Review – Dark Nights: Metal #5: The End?

Dark Nights Metal #5 variant Daniel cover
Wonder Woman Attacks. Image copyright DC Comics

Dark Nights: Metal #5 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Greg Capullo, Penciller; Jonathan Glapion, Inker; FCD Plascencia, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 9/10

Corrina: The End Is Nigh

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Ray: As I write this review of Dark Nights: Metal #5, it’s only been a few hours since DC announced the sequel to Metal – Justice League: No Justice, a weekly event that will then lead into a Snyder-penned Justice League title. And in light of that, this event makes a lot more sense, because it’s essentially Snyder’s first Justice League story – an explosive, brutal adventure against a larger-than-life enemy. The last issue saw the heroes at their lowest, with a monstrous Hawkman rising from the Forge, fully corrupted by Barbatos. The penultimate issue (besides the Wild Hunt side issue) follows the League and their allies, off on their solo adventures as they chase down the last of the Metals. Clark and an aged, weakened Bruce are trapped in the Forge, facing off against the monstrous Hawkman, as Superman desperately tries to get their presumed-dead friend to remember who he is. The oddball team of Aquaman and Deathstroke continue their journey from Atlantis to a secret treasure room at the center of the Earth. However, before they can find their quarry, they’re ambushed by Black Manta and several of the Dark Knights.

Hal Jordan and Mr. Terrific were in prison on Thanagar when we last left them, with the evil Onimar Synn and Starro taking possession of the Plastic Man egg, but the heroes get a surprising assist from an unexpected guest – Martian Manhunter. It’s been years since we saw J’onn, and his return is extremely welcome. Dare I hope a certain “cousin” of his isn’t far behind? But it’s Wonder Woman who gets the starring role this issue, as she faces off against Black Adam, finds Hawkman’s mace, and then barely survives a confrontation with the Batman Who Laughs – and yet remains a warrior for every bit of it. It seems Snyder isn’t taking over Wonder Woman as I suspected, if he’ll be doing biweekly Justice League, and it’s a shame because he’d do an amazing job. There’s a lot going on in this issue, but to me, it’s exactly what an event comic should be. It’s suspenseful, explosive, and adds new elements to the shared universe. Snyder and Capullo have been building to a truly epic conclusion.

Dark Nights Metal #5 page 1
Where to go from here? Image copyright DC Comics

Corrina: Yay, only one issue left after this. I say that because this has been a bleak slog for me, instead of a tense adventure. I think DC wanted to evoke the vibe of the Crisis on Infinite Earths or the older Crisis on Multiple Earths only with a horror edge. They’ve definitely succeeded in the horror aspect, except horror and superheroes do not always go together in my mind and this series has lurched from one bleak and depressing event to another without ever scaring me, which is what I suspect good horror should at least provide. I loved Snyder’s Batman: The Black Mirror story for Batman but what’s good for Batman stories isn’t always good for stories spanning the DC Universe.

Note on Wonder Woman: she’s good in her panels here but this entire series has centered on Batman and Superman and a few others, and one spotlight in part of one of six books of a miniseries isn’t much at all for our Amazon. Plus, it’s not as if anyone wins this issue. I can’t even tell if anyone is making progress. And if this is all just a lead-in to yet another series and there’s no ending next issue…well….

On not finding it scary, here’s an example of it and how Ray and I part ways. Ray finds Batman-Who-Laughs chilling and I find him utterly ridiculous, enough that I’d insert a gif of the kid from the Simpsons going “ha-ha” every time I see him. That spike thing around his eyes and his chained Robins just make me shrug. This, of course, means I’m in the minority among DC readers who seem to be enjoying this story and the Batman-Who-Laughs. But I find little joy or excitement in reading this event. I simply find myself wondering when it will be done. But, apparently, not for a while since the “No Justice” title seems to indicate the next Snyder series will be just as bleak.

“Bleak” is the opposite of what I consider the best direction for the DC Universe.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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