Pros: The story continues to be fantastic. The shift in focus away from Batman was needed and well done. The artwork is better than ever.
Cons: A few brief moments seem like a stretch in terms of believability.
Overall: Action, heart, darkness, and hope abound in the latest hit from Metal. A perspective shift and solid storytelling propel this issue to greatness and allow it to be as fun and exciting as it ends up being. Not to mention wonderful artwork setting the perfect visual compliment for everything. Overall this is not an issue to miss and is something that everyone should go out and read.
The overwhelming success of Dark Nights: Metal continues with Metal #3. This issue is another action packed thrill ride that still manages to convey a surprising amount of exposition. Plus, it shifts the focus of the story away from Batman and onto the rest of the Justice League, specifically Superman. This provides a refreshing change of perspective and helps to enhance the story as a whole. If you have been enjoying this series so far, you will not be disappointed with this issue.
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The issue starts out with a dream sequence. Usually dream sequences are pretty inconsequential, as a reader you know they don’t fit into the current story and read through them just waiting for the veil to be lifted. This one is different though. Here you get to see the Trinity and their children just relaxing for a brief moment which, even though you know it isn’t real, is somewhat cathartic in the middle of all of this madness. It also provides a funny moment of meta-commentary on comic book culture too; Superman starts to explain how his comic need to have more depth and setup than Batman’s. It is just a nice bit of decompressed pleasure in the middle of all of this chaos.
The chaos is not held at bay for long as the story is then plunged into the reality of it all. Superman has been out of commission for days and in the meantime the dark Batmen have nearly taken over the entire Earth. It is a grim situation where hope seems absent.
However, with the addition of Superman in the mix, there can be hope again. Snyder recognizes and utilizes Superman’s archetypical attachment to this ideal and uses his character to embody it. He fights the dark Batmen and teams up with the heroes, emphasizing that there is hope for both groups in the future.
However, as the heroes go about their plan, Clark learns that his hope was misplaced. His belief lead him to walk right into a trap and do exactly what Barbatos wanted. It will be interesting to see how Snyder develops this plot point as the story progresses. On one hand, seeing Superman’s hope crushed could be a unique story, however on the other hand this may simply be a fake out to make Superman’s ultimate triumph more powerful. Either way this story holds a lot of potential and will be entertaining to see play out.
In addition to the fantastic plot that this issue contributes to the overall story, it also changes the story’s entire dynamic by casting Batman in an extremely minor role. Every issue of Metal, thus far, has been very Batman focused, yet this one is almost entirely about Superman. The change is refreshing and could not have been handled better. With every issue of Metal I think that there is no way for the story to get better, but this shift in perspective accomplished just that.
The only complaint I would bring up with this issue is a few moments that just felt out of place. Nightmaster staying in the bar was odd, especially since we haven’t had time to grow close or understand his character. Plus Superman’s complicated plan to reach the Dark Multiverse by using the Speed Force, Nth Metal, and Phantom Zone Projector just seemed contrived. However, these moments are so small and brief that they do not bring down the story at all, especially when compared to how great everything else is.
(spoilers end here)
At this point, it almost feels like old news to proclaim that the art in the Metal series is some of the best stuff out there, but every issue continues to prove it to be true. Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Fco Plascencia come together and work magic in this issue. Our heroes look beautiful, our villains look nightmarish, and the scenery is incredibly imaginative. This issue, specifically, introduces the corrupted version of Earth. It is twisted and weird in a way that fits the story well and definitely enhances the reading experience. This is a nice looking book that is, quite possibly, worth getting just for the artwork alone.
Dark Nights: Metal #3 is the third issue in the Dark Nights: Metal series. This series is also preceded by two prequel issues. This means that in order to understand this story, fans should read Dark Days: The Forge (Review), Dark Days: The Casting (Review), Dark Nights: Metal #1 (Review), and Dark Nights: Metal #2 (Review) in that order.
This issue also references stories from other comic books, all of which are detailed below:
- Dr. Fate’s involvement in this event was first shown in The Red Death (Review).
- Nightmaster’s proprietorship of the Oblivion Bar was first established in Day of Vengeance.
- There are a number of references to things that have been going on in Gotham. These are all references to the “Gotham Resistance” storyline. This storyline includes Teen Titans #12, Nightwing #29, Suicide Squad #26, and Green Arrow #32.
- Nightwing talks about dark Batmen attacking a few members of the Justice League. These events are detailed in The Red Death (Review), The Murder Machine (Review), and The Dawnbreaker (Review).
- The machine in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude is first shown in Crisis on Infinite Earths and then again in Infinite Crisis.