Review: Dark Nights: Metal #4 By Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo For DC Comics (Spoilers)

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #4 (Spoilers)

“I can give you the most powerful weapon in all of creation… I can give you…a story.” – Dream

Published by DC Comics

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo

Colours by FCO Plascencia

The Plot

The story begins with a recap of what the members of the Justice League and allies are doing while Batman and Superman remain trapped in the Dark Multiverse. Superman is continuing to power their battery while Batman is getting taken away.  He recalls something, which enables them to make their escape.  Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, and Kendra are attempting to gain access to the Rock of Eternity, but are not having any luck.  Aquaman and Deathstroke are in Atlantis trying to determine what happened there.  Green Lantern, Mr. Terrific and the Egg are on Thanagar Prime trying to get help, but are met by Onimar Synn.  Batman and Superman are greeted by Dream who provides them with some relevant history of Barbatos and the Dark Multiverse.  Back at the Rock, Kendra is attempting a plan to end the battle, but is stopped by a familiar face as well as herself.  Batman and Superman reach their destination only to be met by an old ally/enemy.

The Breakdown

Overall I enjoyed this issue, but I’m still not quite sure what to make of this series so far.  The Sandman was one of my favorite books back in the day so seeing him make an appearance in a story is enough to get me to read the issue.  His appearance really added a lot to this issue, I liked that what he brought to the table is something that you would expect from him.  Despite all of the chaos, Dream is calm and keeps it together knowing what is all at stake.  He play a major role in this story and does so without resorting to the usual tactics such as whipping up a bolt of energy or physically fighting in order to battle the enemy.  Dream also gave the entire series a bit more clarity and started to tie it all together.  I kind of chuckled at Superman Blue being one of Batman’s nightmare versions of Superman.  I continue to like the bigger role that Dr. Fate is playing in this series.  He continues to be portrayed as someone knowledgeable in the events that are occurring, I hope he is given more of a role in the DC Universe after this event.  The return of an old villain over on Thanagar was a nice throwback to the JSA series.  One thing I liked here was how they were aware of the threat of the Dark Multiverse and how they planned on dealing with it.  It was good to see that the entire Multiverse was not caught so unaware of this threat and at least had a way to fight it.  Seeing Superman being the beacon of hope that represented the best chance for the Multiverse’s survival was a nice touch, especially since his hope was what was used to trap him in the previous issue.  The ending was decent and was a good cliffhanger leading up to the next issue.  There were some nice pages done by the art team.  I enjoyed the little details on some of them such as the Forge of Worlds panels.  I also liked the work on the Dream pages as some of them really felt true to the character.  Seeing Batman so not in control of the whole situation continued to be something that I enjoyed.  He doesn’t have two or three contingency plans to deal with what is going on because he anticipated it happening.  He attempted to deal with this on his own at the beginning of the series and everyone is paying for it now.  Snyder has done a good job of planning and plotting this story, which is impressive considering how many characters and subplots there are.  This was a good issue overall…

BUT…

There were a couple of elements with the retconned origin of the Multiverse that I didn’t really care for.  I’m not against retconning it in general, but I did have a couple of concerns about the execution.  Snyder is really hit or miss for readers and at one point during the story I asked myself if he’s the guy I’d want constructing the origins of the DCU.  I’m on the fence so far and I’m not writing it off…I’m completely willing to wait and see how it unfolds.  Ugh, Kendra’s plan for destroying the Dark Multiverse.  The plan itself wasn’t my problem, it was the image of an actual human-looking brain.  Compressed form or not, I’d expect the Anti-Monitor’s brain to have a more original or complex look to it.  I wasn’t crazy about the surprise reappearance or subsequent betrayal during this scene, but it needs to play itself out so I’m willing to not jump to any conclusions.  My initial reaction wasn’t a good one, but after a second read it didn’t bother me as much.  Just a minor gripe, but Batman’s suit kind of bothered me in this issue.  He’s old and deteriorated in this issue so his suit just kind of hangs off of him.   It looks really clothy and while it wasn’t a reason for me to dislike the issue at all I just found it distracting…I just figured that the armour in the costume would help it keep some sort of shape.  I haven’t really cared for Capullo’s Superman in this series, but this issue wasn’t too bad.  I was frustrated with the Egg still being an egg, but that’s just because I’m looking forward to seeing Plastic Man emerge.

The Verdict

Buy It.  If I had to give this issue a numbered rating I’d go with a 7/10.  This issue finally started to give us some answers and having Dream provide them was a bonus.  The pacing was solid and while not a lot happened in this issue, the story did advance.  This is one of those series where I can understand why people really enjoy it and also see why others might not care for it.  What I really do like about this event is how the premise is more original than rehashing a major cosmic villain like the Anti-Monitor threatening the Multiverse.  The seeds in this event have been planted for some time and it has used elements from stories that were told years ago such as Final Crisis, which has made seem far from some typical story slapped together for the sake of just having a major event.  I appreciate how original this series has been so far.  I haven’t liked every element about it so far, but I’ve been shuffling those thoughts to the back of my mind until the conclusion of this story.  Overall I’ve been enjoying more of what DC has been putting out there lately so it’s definitely a good time to be a DC fan (especially after enduring years of the New 52).

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