I’ve been pacing a hole in my floor waiting for this issue of DARK NIGHTS: METAL since the ending of the first. Having the dream team of Scott Snyder (writer) and Greg Capullo (artist) back together has never felt so good, and this issue reminds me of why their BATMAN run was so damn good. Reading this inspires that DC Comics is fully committed to doing something for the ages with METAL, and it definitely sets the bar moving forward with the coming issues.

From start to finish, this issue never lets up. It hits you with a combination that keeps you on the ropes of “wanting more,” as we see the League hunting down Batman… but multiple Batmen, who are all perfectly devised decoys. Scott [Snyder] really manages to show how smart Bruce is through this, as you’d expect the “Caped Crusader” to easily fool his rogues, but to do so with his best of friends who know him better than almost anyone. It’s also something as a fan of Batman I’ve been wanting to see for a while, Bruce’s smarts put on display.

That is what makes him so formidable, as a mortal going up against figurative Gods, and literal ones. Bruce’s intelligence is his ace up his sleeve– and of course that’s putting aside that time Geoff [Johns] and Jim [Lee] joked about his superpower being that “he can beat anyone.”

A real shining moment in this issue was the moment between “Batman” and Superman. I’ve always loved their bond, their brotherhood, and when Superman is pouring his heart out to “Batman” (who turns out to be Clayface) you get a real look at why they’re the “World’s Finest.”

Art by Greg Capullo, Inks by Jonathan Glapion, Colors by FCO Plascencia

Seeing how even after Clark [and Diana] have realized that Bruce pulled a big one over them that they’re still beyond committed to helping him despite him not wanting it, it sends this message [at least to me] that METAL is going to test the League’s bond. I sincerely hope that going forward, the main issues and the tie-ins, it turns out to be more than just a pointless event that turns out to have no substance, or effect long-term.

Something that gave me hope it’ll be the opposite of what my worst fear is it will be, is the fact that we get some call backs to those “old glory days” of Scott and Greg’s BATMAN run.

Art by Greg Capullo, Inks by Jonathan Glapion, Colors by FCO Plascencia

Seeing a writer manage to meld a huge portion of the work he’s done over the last– eh, almost decade [or so] makes this event so much better in my opinion. It’s longterm payoff, and I love it. We as readers got to read this issue and be like, “OH! I remember that– and that– OH, AND THAT!”

And let us take a moment to reflect on this MASSIVE reintroduction…

Art by Greg Capullo, Inks by Jonathan Glapion, Colors by FCO Plascencia

Yes, yes you got that right! That is in fact the Legion of Doom‘s headquarters! It has been a very long time since I can last remember seeing it in current continuity, and seeing it [along with what appears will be the LOD] in METAL makes the gears in my head start turning. I can only assume– yeah, I know, when you assume you make an “ass out of you and me,” but indulge me for a moment here, because I’m willing to make the prediction that spawning out of METAL will be a LOD event that follows.

Now, of course, this wouldn’t be METAL without finally introducing some of the MOST metal looking villains of all time,

Art by Greg Capullo, Inks by Jonathan Glapion, Colors by FCO Plascencia

The build up from THE FORGE to this issue for the “Knightmare Batmen” and Barbatos to finally [dis]grace the world was absolutely worth the wait, and paid off like almost nothing else could. I will always praise Greg [Capullo’s] art, and man-oh-man did he deliver on this double page spread! It’s everything and more I’d expect of Bruce’s deepest and darkest nightmares of the League.

You can grab this issue off the shelf of a comic shop closest to you now, and keep a look out as BATMAN: THE RED DEATH comes speeding onto those same shelves Wednesday, September 20th.

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