Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1
By Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza, Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Wil Quintana, Clayton Cowles
Just like the Dark Nights titles before it, Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 plays heavily into themes of hope. This issue may be the best instance, though. The creators behind this book prove how truly unpredictable and ruthless this series is, as our heroes have yet to turn the battle for the multiverse in their favor. Storytelling from Snyder, Morrison, Tynion IV, and Williamson is creative and allows the lesser known characters of the DC universe to be taken seriously. The star of Wild Hunt, for instance, is Bobo, the detective chimp. Details such as this give the event the depth that proves its global scale. Consider that the universe is in such dire straits, the stakes are so high, that the forces of change have enlisted a chimp. That premise encapsulates where the story begins in Wild Hunt.
Wild Hunt’s massive art team captures each aspect of the issue flawlessly, from The Batman Who Laughs’ sinister demeanor, to Raven’s confidence and eventual despair. The environments are appropriately epic, especially in their color. Colorists Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, and Wil Quintana pull cosmic effects from the universe’s own palette as Raven, Cyborg, and The Flash race through creation’s fabric. Much like the writers, the artists have been given the keys to DC’s castle and are allowed to employ, seemingly, whatever they choose.
Amongst the wild twists and turns of this tie in, there are moments of characterization for the Dark Knights that differentiates them from each other and reveal truths of the event. The team dynamic illustrates fear of The Batman Who Laughs, even from some of his fellow Knights, proving that the most dangerous Bruce Wayne is not the one with the might of Superman, or the limitlessness of a Lantern’s ring, but the one who stopped believing in good. Beneath the brutality, Metal, is a tale of what happens to a hopeless man, and what happens to a society without hope. The Batman Who Laughs was created because he lost his faith in justice. He had fallen so low that he felt righteousness was useless. It’s no coincidence that the word hope appears in almost every issue of Metal. It’s a warning, screeching across the multiverse.
As has become a given of the event, there are story aspects of Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 that are simply confusing, including the sometimes difficult to read font of The Batman Who Laughs. Every so often, an explanation or a plan might seem even more intimidating to grasp than Barbatos himself, but those moments never last long. There is so much story to tell and so much art to consume that those flaws fall away. Wild Hunt is no less impactful without those connections. Its pages depict brawls, schemes, and themes for any DC fan and every comics lover.