Dark Knights: Metal #4
Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Jonathan Glapion & Greg Capullo Cover by: Jonathan Glapion & Greg Capullo
The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears alone…and the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!…
Previous issues of the series were exciting and intriguing; from the build up and to the reveal of the Dark Knights invading Earth, it’s been pretty fascinating. Last month saw a lot of tie-in issues were released, some were great while some disappointing. All of them did increase the hype of the next main Metal installment, so I had certain expectations. Did it live up to them? I believe it did as the fourth issue is pretty darn great.
The first panel is a good recap of what’s currently going with the Justice League and co., and it was also a get tease for Sandman (aka Dream)‘s appearance. It’s clever and convenient, and it immediately got me ready for what was to come. What came was crazy, weird, and for the most part awesome. Some of DC’s greatest heroes are on the search for the Nth metal, and it seems like it will come to finding Hawkman’s mace. That leads to even more insane things; meanwhile Batman and Superman have been stuck for what seems like decades. I mean, their gray hair says it all.
The slightly less interesting side of things is when the heroes still on earth on a mission to save the Multiverse. It gets quite convoluted at points, but there are moments that make up for it. Sanders trying to use the Astral Brain of the Anti-Monitor to destroy the dark universe is a highlight, especially because it shows how desperate she is. She turns evil pretty quickly as she’s transformed into Lady Blackhawk, and this isn’t the last time we see a hero turned evil(?). We also get a small appearance from Black Adam (where’s Shazam?!?), so that’s nice.
The duo try’s to make their escape with the help of none other than Sandman himself. We get some Tripp’s artwork from the legend that is Greg Capullo; who shows his master skills at work here in every panel. He is able to successfully create an image that is greatly influenced by the Sandman series, but also feels very much like the DCU. Dream acts sort of as a speaker of exposition at points, explains some of the mythology with Barbatos and the Anti matter/monitor.
Dream tells them a story of Barabatos and the Forge, it’s so interesting and detailed I have to read this twice. They have to get to the Forge before it turns all dark, but in order to do so they must feel hope again. Superman is almost always full it of so he’s fine, but Batman (who’s been there for what feels like 3 decades), is all out of hope. As he tries to find something that will give him hope, it’s emotional and very personal. His answer to the problem is his family, Damian and the rest of his sons. Hope is seemingly restored in him but when they find make it out of the Dark multiverse, the Forge is revealed to already be dark and as Dream says; “All hope turns to ash.” With that being said, now let’s talk about that big twist.
Carter Hall aka Hawkman is back!..sort of. He’s been turned into the Dragon of Barbatos, keeper of the Dark Forge. One could’ve guessed this because of how important he is to the story, and seeing Sander turn as well was a good setup and tease for the ending. What this means for the character isn’t certain, but I don’t think it will be a happy reunion between heroes come next issue.
Its not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Scott Snyder once again brings in the surprises, crazy moments, and a mythology-enriched storyline. There’s plenty to like here, and I believe a lot of fans will find something specific they love about. It’s vast and large in scope, but it’s continues to feel personal yet epic. Some small nitpicks like some clunky exposition and convoluted parts get beaten by the things that are great. The next two issues will have a hard job of finishing off this mini series, and it will likely determine if this is Snyder and Cappulo’s best work yet.