By Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia.
This week drops another issue of Dark Nights: Metal where the story is really starting to take shape. This is a book where if the story doesn’t capture you, the art sure will. This books rocks, like it literally feels like you should be listening to some heavy Megadeath while pouring over the pages. There are so many things to love about this book along with the great art from Capullo, Glapion, and Plascencia. We are also treated to the merging of some lesser used DC heroes like Dream from Neil Gaiman’s iconic series, The Sandman. This issue picks up right where we left off last issue, in a total pursuit of Batman. Which means we get some glorious pages of Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash all chasing Batman and his bat family through the jungles of the Amazon. Batman has something powerful that could unleash a true hell on earth, but with it being Batman, the heroes have to think of a way to talk some sense into him before he makes an undoable mistake.
Okay, so this issue is so fun with all the chasing and bat tricks and incorporation of cool characters like Dream and Swamp Thing. However, the story from Snyder is a little fast paced and hard to follow. Okay, okay, calm down, I know Snyder is giving us pure gold with this issue and when you finally read the book for the fourth time it makes some sense, but he makes you work for it. This series has been another example where there is no playing to the lowest denominator or dumbing down the material for the audience. This book is for the pure comic book lovers who have been following Batman and Snyder along their crazy journey together since the “Court of Owls” arc. So we can agree that this story is written well, but for a comic book it can be hard to follow at times and the pacing is a little crazy. Like, we are jumping around from all these places and it can take a few re-reads to understand what people are talking about, but there is a lot of ground to cover in Metal and we only have four more issues to resolve the question of the metal and the so-called Barbatos.
Now, with that out of the way, we need to talk about this art. First, it is true that Mr. Capullo is hiding a character throwing “devil horns” in every issue of Dark Nights: Metal. If you need to google “devil horns” to know what that is do not worry, this reviewer had to google what to call that hand gesture. That cool easter egg is a great example of the care, detail, and clear enthusiasm this creative team is putting into this series, and this issue is an exceptional stand out. The art from Capullo is complemented from the inks of Glapion and colors of Plascencia. There will always be something soothing and comforting to Capullo on Batman. He draws him with a certainty of the character that few other artists have; he isn’t afraid to show Batman in a weakened position, like being choked out by Aquaman. The inks from Glapion are particularly striking in this issue; there is a lot of ominous looking Batman panels and great use of lightning and water to emphasis the power of The Flash and Aquaman. Not to mention Swamp Thing, who we can only assume is every comic book artist’s wet dream to portray in a comic book. The colors from Plascencia are also a welcome addition to this bitching book, with lots of shadowy contrasts used to show the scary depths of tombs our heroes are exploring or amazon jungles they are parading around. We also get some brightness throughout the issue, which is usually reserved for Superman. Whether it is his eyes, capes or the bright sky behind him the only lightness throughout Dark Nights: Metal #2 come along with Superman.
Dark Nights: Metal #2 may not be the comic for everyone, but it is a comic every person can enjoy. It can be read outside of current comic events and be read as a self-contained story. However, the story does hold more repercussions for those who have been following along with Batman for his whole Snyder/Capullo run. The pacing and story may be hard to follow for some, but his book will definitely charm you with its gripping art and full use of DC characters. This book is sure to be the talk of the comic shops, talk both good and bad so, it is highly encouraged to join in the conversation by picking up this series.