REVIEW: DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4 Author: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
Date: December 20, 2017
SYNOPSIS: The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears aloneÖand the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!
Metal is a hard book to review.
On one hand, itís ridiculous. Thereís too many characters, too many locations, too many explanations and just not enough space in my brain to follow along.
On the other, itís ambitious, scary, fresh, and Greg Capulloís art has never been better. Every page looks great.
In the end, Iím finding Metal just isnít my type of story. I find it hard to follow, complex for the sake of being complex, and has crossed into science fiction territory (not my strong suit). Despite my personal feelings, there are moments I really enjoy. Plus, just because it's not my style doesn't mean itís not good.
This monthís issue #4 picks up right where we left off last issue (2 months ago). Basically, the Justice League has scattered, each member taking along another known DC character. Theyíre trying to find the last pieces of metal that can ultimately take down the nightmare Batmen and ultimately, Barbatos. Meanwhile, Superman is in the Dark Multiverse, saving The Dark Knight. They encounter Dream, who gives them a direction and a purpose to help take out this evil once and for all. While that sort of summarizes these 23 pages, it hasnít even scratched the surface. Thereís plenty of exposition, action, twists and a few surprising reveals. Youíre going to get your moneyís worth.
Metal #4 is an improvement upon the last issue (which I simply didnít care for). Mainly, the book gives us a goal and a direction. Weíre working toward a resolution now. What put me off last issue was that after 2 issues (plus The Forge and The Casting), we werenít getting any answers but just more questions. And it wasnít making sense to me. Here, though itís still bonkers, Batman and Superman are heading toward this Forge of Worlds for a last piece of metal. Despite all of the other complicated story elements, I can follow along with this.
Another strength in this book is bringing The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel together. Writer Scott Snyder clearly understands their relationship, and displays it here in every panel. Iím a bit of a sucker for superhero bonds, so this helped keep me optimistic and feeling for the characters.
Switching from story to art, Greg Capullo is the Lord of Darkness. If you take nothing else away from Metal, youíll at least be able to say it looks wonderful. This issue, heís taking us all over the globe (and multiverses), stylizing each setting in a unique way. He draws a colorful and sci-fi Thanagar Prime, a dark and eerie Atlantis, and a volcanic Forge of Worlds. Whatever my hesitancies on the story, the art is enjoyable every month.
By now, you know if youíre a fan of Metal or not. Itís ambitious, frustrating, gorgeous and complex. The book is a real head scratcher, and isnít exactly my cup of tea. But, if youíve been along for the ride this long, youíll enjoy this issue.
Oh, and Five Finger Death PunchÖ nice touch! - Ryan Lower
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.