REVIEW: DARK NIGHTS: METAL #11
Author: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
Date: October 11, 2017

SYNOPSIS: Superman is pulled into the mystery of the Dark Multiverse while the Justice league follows the trail to a weapon that could keep the forces of the Dark Multiverse at bay!

DARK KNIGHTS METAL #3 is a frustrating read.

After Batman was sucked into the Dark Universe (?) last issue, we kick off this issue with Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince having a peaceful life in Metropolis. Not all is as it seems however, and Clark finally wakes up in the real world, surely wanting to go back to dreamland. (Where’s Sandman?) His reality now is being taken over by these evil Batmen, most notably The Batman Who Laughs. Superman sets out on a mission to save The Dark Knight from this evil sanctuary, and enlists The Flash to tag along. The end of the issue reunites The Man of Steel with The Dark Knight, but regrettably wishes he hadn’t.

As I had hoped it wouldn’t, but predicted it would, METAL #3 has taken a detour into weird. While the first two issues were a fun sort of “what is going on?” This issue was odd, confusing and irritating. My quick synopsis above is me trying to explain in a quick way what happens in this issue, but doesn’t do it justice. Also found in these panels is Dr. Fate, a race around an egg, a tower made of drained citizens, dialogue concerning other issues, and a stretched explanation on Batman’s “warning.”

Frankly, I didn’t care for this issue.

I love Scott Snyder’s work, especially with Batman. I’ve bought and supported everything (and I mean everything) he’s put out on the character. But this issue included the parts of his work I don’t care for. It got very sci-fi, expository and dialogue-heavy. For instance, Superman’s plan that he discusses with The Flash had me glossing over each talk bubble. I re-read it about 3 times, still scratching my head and not caring what it is they’re talking about. You can say that means this book is deep, but for me it means it’s overloaded with explanation that I don’t care for. Snyder has done this a few times in his previous work, and I had the same feelings then. I’m sure there are many fans who love it and are all in. To that, I raise my glass and say “cheers!” – it’s just not for me.

Another weakness this issue has is bringing in Nightwing, Damian and the Green Arrow to discuss what’s been happening in their crossover books. This is classic comic book event story. To fully understand what’s been happening (and to understand their dialogue in this issue), you need to have bought those other books and followed along. I am strongly against having to buy all of these tie-ins to understand the story. DC says METAL is 6 issues, so fans should only have to buy those 6 issues to get their money’s worth. Fortunately, I’ve been able to follow along with these tie-ins (the dark Batmen one-offs have been surprisingly good), but it still made me roll my eyes when this came up in the issue. This annoys fans when it comes to event stories. But to DC, (sorry Joker), it’s about the money, not sending a message.

Overall, METAL #3 took a turn for the worse for me. I enjoyed the first two issues, even though they were batsh*t crazy. There was something fun about it and I was all-in, thanks to Batman’s involvement. Though I understand you have to take the Dark Knight away so he can have a triumphant return, his absence in this issue is noticeable. It lagged yet had too much thrown at us. I hope fans of METAL got what they wanted from this issue (I really do). I was left wanting more, yet had enough.

But hey, the art was good! - Ryan Lower

GRADE: C+

A lifelong Batman fan, Ryan Lower grew up in the midwest
reading, watching, dreaming of The Dark Knight.
His favorite Batman stories are
THE LONG HALLOWEEN, THE DARK KNIGHT
and anything from
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.
He currently resides in his own Batcave in Chicago.
Follow him on Twitter @LOWER_RYAN.


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