I would like to start this review with full disclosure. I fell off the face of the comic book world for years. I used to collect regularly, then life happened and I was forced to make choices. Coupled with my love of video games I just stopped buying comic books all together. I say that to say this: My memory of what the DC Universe was is not congruent with how it is now. DC having done multiple reboots at this point has changed a lot. Also, now that I'm easing myself back in to the scene, I'm picking my battles very carefully. So my reviews are slightly biased as I'm only reading what I like, but they are extremely critical in that same sense.
With that being said...Dark Nights Metal has all the markings of a DC Universe altering event. Can I just say Mongul for the win!? Because MONGUL FOR THE WIN! This book is so epic, I almost called it a movie. This book starts with our heroes captured and trapped on a War Planet. Captured by Mongul, forced to fight, The Justice League does arena style battle against machines. This battle ends in awesome fashion.
The story is about "NTH Metal", hence the title of the run. We learn that everything we know about the mutliverse is only half of it. That there is another side to story. A darker side. (No pun intended in regards to Darkseid). This book (re)introduces us to Kendra Saunders who informs the team that something wicked, this way, comes. The best part of this book is that it's all connected to Batman. This is great not because I am a Batman fan, because I'm not, but because I love when Batman being Batman causes DC's greatest tragedies. Remember Infinte Crisis? All Batman's fault. This event might be caused by Batman, but I always love a good story that's anti Batman.
This story is so well written. I think its extremely difficult to have multiple characters in a book and remember to let all of their personalities shine through. One of the best scenes in the book is where Green Lantern is in battle and he says:
"...you brought us here, did all this, so you could TRAP BATMAN!? THAT was your plan!? You obviously DON'T KNOW him very well. He probably had a ride ready the MOMENT we landed here. "
This makes me chuckle every time I read it, and sure as the sun is bright. Batman was gone and in astonishing fashion. It's no secret that Scott Snyder likes to get dark, and I'm sure this will be no different. Hell it's in the name, however it's nice to see the witty banter and comments from the team. Snyder has always done a great job of setting up an amazing story even if he doesn't always hit the mark by the end. It's the journey that always makes it worth it.
Greg Capullo does an okay job with the art on this one. Some panels are beyond awesome while others are crowded and confusing. There's a panel early on with Wonder Woman's face that makes her nose look like it pops right off. But then there is a page with Batman as a background and the rest of the team in what appears to be metal and wired panels over layered on him. It's such an awesome scene that conveys exactly what is happening. Some angles however are too blocky and misshapen. I definitely hope the art catches up writing.
In closing this epic story spans over 22 comics not counting this one or the two before. I can't wait to see how this event affects the other books and the Universe in general. Scott Snyder has definitely peaked my interest and though the art isn't up to what I usually like from pages featuring the Justice League. It's still visually appealing and sets the stage for the Dark times to come.