Want a light fun read with the family while everyone sits around with bated breath? Read something else. But if you want to see Batman and Co. battle the darkest force in the multiverse, I’ve got the perfect fix. Dark Nights: METAL is an event that pushes Batman and the rest of the Justice League to their limits. To combat enemies beyond anything this world has ever seen, it will take a team effort from the World’s Greatest Heroes to thwart whatever is coming their way. Written by Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Wytches, Batman), with art by Chris Capullo (Spawn, X-Force, Batman), colors by Jonathan Glapion, Dark Nights: METAL is a deep dive into furthest reaches for our caped crusader.
After waiting for Dark Nights: METAL to finally wrap up I am here to offer up my review of the series as a whole. The six-issue half-marathon which started last October, released its finale this week and it does not lack in activity and twists.
I’ve always been a fan of Batman, but I’ll be the first to admit I have little knowledge about the vigilante crime fighter/detective outside the film series’ and the Adam West iteration of him. I may have read a Batman comic at one point back in the late 90s, but I couldn’t tell you anything about it. So I enter this review as somewhat of a Batman novice.
I have been a fan of Snyder’s writing since I first read Wytches and American Vampire. Besides writing for so many other Batman series, his experience with writing dark and disturbing horror as well as all his other Batman series made him a perfect fit. However, something was missing for me here. Perhaps, because it’s not a Snyder-created world, Dark Nights doesn’t hold that same element of twistedness of Snyder’s mind. I blame this on working in an already developed world. It’s not bad by any means, but if you’ve read his creator-owned stories, you’ll notice a difference.
As popular as he is, I’m not as familiar with Capullo. I loved his style in this series. What more can I say about the man? He’s a veteran artist of Batman and deservedly so. As I read each issue, I did my darndest to pay attention to the story for two reasons. One, because I was told I wouldn’t need to know any previous Batman storylines, and two because I needed to know what I was talking about to write this. Well, that went out the window after issue two. There was so much going on, I lost track of the countless characters that were brought in, and every page was on the verge of gluttony. The last issue felt like an episode of The Hobbit trilogy. In fact, I think it’s still going.
I’m not here to bad-mouth Snyder or Capullo. I’d suggest that this series could have gone longer, instead of trying to stuff too much into six issues. In my opinion, it hurt the art and the story. I can almost picture Snyder and Capullo blasting some Iron Maiden while creating Dark Nights: METAL. It's as metal as it gets. As you’ve noticed, I haven’t discussed any plot points, and that’s due to more than me not following the story even after multiple readings. It’s more because I know fans of Batman have probably already read the series. This review is more for folks like me who walk into this party for the first time. Let me give those brave souls some advice. Do your homework first. There are several tie-ins to Dark Nights, which fit in between individual issues as the series progresses. I didn’t read any of those, assuming they wouldn’t add much to this story arc, and I’m not one for commitments.
All six issues are available now. Before you start reading them, pretend you’re about to enter the highest level of a college course without attending any prerequisites. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to crank up the volume to 11.