Public anticipation for the DC Event of the Summer has been at a fevered pitch since the announcement. The book, Dark Nights Metal, reunites the creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Snyder and Capullo are both talented men in their own right, but together they formed a legendary team. The two men worked together for year’s on Batman during the era of the New 52. When DC announced the two would be working together again on an event that would span the DC Universe, fans could not contain themselves.
Dark Nights Metal | Issue 1 | DC Comics | Aug. 16, 2017
We interviewed Snyder and Capullo about Dark Nights Metal at Awesome Con this year. They promised a lot. There was talk of dinosaurs, ancient mysteries, and Justice League robots that combined together. They said this would all be set against the back drop of an ancient mystery that Hawkman had been investigating for thousands of years. And that this mystery pointed to Bruce Wayne. What’s more, this all happened in the first episode. It was exciting, but hard to believe.
But it turns out that Snyder and Capullo were underselling the issue. The book delivers everything they promised it would. On top of that, though, it weaves a beautiful and thrilling start to this DC Event. Each scene is more gripping than the one before, building up to a cliff hanger on the final page that’s like something out of a dream.
The story begins with Mongul holding the Justice League hostage on his new War Moon. He’s also captured The Toyman, Hiro Okamura, and forced him to make weapons to use against the League. Each member of the League wears a suit of metal armor that eliminates their powers somehow. Superman’s suit is made from red suns. Flash is wearing vibration domination boots. Mongul’s plan has ensured that each hero is at their weakest.
Then Mongul unleashes Hiro’s weapon against them. It is a team of seven giant robots, called the Fulcum Abominus. Without their powers, it looks as if the entire Justice League is doomed. But Batman notices that Hiro has left them a way out. Inside of the mouth of each robot is a button, with one of the League member’s symbols on it. When they all push their respective buttons, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman unite inside of these robots to form a giant Justice League megazord.
Pointing out that Greg Capullo’s art is beautiful, edgy, and beyond compare is akin to calling water wet. Of course, it is, that’s the definition. But there is something about his work in this book that is especially enthralling. After appreciating his style with the denizens of Gotham City for years, it’s mesmerizing to see all the other League members fit into that same style. Everything, even this, frankly absurd, megazord fits into the world easily recognizable as Capullo’s DC Universe.
After defeating Mongul, the League heads home to find that the wicked of Earth have not rested. In their absence, a giant, hollow mountain has appeared in the middle of Gotham. There is an entrance way marked with a symbol no one in the league- even Cyborg- can recognize. When the team enters, they find four cryogenic chambers, one painted with the phrase “It’s chasing us RUN”. Before they can investigate further, the Blackhawks show up.
Lady Blackhawk and her team take the Justice League to their base on an island in the South Pacific, called Blackhawk Island. They explain that they have been investigating a strange form of energy. Blackhawk Island is like Dinosaur Island, Themyscira, Skartaris, and Nanda Parbat. They are hidden pockets on the globe, protected by cosmic energy conducted in the Earth’s metal core.
On Blackhawk Island, Lady Blackhawk tells the Justice League about Nth metal. She says that Hawkman had been studying it for thousands of years. He knew that it had different effects on different people, but he didn’t understand why. He also knew that it seemed to broadcast a strange kind of energy. That energy led his team to believe there was more to existence than the Multiverse. They believed there was an entire Dark Multiverse waiting to be discovered.
This Dark Multiverse is believed to be a threat to the Multiverse our heroes live in. According to Hawkman’s ancient research, a monstrous creature called Barbatos could cross over from the Dark Multiverse. All it would need is the cooperation of a traveling vessel that would carry the beast over. And that vessel is Bruce Wayne.
Suddenly, the Justice league realizes they’ve been lured into a trap by the Blackhawks. Batman beats a hasty getaway off of the island and into a sub back to Gotham City. As he hurries home, we see three heroes, all gifted with the power of foresight by Nth Metal, seeing a dark army approaching the Multiverse.
In the Batcave, Bruce examines a shard of Nth metal he stole from Blackhawk Island. Suddenly, the Nth metal begins to resonate with something in Wayne Manor. Following the humming, Bruce finds Hawkman’s journal buried under the floorboards of his house. Snyder and Capullo have been treating us to snippets of the journal throughout the issue. When Bruce reads it, we know what he is reading, and we know that everything Lady Blackhawk said is true.
But there’s still time for one more twist. Turing to the final page, someone else is in Bruce’s house to confirm his suspicions. As he turns over his shoulder, we see a beautifully rendered version of Dream, the protagonist of Sandman, standing in Bruce Wayne’s library.
It seems that Snyder and Capullo have far more planned for Dark Nights Metal than we ever could have expected. The first issue is more thrilling and beautiful than we could ever describe. It is well worth checking out. If you haven’t already, get to your local comic book shop and pick up or order a copy of the book. This is shaping up to be an event you won’t want to miss.
What do you think? Are you excited for Dark Nights Metal? Are you excited to see Snyder and Capullo together again? What did you think of our interview with them? And what do you think about Dream showing up in a Justice League story? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter @NerdItHereFirst.