, with the same creative crew pulling the strings.

This issue sees Batman gain an ally, a new mythical weapon that no human can wield (apart from Batman of course), more Hawk history and of course, with the Joker running around the cave, a confrontation and an explanation of sorts.  As with the first issue, there is a lot going on!

Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV continue the dive into DC history, with teases of Easter eggs running alongside the more recent Batman history.  The pair tie various threads from the New 52 and Futures End to give Bruce his reason for his obsession with looking into the Dark once more.  Dialogue wise, every sounds like you would expect; with the pairs time in the Bat-world I suppose that is a given.  Story wise, things are a lot more in tune this time around, with the past and the present not being so jarring. There are still a couple of contrivances that serve to annoy me, but that is definitely me being nit picky; things like who is flying the Batwing and how long is that claw and how does it fit in the nose part of the ‘Wing?

Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr and Jim Lee are back on art duties with their preferred crew of inkers in the shape of Danny Miki, Klaus Janson and Scott Williams.  As with the story, the art is also less jarring and its fair to say that Kubert and Romita certainly step up their  game.  There is a panel of the Hawks’ doing the round on twitter that is simple put, an echo of the history of the character and those such as Joe Kubert who have worked on them.  Romita Jr pulls out all the stops with a great Wonder Woman; an Amazonian in statue with just a touch of Jack Kirby thrown in there.  Tell me her hair doesn’t remind you of Medusa or Big Barda?  Jim Lee art, is well, Jim Lee. Coloers are provided Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper and for the most part, the pair deliver a vibrant affair, giving a visual contrast to the arching title of Dark Days.

The definition of “Casting” is to pour molten metal into a mould.  Taking the obvious metal out of the equation, and applying The Forge, it seems to me that Bruce’s actions have certainly been shaped and forced into the role that the Dark requires him to be.  Taken on its own, this book is a big improvement on the last issue, in part for the reasons mentioned above and also, because we now know what to expect from the format of the story.  It would certainly be advisable to read the pair of books back to back.  Finally, as with any prelude book, there are a myriad of question left unanswered, to whet your appetite for the upcoming one shots and main event.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Color – 4 Stars

Written by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder
Art by Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, and Alex Sinclair
Published by DC Comics

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