Dark Nights: Metal #3
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Capullo, Glapion and Plascencia
SPOILER WARNING: Usually our reviews are relatively spoiler free, allowing you to read and enjoy the issue. While this issue is still readable and enjoyable after reading this review, it may contain more spoilers than our normal content
Previously: The Dark Knights have invaded! Seven evil versions of Bruce Wayne from the Dark Multiverse, each one representing a member of the Justice League, are led by Barbatos to conquer the Earth. The heroes of the world are in hiding or incapacitated, but a small group from Gotham managed to take down an evil Robin with an Nth Metal arrow.
The latest installment of the dark crisis primarily follows Superman, who begins the issue trapped in a prison within his own mind. Barbatos has forced him to experience the loss of his worlds and friends over and over, living and dying countless lives. He wakes up face to face with Wonder Woman, who is using the Lasso of Truth to bring Superman back to reality. She tells him that he has been missing for a week as the two fly through a ruined Metropolis filled with people infected by the Doomsday Virus. Wonder Woman tells Superman that Barbatos is in Gotham City, who angrily flies off to confront him before Wonder Woman can warn him of what he’ll find there. Superman finds Barbatos on top of Challenger Mountain in Gotham, surrounded by skeletons. Superman goes in for the attack but is quickly ambushed by The Devastator and The Batman Who Laughs. The two taunt and pummel Superman, The Devastator’s strength proving far too much for him to handle. As the evil Batmen prepare their killing blow, Superman is saved at the last second by Dr. Fate and The Flash, who grab the Man of Steel and run him to safety.
Superman finds himself in The Oblivion Bar, a safe place hidden in a pocket dimension where magic users both good and evil can seek refuge. Kendra Saunders is there with most of The Justice League as well as a few other allies such as the Gotham Resistance and heroes associated with Nth Metal. They devise a plan, armed with the new knowledge that Nth Metal has the ability to hurt the Dark Knights. Nth Metal is very rare, so they will have to find more. The Plastic Man Egg begins to vibrate, and Mr. Terrific recognizes that it’s trying to transmit coordinates. Four locations are given, one is in deep space, another is beneath Atlantis, the next is at the Rock of Eternity in the center of the Multiverse, and the last points to somewhere in the Dark Multiverse.
The heroes split up into teams, each one with someone who is sensitive to the Nth Metal, and they pick their destinations. Superman insists on going after Batman in the Dark Multiverse, claiming that he could feel Batman calling to him when he was in his mental prison in the beginning of the issue. They have no more time to strategize, however, as the Dark Knights find them and attack the Oblivion Bar. Nightmaster, the trusty bartender of the bar stays back to buy time as the teams venture off to try and save the world. Wonder Woman goes with Dr. Fate and Lady Blackhawk to the Rock of Eternity, Green Lantern takes Mr. Terrific and Plastic Man into space, Aquaman heads to the ocean with Deathstroke, and Superman takes The Flash and Steel to the Fortress of Solitude. Superman shows them the Anti-Monitor’s antenna that Batman had been keeping, and theorizes that with the Phantom Zone Projector and the Speed Force, he can create a portal to the Dark Multiverse. The Flash slingshots Superman through the portal, only for Superman to find that the message he thought he heard from Bruce was in fact a warning. Barbatos had set a trap, and now both Batman and Superman are prisoners in the Dark Multiverse, hopeless as Barbatos continues his reign on Earth.
Thoughts on the issue: Now that the bad guys have arrived and the world has gone to hell, the storytelling is getting more linear in Snyder and Capullo’s epic event. Following a single character, the issue still manages to show us a few different corners of the invasion. We see the destroyed cities of Metropolis and Gotham, as well as the futility of attacking the Dark Knights, who only need 2 to take out possibly the most powerful being on the planet. Then to the underground, where the big scheme of the next act of this event really starts to take shape. After all of the horror that has been wrought by Barbatos and Co, we finally have some hope, a plan that could possibly take them down and restore the world. Things are beginning to look better as Superman turns gold flies to save his friend, only to have those hopes dashed by a sinister plot, as the book comes full circle and places Superman in a prison of Barbatos’ making, just like on the very first page. It’s an emotional roller coaster full of plot that makes you wonder how this issue doesn’t have twice as many pages as it does.
One Last Thing: The last time Barry was near that antenna he ended up dead for 23 years. He’s pretty chill about that apparently.