Hello World!

So…I made an oopsie.

I’m sure you’ve noticed something weird about the title. I bet you were going, “Hey, uh, Mad…I know it’s been a while since you last touched this book but, you DID realize you made a typo, right? Isn’t this supposed to be issue #3?”

Well actually no. No it isn’t.

Turns out that Scott Snyder’s trainwreck of an event is even more horribly mangled than at first glance.

Cover taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

Because those two issues, the ones I gave very different marks for…they’re one fucking issue.

Some of the more detail-oriented of you will have noticed that, while the last review was titled “Issue #2”, the url called it 1-5 (or 1.5). So, yes, I did know about this mistake when I posted part 2, but I was already days late posting anything and I didn’t want to do the serious amount of editing it would take to address the issue (considering I wrote the whole damn review around it being issue #2) and, most importantly, I thought it brought up an interesting point about Dark Nights: Metal as a whole:

THE PACING IS GARBAGE.

It says a lot about a series that someone reading it for the first time (and second…), in its ultimate compilated collection, can mistake one issue for two so fucking easily. Hell, I probably never would have known had I not wanted to pull some screencaps of the sneaky-fart-faces Greg drew constantly last time around.

Doesn’t that reveal a little something?

NOT ABOUT ME! Geez…I swear, I’m not THAT ditzy.

I mean, the first half of issue #1 felt short, but it felt like such a good little one shot. I thought for sure it was an issue #0 – just a cute little intro to the coming adventures, a pallet cleanser before we get into the really hard stuff – but Pinkie assured me that nope, DN:M doesn’t HAVE an issue #0. So I accepted that and I figured after the big, obnoxious “METAL” title page, then this must be where the next chapter starts.

Nope.

It’s all one issue with such a disgusting break-neck 180 in theme, mood, pacing and quality that I mistook it for two separate pieces. Even Pinkie, who’s my resident comics expert, who has catalogues of these fucking things compressed in his head like some geek Sherlock Holmes, didn’t realize it was a single issue!

That reveals a lot to me.

And I wish I could say that the pacing improves after issue #1. I really do. But, we’re on issue #2 now and…buckle in folks. This is going to be a looooong ride.

THE RUBRIC

Story

  • Continuity
    • If this matters to the story, does it account for the stories happening around it, or that have happened before it?
  • Dialogue
    • Is it realistic? Does it get across its intended purpose? Does it flow? Is it consistent to the character speaking? Does it serve a purpose beyond just exposition?
  • Coherence
    • Does it make sense? Is it easy to follow the sequence of events? Were events properly foreshadowed?
  • Conciseness
    • If there’s a point, is it made and is it made well?
  • Development
    • Is there depth? If not, is there at least some level of intrigue?

Art

  • Linework (and Inking)
    • How does it look? For inking, is it noticeable? Does it get the job done?
  • Lettering
    • Do the text bubbles clutter the page, or do they organically work with the art to help tell the story?
  • Colour
    • Is it well implemented? Does it fit the tone of the work? Is basic colour theory used? If something experimental is being done, does it work?
  • Forms, Proportions, and Perspective
    • Do things look the way they should? If not, is this because of a stylistic decision or because of ineptitude?
  • Style
    • Does the artist have a specific style that they like to use, and is it aesthetically pleasing within the context of the work? Is the artist’s style distracting or obnoxious? Dull and bland?

 

With these things in mind, let’s get on with this shit sandwich.

SYNOPSIS

The issue starts with all of the Justice League out looking for Batman, who has totally fucked off. We don’t know how long they’ve been looking for him, but now the world is covered in batsymbols caused by heavy metals being raised from the Earth or something.

What follows is a series of puns from different Justice League members that just totally breaks any tension in the scene, and then a visual gag where Superman notes how Batman is “only one man”, meanwhile the core Justice League members are hunting down five Batmen on skidoos in the Amazon…

Ha.

And there are more puns as the heroes hunt down the Batman imposters…yay.

Anyway, it looks like they’ve cornered the last Batman after the rest of Batfamily, who’re all wearing some kind of Batman-cloaking tech, is subdued. The Justice League begin demanding that they hand over whatever Batman has apparently stolen recently or something.

Alas, the Batfam are two steps ahead, as they’ve all plucked some special flowers that piss of Swamp thing, and have led the Justice League straight to his home in the Parliament of Trees.

Damian Wayne and Batman, meanwhile, are elsewhere in the jungle, driving through in a Bat-tank, thinking they’ve gotten away. Then Superman swoops in and steals Bruce straight out from the tank, leaving Damian behind.

Look at how Bruce turns away. You just know his heart wants to say yes. Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

Batman and Superman share a very romantic moment where Bruce plays tsundere, saying he doesn’t want Soops’ help, then explains that the Judas Tribe (the people who are trying to summon Barbatos) only need to infect him with one more heavy metal before he turns into the doorway. It would seem that, over some of his past adventures, Bruce has come in contact with some heavy metals and now he’s almost prepped to be Barbatos’ little black wagon.

Anyway, Wonder Woman interrupts Bruce and Soops’ touching moment and says Bruce is lying.

Soops then punches a hole in Batman’s chest…

Don’t worry, it’s not actually Batman. Even though you saw blood and stuff, it’s okay because it was Clayface just pretending to be Bruce. And he’s very proud of his performance.

Realizing they still don’t know where Bats is, they all wonder where in the world their friend could be…

Cut to Kendra going to visit Darth Vader’s lava lair where a bunch of immortals are meeting to discuss the impending invasion. They’ve all decided to just try to blow up the Dark Universe with an Anti-Monitor brain (if you’re like me and don’t know what that is, just don’t worry about it. It really doesn’t matter), which apparently could also destroy all of existence. Seems like a fair and measured response. Like, sheesh, if they’re willing to take this 50/50 chance, Barbatos must be pretty awful. Put a pin in that for now.

Kendra then has an epiphany after Ra’s al Ghul says that he knows Batman will fight this to the end, and realizes where Batman must be heading. And I guess wherever he’s heading isn’t good, because she totally freaks out.

Cut to Batman in the Tomb of Khufu in the Valley of the Kings…any fans of Egyptian history, put a pin in that too. I’ll address THAT down below.

Anyway, Batman’s in the tomb and Soops and Wonder Woman show up to stop him. He, in turn, threatens them with baby Darkseid, which was apparently the thing he stole and that everyone wants back because it’s dangerous.

I bet y’all were thinking after the last issue that they wanted him to give back that Nth metal he stole.

You’re silly.

That would be stupid.

You know what’s not stupid? Taking your best friends with extraordinary super powers on a wild goose chase so you can steal a baby god so you can travel back in time and defeat Barbatos with Hawkman’s mace – which was used to defeat Barbatos before, apparently – completely ignoring the fact that this is a suicide mission and you’re a fucking father, and the fact that your super powered friends with millions of different resources at their disposal, like, say, the Phantom Zone for example (we’ll come back to this), would be more than willing to help stop you from becoming some evil entity’s wagon.

No.

Me reading this issue. Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

That’s not fucking STUPID at all.

I guess Superman and Wonder Woman could hear my sarcasm, because they too start pointing out that they can help him, but apparently it’s all too late. Kendra invades their bluetooths and tells them that she actually destroyed the Tomb of Khufu years ago and that they’re actually in the Tomb of Hath Set, which is apparently bad or something.

Well…not or something this time. It is bad, because these weird, toothy monster men come out claiming to be owls (they’re called the Strigydae, but that’s just Greek for owl), and then some Court of Owls people show up to monologue about how Batman’s ENTIRE EXISTENCE has been painstakingly orchestrated to bring him to this moment. Put a pin in this too.

Anyway, with him right where they wanted him, the Court of Owls, or Judas Tribe, or Strigydae, or whatever the fuck they are suddenly infect Batman with the last heavy metal…

I don’t want to say it.

But…it’s so stupid.

Fine.

Sigh…the last heavy metal they needed to infect him with was Batmanium

I…

Moving on…

They infect him with it and the portal opens, Bruce gets zapped and something horrific comes through the portal. A swarm of zombie Robins rush through and kill the owl people, crowing like mad ravens. We get another pun, as a familiar face steps into the limelight.

Superman asks what happened to Batman, and is met with a resounding, “I’m right here” from an entire Justice League’s worth of Batmen, plus a nazgûl in the background.

A voice rings out with some “menacing” dialogue as Superman and Wonder Woman are super-aged and mummified, screaming.

Superman’s having a bad day… Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

MY THOUGHTS

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

Oh, and did I mention that I fucking hate it?

This issue…this issue exemplifies why I avoided comics for years. I felt like a total idiot reading this. Things that needed no explanation were explained in a condescending manner – like Wonder Woman clarifying to the audience that the weird, grey, red-goggle-wearing baby Bruce has IS INDEED Darkseid, like it wasn’t painfully obvious – and things that really NEEDED an explanation were totally glossed over and it feels like Snyder just assumes you know what he’s referencing – like when Carter Hall’s journal, which makes an appearance again, goes off about how the multiverse was created.

Like, this same issue came from the guy who spent two pages last time to explain the etymology of fucking names, and now he can’t be fucked to explain ANYTHING??? Alright. Fine.

Related image

How I feel reading this book…

I’m just not sure who this is written for.

Pinkie tried to assert to me that it’s meant for long-time fans, since it refers to Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis as well as everything Batman-related Scott Snyder had done up to this point, but I have a hard time believing that.

I mean, this is clearly a story that is not forgiving to newcomers, so you’d assume it’s for people who’ve committed to the DCU, HOWEVER I can’t see how anyone could read this and not feel condescended to. I mean, that Darkseid shit was obnoxious. I’m a goddamn newb and I knew the baby was Darkseid. It’s pretty fucking obvious. If this was REALLY meant for fans, you could skip the bullshit exposition and GET ON WITH IT.

And that’s just the comic book stuff! Snyder references a REAL WORLD place and gets it WRONG, which I found very frustrating, and he fails at any chance to show off his suspense chops by constantly undercutting it with bad jokes or by dragging scenes out for too long. He also seems to fail to realize that (and this surprises me because he’s an English professor) that things tend to be scarier WHEN THEY DON’T FUCKING TALK. I’ll go into more detail around these things in a later review, but…God, I thought the last issue was annoying…

And we’re still only at the beginning.

Story

I could probably pick this issue apart forever, and get really nitpicky with it, but I’m going to focus my biggest grievances with the story down to three points.

The first and easiest to address would be the Tomb of Khufu.

Anyone who has an interest in Egyptology or ancient history I’m sure already know this, but for those of you who aren’t big history geeks, the Pharaoh Khufu is the monarch buried inside the oldest and largest of the three pyramids of Giza.

I’ve done only a little bit of research, so if I’m wrong and there is indeed another Khufu then I apologize, but, as far as I can tell, there are no Khufus buried in the Valley of the Kings as far as we’re aware, so Pharaoh Khufu (the Greeks called him Cheops) would have to be the “tomb” Snyder is referencing. The pyramid is the first thing to come up when you search “Tomb of Khufu” in Google, next to some walkthroughs for Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and when you search the name Khufu in relation to “Valley of the Kings”, you either get articles on the pharaoh or on who else is buried in the Valley of the Kings…I would think if there was a Khufu II or something in the Valley of the Kings, he’d have come up in my searches. Researching monarchs is pretty easy…

So my question is: Is Batman fucking stupid?

He claims to have been given coordinates to the location by Carter Hall’s journal, and the Court of Owls claim they changed the coordinates to send him to the tomb of the guy who cursed Kendra and Carter to be immortal…

So…I have several questions:

  1. If, in Carter’s journal, a name went with the coordinates, why didn’t Batman see something was wrong? Why didn’t he think to check whether or not the tomb of Khufu was in the Valley of the Kings or not? And, being a genius and all, why didn’t he just know that Khufu was buried in Giza, which is a 7 hour drive from the Valley of the Kings…so it’s not like he’s even a little close…and Pinkie tells me he’s spent time training in Egypt, so he should really know at least a little something.  And even if a name wasn’t attached to the coordinates, why wouldn’t he think to look where he was going?
  2. Kendra claims she destroyed the Tomb of Khufu decades ago (she also calls him a prince…so maybe they are talking about someone else?), and so it has to be the Tomb of Hath Set that he’s in because…uh…well…we’ll address that later. But if the Tomb of Khufu was destroyed decades ago, then why isn’t that common knowledge? Like, the destruction of an Egyptian tomb would probably be a big deal, wouldn’t it? Especially decades ago when Egyptology would have been really popular…And if a pyramid was destroyed, and by “prince” Kendra actually meant pharaoh, then THAT certainly would have been noticed, and Pinkie tells me that the pyramids are fine and dandy in the DCU as far as he’s aware.

    The Tomb of Khufu…just in case you were wondering. I know. It’s subtle. Hard to tell.

  3. Why does it even have to be the tomb of Khufu to begin with? Are we basing the “Tomb of Khufu” marker from Batman’s knowledge, or is it Snyder trying to throw readers off the scent of the trap? Because it’s confusing. Even if the tomb is meant to be for someone other than the famous one buried in the pyramids, it seems a poor choice to use someone so famous when it’s meant to be a trap because every alarm bell goes off that something is wrong, which makes Batman look like an even bigger idiot than he already does by running away from his friends. Like, I get that he’s supposed to be freaking out and all, but Batman doesn’t freak out THIS badly. I’ve NEVER seen him written this way before and it’s REALLY jarring. It doesn’t feel like just a mistake, it feels like this guy is a total fucking dunce, because if the audience can tell something is wrong, Batman DEFINITELY should be able to. He’s supposed to be BETTER than us!
  4. Why do this “you’re in the wrong place!” shit when he wants to be somewhere where time travel is possible? Why would the random tomb of some Egyptian prince or pharaoh be a prime place for Batman to omega-beam himself back in time when, I would think, the tomb of the asshole who could make people immortal would be much better magical real estate. I mean, I know long-time DC fans would probably recognize the name and associate it with bad news, but again, wouldn’t they also recognize it as a place that Batman might actually be able to do some voodoo shit? And if the whole purpose of using the name Khufu was to instill a “this is bad” vibe from the audience, and this is a comic meant for long-time DC fans, wouldn’t just establishing this tomb as Hath Set’s be a good way to do that?
  5. Why does the Court of Owls even need this place? Do they need this place? Or did they just need to get Batman isolated? But if they just needed him isolated, then why did they send him to Egypt? Did they need the tomb of Hath Set to get the Batmanium? Well that’s not true, because they used a super collider to make it because it’s an element that doesn’t exist in their world, so that’s not it. Actually, come to think of it, how did Kendra know it was going to be a trap to begin with just because they’re in the tomb of Hath Set? That implies that that tomb was necessary for the final mantling or whatever, but instead of explaining why that is, the fucking court dude just rambles on about how they’re the reason Bruce Wayne is even fucking Batman and whatever…wait, Bruce Wayne is only meant to be the wagon because his name is Wayne, right? Why not find another Wayne to make the wagon? There have been no real stipulations on how this plan of Barbatos’ actually works, so why does he actually need Batman in the first place?…FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK.

It seems like such a stupid, little thing to pick out, right? Like, who cares about the name associated with the tomb? But once you really start thinking about it, this one, seemingly insignificant detail reveals some serious plot holes, not least among them Batman’s fucking plan, which is my second topic of grievance.

Batman’s plan is a goddamn travesty.

For one, if Batman knows that he’s only missing one metal before he turns into the wagon, why didn’t he just quarantine himself? Why didn’t he, like I mentioned earlier, ask Superman to warp him to the Phantom Zone, where literally no one would be able to get to him, and would buy them time to find a solution?

Secondly, if Batman wanted to travel back in time, why did he steal baby Darkseid? As far as I’m aware, Darkseid’s omega beams vaporize, erase, and transmute matter through time and space. The few times he’s used the beams for transmutation, it was when he was an ADULT and WANTED it to happen. Not to mention, there are SEVERAL different ways to time travel in the DCU, and some Justice League members have access to these, so cutting out his friends seems like a major blunder.

Why trust a baby to know that you want him to time travel you and not just erase you from existence or turn you into gold or kill you? And even if baby Darkseid transported him back in time, because let’s assume those stupid goggles he has on change the beams to specifically time travel beams, who says he’d even end up in the right place? You can’t set a baby to a certain time and place…

Batman’s plan isn’t the only one with issues, though. The goddamn owls are ridiculous.

They claim that they’ve been spending years prepping Bruce for this plan…I mean…ugh, sure. However, the way it’s written, by prefacing this statement with “Since our ancestors broke from the birds for the bats and were condemned as the Judas Tribe, we’ve helped our dark brethren…”, it makes it sound like they’ve been plotting for Bruce Wayne to be Batman all along…

Also, if the Judas Tribe went from birds to bats, then why are they owls? I guess because they’re nocturnal like bats…?

Sure…whatever.

It’s just, if Barbatos is REALLY a bat god, then why would his followers be owls…cos don’t owls eat bats?…I guess that’s why Barbatos lets the Robins kill them.

The sacrilege.

Also, is “Judas Tribe” a more recent term? Because Judas sure as hell wasn’t a thing when this whole tribal shit was going on…but that’s by the by. I guess Snyder just wanted to really hit it home that these are bad dudes who betray people…even though that was well established in the first issue…ugh, just whatever.

I just find it hard to believe that this group of what I understand were meant to be an Illuminati organization run out of Gotham are now supposed to be bat-god-worshipping zealots whose high priests look like skinless shark jaws.

Pictured: A Parliament of Owls. Those are some weird looking owls. I didn’t know they had teeth… Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

Paired with Kendra’s ridiculous dialogue around the Tomb of Khufu, the ramblings of the court make it sound like they were somehow able to account for every single one of Batman’s decisions, and I hate evil plots like this. It’s such a lazy way to try and make the villain seem powerful and intelligent. I mean, the best laid out plans are the ones that account for when things could go wrong. By having these schemes that just go, “Oh yeah, that time you died? TOTALLY part of the plan” just seems to cheapen earlier stories and serves to make the villain appear omnipotent, and unless they literally ARE then it’s just lazy.

I mean, this shit didn’t work in Spectre, it certainly didn’t work in Batman v. Superman, and it doesn’t work here, and here’s why: if you have a supreme being and powerfully omnipotent god on your team, why centre the plan around one individual?

This is someone who can see through time and space. Why was his dark heart set on this one plan? Not even demons are set to exactly ONE form of summoning, so you’d think a god would have a little more leeway. Not to mention, Barbatos is only a “god” inasmuch as the Monitors and Anti-Monitor are gods – meaning they’re actually just giant, celestial entities. They’re NOT demons and they’re NOT gods; they’re not “supernatural” in the slightest, so this weird Hellblazer-level of summoning seems entirely misplaced.

I can’t help but think that, if all this god needs is these metals brought together to create the right frequency in order to create a portal to break into the universe, then why do they need Bruce Wayne at all? Why do they need a body? Why not make it so you need “sacrifices” in order to bring people across, so for every evil Batman you get, they’ve infected as many regular people and their positions in reality are replaced? Wouldn’t that make just as much sense as “Batman becomes a portal”?

Even then, that’s pretty complicated plot-wise. You could make this plan even simpler: it’s all the fault of the dark Batmen.

This will make sense later on, and this is the only foreshadowing I’ll be doing, but I just don’t see the need for a dark god to put this plan in motion when the coolest thing this story has to offer are the Dark Knights.

Anway, the story sucks. I hate the supernatural nonsense. I hate the stupid jokes that break all the tension Snyder so desperately wants to build up. I hate this misuse of Khufu’s tomb. I hate Batman’s plan. I hate that I’m thinking so much about it. I hate all of it.

  • Continuity – B
  • Dialogue – B-
  • Coherence – D-
  • Conciseness – D-
  • Development – R

Grade: C-

Visuals

Luckily, this section will be mercifully short.

The art in this issue is fine. It’s pretty spectacular towards the end. Capullo didn’t seem bored this time – he had stuff to do!

There were a couple instances where Wonder Woman’s expression didn’t really suit the tone of the scene or what she’s saying, but it’s nowhere near as bad as last time.

The best panel, though, was the reveal for all the Dark Knights. The one thing that ruins it is definitely the giant “Look Around” text, but other than that, the spread is perfection. The Knights all look really cool and seeing these pages AND NOTHING ELSE really prompts me to want to learn more.

The only thing that ruins the spread for me is the nazgûl. Don’t get me wrong, he looks cool, but he’s not one of the Knights. Turns out that THAT is Barbatos…

I don’t know about you, but when I heard there was going to be a bat god and a dragon I thought we were going to get…y’know…a giant demon bat or something?

And that big purple text is Barbatos talking…

Sigh.

I hate this issue but…this is fucking rad. Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by Greg Capullo

I’m planning on bringing up the whole “monsters don’t talk” argument in a later issue, as I’ve already discussed my story grievances and Barbatos has barely any presence in this issue, but it just seems so anti-climactic.

When I first saw these pages, I thought the nazgûl Batman was another Dark Knight who had maybe sold his soul to the devil or something, and that’s why he looks so fucked up. I had NO IDEA that that was supposed to be a god until the next issue when it’s made more evident, and it was a total let down. The first issue pumped up Barbatos to be a creature beyond nightmare…uh, I hate to tell you this, but my good dreams are more frightening.

Like, it’s just not scary. And why would you reveal your biggest, scariest villain ever in the second issue? Shouldn’t there be more build up? Was all that frustratingly pointless jibber jabber in the first issue meant to pump him up SO MUCH that we’d all shit ourselves when we saw him in this issue?

The saddest thing is that…and I refuse to take this back…but, Capullo worked on Spawn. Spawn. SPAWN. He should know how to draw scary, demonic entities!

Think about how fucked up and weird Malebolgia and the Violator look! I mean, at least it makes my skin crawl! I haven’t been scared by how the nazgûl look since I was nine, and they don’t have eyes! And didn’t talk until the third movie came out! And by then they’d built up so much creep factor that the taunts of the Witch King were genuinelycreepy!

When I am taking your big, DC event and saying goddamn Spawn was scarier, you need to check yourself.

I know Capullo didn’t design either of those demons, but he spent long enough drawing them, you’d think some creative conceptual skills for spooky things would have been learned. Fucking Green Lantern Batman looks scarier than the stupid “dark god”…fucks’ sakes…

  • Linework (and Inking) – A
  • Lettering – B
  • Colour – A
  • Forms, Proportions and Perspective – A-
  • Style – A-

Grade: A-

Final Mark

I get that I’m probably putting way too much thought into this. I really do. I wish desperately that I could switch off the logical part of my brain and enjoy this. I’ve been able to do it before with every genre listed on this site, so why can’t I do it with this?

I think part of it is because I really feel like an idiot reading it.

I know I said it before, but it’s true! Scott Snyder makes me feel dumb, and it’s not because my little brain just can’t fathom all this epic, mythological, sci-fi shit he’s flinging at me.

Pinkie’s got me reading Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis now, the book that Snyder clearly took influence from when writing Dark Nights: Metal.

So far I’ve read the first two issues of Final Crisis, just as I have thus far reread two issyes of Dark Nights: Metal. Some of the dialogue and story structure in Final Crisis makes little to no sense, however I have been able to follow along the story PERFECTLY so far. The little things that make me go, “wait, did I read that right?” have clearly been placed there for a reason, because Morrison addresses the weirdness almost as soon as it happens.

Final Crisis is pretty dense, continuity-wise, and yet I didn’t have to ask Pinkie for clarification on anything. I talked to him later to ask who some random Z-list villains that feature in issue #1 were, but beyond that I was able to follow the story perfectly.

The writing in Final Crisis doesn’t assume I know everything, nor does it baby me through the plot. It just tells a story, and because of that I can enjoy it as a story. I felt rewarded for knowing the things Morrison was referencing, and I wasn’t punished for not knowing something. I don’t feel the same when I’m reading Dark Nights: Metal.

One of the best examples is comparing how Morrison and Snyder handle bigger, “creation of the universe” type stuff.

Dark Nights: Metal issue #2 begins with the story of how the multiverse was created. The section was written so poorly that I had to keep asking Pinkie for clarification…on the first page. Then, when this story returns at the end, I had to ask Pinkie to clarify a parallel that was being drawn between the man blamed for creating the multiverse and Batman.

Image result for monitors dc final crisis

That Earth jar thing is cool. Art taken from a comics by DC© and drawn by J. G. Jones

Final Crisis issue #1 hard cuts from Green Lanterns fighting above Earth to the Monitors, a race of immortal beings whose only purpose is to watch over one of fifty two different Earths and protect them. One of the Monitors failed, and because of this his world died. He is thus banished to live out the rest of his life a mortal. Some of the Monitors don’t agree with this decision, as they believe he was set up and is not to blame for the death of his Earth.

Now, what the Monitors are were not explained in words. I wasn’t given a big history around who they are, where they came from, what their name means…I was given dialogue explaining the situation with the one Monitor, and the rest was conveyed visually, showing the many Earths piled one on top of the other with the Monitors, well, monitoring.

Pinkie later explained more surrounding the Monitors and their origins, but it wasn’t because I asked for it. It wasn’t because I needed it. He was just filling me in on things he thought I might find interesting after I’d already read the issue.

I dunno. It’s just strange to contrast my understanding of one comic I’ve read before to another that I haven’t, and one is infamous for being quite complex and confusing upon first reading it, while the other is not.

Again, I know I’m not supposed to take Dark Nights: Metal seriously, but it’s hard not to when the plot takes itself so seriously. I can’t help but think about where the tomb of Khufu could be when it’s such a famous location and it’s so blatantly mislabeled. I can’t help but question Batman’s plan when he’s famous for coming up with amazingly complex and well-thought-out plans to take out major villains. I mean, this guy outmatched Darkseid, but now he’s a panicky little bitch because another dark god is coming for him? I think not.

If the first issue failed to inform me that it was a single, cohesive story, then this issue failed to invest me in the story. Am I curious to see how the heroes will fight off this dark god that everyone thinks is unbeatable? Of course I am. I’m just afraid that Snyder is setting his story expectations too high…I just can’t help but feel like I’m going to be disappointed.

Final Grade: C+

Next week we’ll have a look at Issue #3. Actually this time. I’ll also be talking about the latest 2019 movie I’ve seen, a certain finale to a well-liked couple of films.

If you’d like more Mad content, check out some of our other reviews as well as MadLabs’ official Instagram!

Until next time.

Love,

theMadCEHMist

Dark Nights: Metal Review - Issue #2, Oopsie...
I know giving this a 69% is mean, cos it's so close to being a nice, round 70%, but this did not deserve a B-. This was a pain to read, and I got so passionate about my points against it that there were people outside my lab who were seriously concerned about me... This issue is sloppy. Not as sloppy as the last one, but it runs into some of the same problems. Things that ought to be explained are ignored, and things that need no explanation are explained in a condescending way. Snyder tips his hand too quickly and gives us a weak, pathetic looking "bat" god. The Dark Knights look cool, though, and the art is actually good this time.
Story60%
Visuals80%
Well Done
  • Art is good. Capullo isn't bored! Hallelujah.
  • Two of the puns were funny.
  • It didn't feel like two issues this time...
Needs Improvement
  • Snyder needs a geography and a history lesson or two...
  • Circuitous schemes are circuitous schemes are circuitous schemes are circui...
  • I guess Baby Darkseid is dead...or Red Death's pet. One or the other...
69%Grade

2 Responses

  1. Darklight

    So at this point Clayface’s biggest contribution to the DC Universe is to be the token twist-revealed fake with no other relevance to the story, right?

    Reply

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