"...And this song is our masterpiece." Those are the words of The Batman Who Laughs. In the hands of Snyder these Dark Knights are methodical, witty, and down right radical. Issue #3 has the big reveal of Barbatos' master plan. To catapult the world into Darkness. With heavy twists and turns and few Surprise cameos this Issue is probably the best one yet.
This issue is packed to the brim with exposition that makes you want more exposition is you can believe that. Synder is painting a picture with story here that lets you know that the DC universe is as it is right now is no match for the Dark Knights and there is nothing any of our heroes can do except run and hide. The all roads leads to Darkness quote that was echoed through this issue was both ominous and accurately portrayed through out this issue. We learn that Barbatos' plan to sink the world into the Dark Multiverse is powered by Superman...and I'm talking literally. Superman is the key to the whole thing. And like a Moth to a flame, Superman takes the bait placed for him, sets out to go "save" Batman, and finds out the boy scout routine will get him stuck every time. Another thing about this issue is that it was a departure from a very batman oriented story. Of course they mention Batman, but the he isn't the main protagonist in this issue. Clark is. Those opening few pages of Clark's dream world definitely set the pace for this issue. I have to favored moments in this issue too. One where Superman comes blow to blow with Devastator and The Batman Who Laughs is explaining to Clark that he's outmatched at every turn. That on the worlds of the Dark Knights they've killed him and the Justice League every time. That perhaps, just maybe, they aren't Batman's fears, but his secret desires. That shit blew my fucking mind. Snyder during this run has a way of making the Batman such an interesting character without even having Batman there. Might I add how beautifully drawn this fight scene is too. I feel like this is really where Capullo shines. Not taking away from the fact that the whole issue is very beautiful, but these hand to hand moments if where you can tell Capullo goes: "okay, time to have some fun!"
There's also some really great Panels right toward the end where The Batman Who Laughs is sitting at a bar, talking about music. In fact this issue, may be giving us a small hint that the Metal in Dark Nights Metal might be more than what it seems. However, that might just be me reading too deeply into the issue. This brings me to my second favorite part of this issue. Fucking Bobo and Nightmaster! GTFOH! What!? All of this just goes to show you how deep and vast the threat posed by the Dark Knights are. It truly is something epic.
Now lets talk the downside of this issue. Which are few, but leave a little to be desired. Lets talk Wonder Woman. First of all let's talk about how when we last saw her and Clark they were getting zapped into oblivion and unless I missed a tie-in somewhere there is no explanation for why she's not only back but why she's not in the same predicament Clark was in. Then once you get past that, and she frees Clark from his mental prison, (which by the way how did she even find him), Clark goes flying off to battle Barbatos after he learns Lois is not in the best of situations.
I find it hard to believe Wonder Woman wouldn't go after him. Now maybe she was intercepted by Dr. Fate. Maybe she went for help. However, I can't find any reason why she didn't go after Clark when he took off. I also feel as though the warning Batman sent out to Clark was a bit far fetched. Batman is supposed to be a super genius and the best warning he could come up with was were D.C in the hopes that Superman would get that it wasn't the code word they established for each other but stood for "Don't Come" or some shit. I dunno. That was just silly and made Batman look like a total noob.
You know, nothing really popped out at me and really made we lose my shit. As far and the Metal issues go, this one is pretty mellow. I mean yes, there is a lot happening here. However, it's clear to see that this is that calm before the storm as the series goes on a 2 month hiatus. What this issue did was solidify the scene of what's to come and Snyder and Capullo captured the essence of "all hope is lost" in this issue. *Superman pun intended.* If anything what's really crazy is how great a job Plascencia does here. The colors of this issue are mood setting and I don't think I give colorists enough credit. That one page where the bar is on fire, and Superman is looking for Batman...it's gorgeous. There are a lot of gorgeous moments in this issue and that due in heavy part to Plascencia's colors.
This issue takes us on a wild ride, however, when you get to the intended destination. You realize that was only the beginning of your journey. To say this issue is a must pull would be asinine. Of course you need to pull it, you're following the story arc. However, what I will say is that if you're NOT following the story arc. This issue is the reason you should because it all ends here!