There’s a feeling you get at the beginning of an adventure. You feel it in your veins. Your heart starts pounding, and in that moment of wonder and discovery, nothing else matters, but the journey ahead. My name is Hector Sibisi, and this is my review of the prelude to the biggest DC event of the summer – Dark Knights: Metal!
The event reunites my favourite Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The Dark Knights: Metal event is the most anticipated event of the year, and the preludes are an extremely sweet taste of what’s to come. The two issues, The Forge and The Casting, were both brilliant works of art, both from a writer’s perspective as well as the art itself. Although the issues were great, they each have different elements that make them such amazing stories in their own ways. Therefore, I’ll be reviewing both issues separately but I’ll be giving them score as a unified sequence of story.
Dark Days – The Forge
The Forge starts off extremely well-paced and for the most part, immensely engaging. It doesn’t waste time going through too much exposition. At the very beginning, the mystery of which this entire event is based is introduced thrillingly, and from there, it took me for a wild ride. At its core, the story has a strong character base, from which its entire depth of suspense is derived. Introducing long forgotten (but deeply loved) characters, such as Mr. Miracle and Mr. Terrific, it further emphasises the immensity of the upcoming event that will feature a large number of beloved heroes in a war that will forever change the course of the DC universe.
Above everything else that is good about this story, the best thing about it is by far – Batman. The story is carried by Batman, whom from the beginning, is introduced investigating a strange metal, which would play a big part in the upcoming Earth-shattering events. The investigation re-introduces Mr. Terrific who has been working alongside Batman, to find the truth of this mystery. A mystery, which is left unfounded, will bring darkness and horror to the lives of our heroes and lay waste to everything they fight to protect. The story is dark, and suspenseful, and extremely well told without dialogues of complicated expositions. The history of the mystery is told is the form of a journal by Carter Hall, also known as Hawkman. He reveals that he has been investigating the strange Nth Metal for years, and it brought about the truth beyond even his own understanding. It is revealed that it all began with four tribes, one of which was the Bat tribe, the scourge of mankind, which brought darkness to the universe. The history goes deeper, which I will explain in The Casting.
The Forge is a very optimistic tale of suspense and mystery, and the writers do a fantastic job in revealing just enough to keep the reader engaged and excited, but not too much to give away the important elements of the main event. I cannot praise the story enough from a writer’s perspective, and I love how Batman’s obsessive nature is what keeps the story and the mystery intriguing as we dive deeper into the truth.
Dark Days – The Casting
The Casting is the issue that sets the stage for the epic event, Dark Knights: Metal. It starts off pulling us deeper into the mystery that has the most powerful beings completely spooked. As Batman goes deeper into the heart of the mystery, it becomes apparent that this is a road, from which he might not return. There are elements of the story that I cannot disclose as I would like all of you guys to go through the emotions that I went through when certain elements of the story were revealed to me.
The issue takes Batman to Thymiscira where Wonder Woman gives him the Sunblade, a sword imbued with the power of the sun. Now at this point, is where most of the issue started to go over my head a little. JUST A LITTLE. I have issues with characters being teleported from one location to another without a clear explanation as to why they are there, and how they got there. I read this story twice and I couldn’t get enough explanation needed to put the pieces together. Batman is on Thymiscira looking for Wonder Woman, seeking a way to communicate with the gods. Fine. But, after Wonder Woman hands him the Sunblade, and lead him through a place he isn’t supposed to be. He encounters Talia Al Ghul, with whom he exchanges important objects. He gives her the Sunblade in exchange for an object she had, which I will not spoil. I didn’t understand why Talia was there and how she got there. It wasn’t very clear, and this issue has a lot of moments that are left unexplained. I’d rather not go into detail as I’m trying hard not reveal too much. The second issue is good in the sense that it tries to take important characters deeper into this mystery.
Back in Carter Hall’s journal, the story continues. Carter explains the story of four tribes: The Hawk tribe, The Bear tribe, the Wolf and the Bat tribe. The Bat was the scourge of humanity, the plague bringer. The idea of the bat tribe being the evil entity behind the mystery is in a number of ways, very cool. For one, Batman’s intentions going in are pure and all he’s trying to do is prevent a war before it begans. I love Batman in these issues because he’s very true to his sense of mission as the plot thickens. He’s obsessive but aware. What I mean is, he does not want to make this a bigger mission than he is by involving the League. He’s very vague and cryptic in his explanation of his actions, as he refuses to disclose anything he isn’t sure of. The two issues are exceptional works in their understanding of what the event means to the story and to the DC multiverse in general.
I am super-excited for what’s to come! I love the direction the story is headed thus far, and I really can’t wait to witness the events unfold. I am especially excited to see where Batman goes as a character, as well as seeing the effect that the story has on the rest of the Justice League, as well as the DC characters. I am curious to see how exactly powerful characters like Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman will combat this new enemy, as at the moment, they seem to be unaware of the magnitude of the dangers that lie ahead.
The preludes are such incredible reads, and they do well to introduce this large, epic event in such a seamless way. Both comic books are extremely well-written, and the ensemble list of characters make for deep immersion within a larger story.
The Geek Writer