“I’m taking this like a tragedy– no, seriously,” was my takeaway from DARK NIGHTS: METAL #3, after how the issue unfolded and seriously under-delivered. It killed me a little inside, but I held out hope for this issue, because METAL was too much [in my mind] to be derailed by a single issue with three more of it to go.

To a degree, I wasn’t wrong for giving Scott Snyder (writer) some leave way.

All throughout the series, I’ve wondered where the Dark Multiverse versions of the other Leaguers were. With there being an infinity of possibilities, it would only make sense that there would also be those of the others. A universe where Superman, Flash and/or Wonder Woman would all be combined with some other character in some way. So seeing Snyder bring to life three versions of Superman’s darkest [k]nightmares was a real positive of the issue.

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

From an amalgam of Superman and Lex to Superman and [what appears to be] Superman and DKR Batman, and even a version of Superman Blue from the SUPERMAN RED/SUPERMAN BLUE run back in ’98. These version were breaths of fresh air to what felt like a story that was becoming stuffy on– and yes, prepare yourself here for what words I’m about to utter… a too Batman-centric “event.”

Something that I’m left disappointed about is the lack of exploration to the Dark Multiverse, again coming back to how too focused on Batman this is. The idea possesses a great deal more of potential for a seemingly infinite number of tales, and these three Supermen definitely are echoes of that.

I will say, credit to Snyder, is that the biggest twist of the issue [unlike last issue’s that could be seen coming from a mile away] was the fate of Kendra,

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In hindsight you can see how this was being set up. Her constant distrust of the League, and all attempts to destroy any connection to Carter Hall in what was made out to be [and led us to believe] so the mantling would be prevented. Though, we can see how it actually moved the process along, and put the League at a huge disadvantage against Barbatos and his Knightmare Batmen.

To date as well, I think LADY BLACKHAWK shedding Kendra’s skin is hands down one of the most gruesome things we’ve seen out of DC Comics since the NEW52. It’s only justifying that it came from the “Commander-in-chief of the Capullo Army,” Greg Capullo (artist.)

This issue’s best moments were undoubtedly those dealing with Dream. In particular the double page splash,

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

The telling and melding of past mythos with this new one, it was beautifully done on both fronts. Snyder does some of his best work when “telling stories,” like with the Court of Owls material. And of course Capullo nails the overall piece with a massive double page.

This is the stuff that gets my gears turning, and I start wondering how much of it will be used going forward. I always fear that things like this will be forgotten in two [or three] years time. Either that, or the worst case scenario like with the Court of Owls and how they were twisted and forced to fit story after story and lost any real weight that they originally had. This also carries over to the Knightmare Batmen, as it’s becoming more clear by the issue that they are one-offs, and thus my overall concerns.

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

Then comes the killer for METAL thus far, which is playing off the past success of the names attached when just throwing things out and hoping it’ll pay off. Last issue’s was the “twist” with Superman being the battery. It was nowhere near a twist, and from the second it was clear Superman was going to do what he did, you knew he was running right into a trap.

Here, we see an event admitted to in pass of dialogue between Mr. Terrific and Starro, and then when the editor tries to recall for fans where it occurred– we got “Scott and Greg” giving devil-horns as the answer. Now, the joke isn’t lost on me. I understand it was something Snyder did to be funny, I get it, I do, but it’s careless as the event is reaching the downward slope now and wrap up is quickly approaching.

I also know that I’m [almost] certainly out on an island all by myself on this, and I don’t mind my own company. I’ve made clear, consistency is king and I’m not going to shift up my views on things because of this being a DC Comics‘ book. I feel that with METAL being ground shaking to the DCU, playing fast here could hurt the entire story. Its foundation could crumble as DC Comics expands upon it, and I don’t want that happening.

Hell, consistency’s queen is quality.

My personal favorite moment in this issue was the gigantic reveal at the end, and honestly a solid twist,

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

If you recall, back in my review of issue-one I made a prediction. I said that I thought Hawkman would have “direct ties” to Barbatos– and, well, would you look at that!

Seeing Carter is now Barbatos’ “dragon” definitely poses some intriguing questions going forward. It sets up him being “redeemed” in a way, because it’s clear Superman and Batman will have to overcome him and [almost certainly] turn him to their side in order to get out of the Dark Multiverse. So, I’m left wanting something amazing out of HAWKMAN FOUND #1, which I assume will solve this obstacle. It’ll need to reinforce the story, and build on Barbatos’ tale showing what power he truly possesses to have brought Carter to the “Dark Side.”

An almost playing it fast and loose in a few moments, which take away from the pinpoint accurate moments like the scenes with Dream. I’m not sure what’s going on, but if the series continues in this route [and worsens] this could very well hurt the series tremendously for me. Which would be an absolute shame.

You can pick up this issue at your local comic shop, and DARK NIGHTS: METAL #5 will be head-banging its way into those same shops on Wednesday, January 31st,

The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness—somewhere. But…what if there’s not?

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