DARK KNIGHTS: METAL #5 / Written by Scott Snyder / Artist: Greg Capullo/ Colorist: Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia / Letterer: Steve Wands / Published by DC Comics
This issue sees the beginning of the end to the Dark Nights: Metal series run. I read this issue while listening to the Spotify playlist for Dark Nights: Metal, which Scott Snyder sent to me on Twitter (thank you Scott!). Previously in the series we left with the Justice League unsuccessfully searching for the Nth Metal while Superman and Batman reached the Forge of Worlds once Dream creates a passage. It is then they find the Forge of Worlds—meant to “be a place of creation, of beginnings”—has gone dark. Bruce and Clark encounter a giant, hawk-like creature claiming to be Carter Hall himself (“Dragon of Barbatos, Keeper of the Dark Forge”) who states that now there are only endings.
We pick up with Bruce and Clark traversing the Forge and avoiding Carter Hall. Capullo draws a compelling hell-scape that even includes a floating plateaus of Crime Alley and the Kent family farm. The action of Bruce and Clark playing “keep away” from the hawk-like Hall is translated well onto the page.
The story flips between Clark and Bruce and the League’s various points of view but finally finishes with Diana. I have been a fan of Scott Snyder for a while. In my opinion, Snyder can write a great Diana Prince. This issue is no exception.
The one major drawback with the Dark Nights: Metal series so far is that it is such a big crossover with so many side issues and related stories that it is often very confusing. Every story needs to read to make sense. This issue has a lot of the convoluted storyline that has plagued the Metal crossover event. Following this issue, another side story debuts next month with Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt and the last issue Dark Nights: Metal in March. Despite all that homework I still think this issue and the event is well worth the read.
I finished this issue with lyrics “No sign of the morning coming/You’ve been left on your own/Like a rainbow in the dark” from the song ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ by Dio pumping through my headphones while Diana and Kendra jump to face impossible odds and take one step closer to Barbatos. It was a fitting end to say the least. The issue’s climatic finish is a cliffhanger that has me yearning for next month’s installment.
Verdict: 4 out 5 Nth Metal Batarangs
In addition to writing and tweeting into the void, Elizabeth Garcia enjoys applying ethical and political theory to modern comics while wearing leggings and drinking wine with her cat on her beat-up couch.