August 20, 2017
Dark Nights: Metal #1
Written by: Scott “Doom Commander” Snyder
Pencils by: Greg “Pain Bringer" Capullo
As for those secrets that Batman has locked away, it seems he's detected an anomaly deep within the core of the Earth, hiding in it's magma. Within the secret locked room of the Fortress of Solitude, Miracle Man is called upon by Batman to reveal a part of the Anti-Monitor's machines. Housed within Batman's lunar base in the unstable Plastic Man in an egg shaped holding container and the secret Batcave within the Batcave? What secrets does it hold? Deep within the labyrinthine construct stands the Joker (or at least one of them). They all hold some part to play in Batman's quest to peer into the darkness. All of this certainly hasn't gone unnoticed however, as Hal Jordan, the Immortal Men, the Blackhawks and Mr. Terrific all have their parts to play in this puzzle.
|Dark Days: The Casting #1|
In the next installment, Dark Days: The Casting, the mystery deepened as Batman sought the aid of the Olympian Gods themselves, but finds they have abandoned Earth due to a belief that a war is coming. A war that has the potential to reshape the Earth and the cosmos, bringing with it a crisis that will threaten to extinguish the light of creation. Batman feels it too. The shadows call out to him, yet he cannot make out what they are saying. In the meantime, Duke Thomas and Hal Jordan have their own problems as they try to sort out just why Batman would imprison one of the most dangerous villains on the planet without telling anyone? The Joker claims that he has to stop Batman from using his machines to dig any deeper or it will be the end of the world. How does he know this? He claims to have done it all before…that Batman has been tracking the metal within anyone containing it in their blood stream. The Joker then makes the startlingly revelation that Duke Thomas, aka Batwing was chosen by Batman because he is special. Special as in not to be a Robin but special to act as a signal for the darkness to hone in on. Therefore, for the Joker to save the world, Duke must die to snuff out the beacon and with it, stop the dark forces drawn to it. Almost funny, isn't it? The Joker as the good guy? Green Lantern and Duke are able to finally overcome a driven Joker only to let him escape as Duke begins to feel what the Joker was talking…a pull on the base of his spine from something unseen...out there.
Batman arrives to explain his digging machine and his quest to solve the mystery of the Nth metal. Whomever it comes in contact with is effected differently, bestowing upon them great powers. Duke, using Hal's ring, is able to create in light, a machine that Batman had envisioned that would allow him to peer into the darkness and finally get his answer. Manning this machine of light, he gets his look and collapses after trying. He disappointedly exclaims that all he was able to see was nothing, only a black void. Unbeknownst to Batman, he put 50000 years of waiting into motion. The seal has been broken, the Dark Knights arise and with them, the true father of Batman.
Many characters within the DCU attuned to the Nth metal can feel something coming and it's already on it's way. Batman's discovery of the many revelations through Carter Hall's journal prove to him that all that is about to transpire is all too true and further reinforced by the emergence of one of the most popular Vertigo line characters into the DCU, who assures Batman that this is no dream. Bird vs. Bat has come full circle.
The Verdict: I have always enjoyed the summer crossover events in comics and this one has been highly anticipated since it was announced several months ago. DC has imagined a whole new multiverse, albeit a dark one, steeped in Lovecraftian fashion of old forces waiting for the day to reemerge and walk the Earth again. The possibility of new stories is exciting to say the least and when you've assembled the kind of talent that's been working on this, it will be a hard series to put down in both story telling and artwork. I have especially enjoyed the use of some of DC's lesser known characters, some who haven't been seen in a long time to be given a part to play in this soon to be cross-title series, such as the android, Red Tornado and the Blackhawks. If you enjoyed the Forever Evil event of a couple summers ago or even Batman 666, you'll love this one. I recommend this issue for it's entertainment value alone but also for it's impending crossover into not only other titles, but for cross imprints as well. This one is well worth the fiver!