Review: Dark Nights Metal #1

After not one, but two prologues DC Comics major summer event kicks off and kicks off in style.

As the book opens we find the Justice League prisoners of Mongul on a new War Moon, their powers dampened and forced to fight for their lives.  This being the League they of course find a way out of this newest jam.  Yet as they say on Apokolips out of the fire pit etc.   It seems that whilst the League were away a hollow mountain range appeared in Gotham, inside which lays an energy source that lead to a meeting with the Blackhawks and the first of many surprising reveals. I am not going to give the whole story away, but believe me, like Nth metal in Wayne Manor, you will want to stay tuned.

Scott Snyder seems to be writing like a kid in a candy store.  It appears that he loves world shaping stories; that much is evident with his Court of Owls, Death of the Family and End Game runs.  In Metal, he has a chance to shape not just Batman’s world but the whole DC Universe.  Snyder looks to pull on threads from his past work, building on Grant Morrison’s idea of a multiverse and using every facet of DC’s huge tapestry of characters.  Reaching such heady heights, it’s a wonder the reader doesn’t suffer from Vertigo.  One thing that divides fans of Snyder’s Batman is how Snyder always seems to write him behind the curve.  Case in point, the Owls existed for how long before Batman found them and now this life spanning evil. Whilst that’s certainly one point of view, I would like to think more people enjoy Batman actually being a detective rather than just being “all-knowing”.  With, this issue being the kick off point there is a lot of exposition to go through, yet it is a credit to Snyder that this never feel boring or long-winded.

Moving away from the studio of artists used for the prequels, Snyder is once again joined by bat-brother Greg Capullo.  The pair left the Batman book prior to Rebirth and whilst Snyder has continued to write a bat book with a team of rotating artists, it is plain to see that with the pairing of Capullo, they both bring the best out of each other. Capullo mixes strong lines and almost cartoony features on his characters.  Yet they all look, well the only word I can think of is epic.  The League looks as it should, bearing in mind they represent the most powerful of DC’s heroes.  Mongul looks like a real threat and not just a space heavy with muscles.  Camera angles are used well to compensate for some of the wordier elements of the script with backgrounds full of details and the odd cameo.  Capullo is joined on inks by Jonathan Glapion who shows a deft touch, letting the pencils doing all the work.  Colors are by FCO Plascencia who produces a scheme that works on every level and never misses a beat.  There are a plethora of variant covers, from the likes of Jim Lee, John Romita JR and Andy Kubert.  It’s your call as each one has something to offer.  My choice would be either Jim Lee or JR Jr., for the record.

So there you have it, DC’s summer starts here, with another part of Gotham destroyed and Batman keeping secrets from his friends.  This may sound like a poor setup for such a huge event, but lest we forget, Snyder’s storytelling is all about the journey and when the landscape is provided by Capullo et al, who can really complain. Please fasten your seat belts, we are in for wild ride.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

Written by; Scott Snyder
Art by; Greg Capullo
Inks by; Jonathan Glapion
Colors by: FCO Plascencia
Published by; DC Comics

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