Dark Nights: Metal #1 Review
By John Saavedra
Wow, it feels so good to have this dream team back on a Batman book. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia return for the most rock n’ roll DC Comics event ever put on the page. The culmination of years of work by Snyder et al begins with a lot of action and the dialogue equivalent of guitar shredding. This team, which once pit Batman against a giant kaiju and also had him punch a horse, has never done anything louder or crazier than Dark Nights: Metal.
For the uninitiated, Dark Nights: Metal is a Justice League book focused on Batman’s investigation of Nth metal, a mysterious element that bestows power to whomever wields it. It’s how Carter Hall became Hawkman, for example. Hawkman actually plays a pivotal role in the first issue (and in the two Dark Days prologue books that were released in June and July), as Batman slowly uncovers the secrets of the metal’s origin. What he finds will change the DC Universe forever.
I don’t want to go into too much more detail about the plot. I will say that the book has a couple of great twists and turns you absolutely won’t see coming. If you’ve been on the internet for the past 48 hours, then you probably already know about how the first issue ends. It’s a pretty big shame that DC decided to spoil the issue’s big cliffhanger, especially since this is a Snyder/Capullo book and doesn’t need much more than that byline to fly off the shelf. Either way, it’s a crazy reveal that shows just how many webs Snyder is spinning with this book.
My favorite thing about Snyder’s Batman is how funny he can make the Dark Knight’s most dire situations, especially when it’s clear that the Caped Crusader is going to find a way to outsmart everyone in the end. There’s quite a bit of that in the first issue, and Snyder’s comedic timing is flawless. Batman even picks up a new ride during one of his most daring escapes yet. You’re going to crack up.
Capullo does some of his best work in his big return to DC Comics, delivering beautifully intricate spreads and ambitious action sequences that will remind you why he’s the Batman artist of a generation. With Glapion and Plascencia on inks and colors, it really feels like the dream team never left in the first place. Best of all, we get Capullo’s take on some characters he’s never tackled before. His design for one particular fan favorite is gorgeous and well worth the wait.
Ultimately, Dark Nights: Metal #1 ends with more questions than answers, but already the book feels like a much bigger adventure than anything Snyder has ever thought up. While definitely familiar at certain points, the Snyder and Capullo partnership is really pushing its style to the limit with this book. It’s ambitious, action-packed, and, above all else, a hell of a lot of fun.
Dark Nights: Metal #1 is out now.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Capullo, Glapion, Plascencia
Variant Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics