DC Comics Universe & Dark Nights Metal #5 Spoilers & Review: Maces, Magic Lassoes, Martians & Madness!

DC Comics Universe and Dark Nights Metal #5 Spoilers and Review follows.

Editor’s Note:

The below review is written by Tim Board! Tim is the founder of the popular Hawkworld group on Facebook and the growing Hawkworld twitter. Feel free to share any feedback in the comments section.

Maces, Magic Lassoes, Martians and Madness!

Since the Metal saga began last summer, Scott Snyder’s “rock and roll” restructuring of the DC Universe has been building up to a crescendo. With only two more issues left in series, I felt that issue No. 5 would be the one where it would reach its highest hope-devouring note and it feels like that is exactly what we got. So many things happened, and we had to run through it so fast, it left me wishing that this was a 12-issue bi-weekly. But if I got my wish, I imagine Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion might want to strangle me.

We open up the issue to find Barbatos perched on his pole, with dragons flying around. Not just dragons, but Joker dragons! I didn’t think much of it at first, because with seven evil Batman-things and Batmanium in the story, one gets used to such things.

We find Carter Hall aka Hawkman aka the Dragon of Barbatos doing his Gandalf imitation, yelling “You shall not pass!” while slamming that hammer, which Thor is probably looking for at this very moment, at Superman and Batman. Superman seems to have given up and urges Batman to get out of there, but being the hero of the story, Batman refuses to give up and is determined to find a way out of the mess.

Aquaman and Deathstroke arrive at some kind of machine that needs to be shut off, and since it is partly Atlantean tech, Aquaman knows how to work the thing just by looking at it. This gave me a new appreciation for superheroes. I am Terran but I must admit I have no idea how to turn off a nuclear reactor. This is why Aquaman is a superhero and I am not. But then Black Manta shoots Deathstroke in the back and Aquaman in the gut. With three of the Evil Batman things backing him up, their situation looked most dire.

Green Lantern and Mr. Terrific are locked in a Thanagarian cell when lo and behold who should come to their rescue but the Martian Manhunter. Turns out he’s been on Thanagar since Flashpoint, under disguise and waiting for this moment. This was a highlight of the issue and a very, very welcome sight. They proceed to break out of jail with Green Lantern vowing to find and kick Starro’s ass. We then see the heroes charging through Thanagarians with Starro saying “Ohhh, it hurts!” This was the panel that made me wish for more issues. I would love to see Starro get all five of his asses kicked. We now know Starro has five asses, one on each tentacle, thanks to the editor’s note from Rebecca Taylor. The heroes are about to grab Plastic Man and the Nth Metal and hightail it out of there when three more Evil Batman things show up. Their situation doesn’t seem as dire as Aquaman’s though.

The Flash and Cyborg never showed up in this issue. I will have to go back to find out where they were because for the life of me I cannot remember where they are because so much as happened. But I’m sure they have an excellent chance of succeeding with all the other Evil Batman things taking on the other heroes.

Now we come to the star of the issue; Wonder Woman. With Doctor Fate down, she’s is facing Black Adam and Lady Blackhawk alone. While fighting Black Adam and Lady Blackhawk standing and watching (convenient!), she is smashed through a wall. Not just any wall but the wall hiding Carter Hall’s mace (convenient)! And then a moment that I am sure we will never see again happens. Wonder Woman yells SHAZAM while knocking Black Adam out with Hawkman’s mace. This one panel symbolizes the zaniness of Scott Snyder’s mind. There are no barriers here. As for Lady Blackhawk, I am guessing her only power was to moan and proclaim that all is hopeless, because that is all she ever does. I’m not even sure what her powers are.

Wonder Woman is admiring the mace when the Evil Batman Who Laughs shows up and shoots her. I’m assuming he shot her in the head because her tiara flew off. He goes into a long diatribe about how death is LOUD and then to make sure we get issue six, takes off without finishing her off (convenient!). Wonder Woman shakes off the gunshot to the head like we expect her to and then another epiphanic moment arrives, when Wonder Woman wraps her lasso around her fist and punches the Barbatos out of Lady Blackhawk, making her snap out of his control. I don’t recall Wonder Woman ever using her lasso in this way before (I’m sure WW fans will show me otherwise), but it was brilliant. As they get ready to jump into the final battle, Wonder Woman stares down the last remaining bit of hopelessness out of Kendra and they jump into what is an apparently a crowd of evil beings at a Wonder Woman cosplay event. This shouldn’t be too hard.

Meanwhile, Batman is still trying to goad Carter Hall to snap out of it as well, but since he doesn’t have a magic lasso punch, he is not very successful. The evil dragon-Carter Hall thing seems to slightly hesitate at Batman’s words when they see a light down at the bottom so they jump in the flowing lava of doom to go get it.

As a Hawkman fan, the issue was a bit of a disappointment. Issue No. 4 ended with Carter Hall as the evil dragon beast, Hawkman Found ended with Carter Hall as the evil dragon beast, and issue No. 5 ends with no change. I’m starting to think this series is going to end with the Hawks as a loose end, making Hawkfans wait for another time for some kind of resolution. I am interested, however, in how the mace of Hawkman has suddenly been elevated to supreme weapon status. The concept of a powerful Nth Metal mace and all its abilities is definitely something I would enjoy seeing in a future story. In a new Hawkman series, perhaps?

So here we are, all is lost, there is no hope of winning, and the chances of evil taking over everything are overwhelming. There is only one issue to go in the “rock and roll” sage by Snyder. It will be interesting to see how it all ends. But I’m left with the thought that this series would have been better received and the excitement for the event could have been kept at a high level if it had been a 12-issue bi-weekly. With Snyder’s barrier-breaking, story-telling ability and Capullo, Glapion and Fco Plascencia’s amazing art, there could have been so much more story to tell. Instead, we are left imaging Starro and his kicked ass lying there outside of the panel. Although the story is full of plot holes, the ride has been so whiplash zany that we are left wanting more. And with more series and new comics being announced, I feel that we have fallen into the Dark Multiverse of Snyderbatos, with no magic lasso punch to snap us out of it. So in the fashion of Batman, we might as well jump in and see what’s down at the bottom. It just might be what we are looking for.

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