I must confess to dropping the ball in regards to this title. Somehow it slipped by me until today – the release date of the highly anticipated Dark Knights Metal #1 – that this book had come out, about one month after the release of Dark Days: The Forge #1. For that, I apologize.
Much like The Forge, The Casting is more concerned with setup than storytelling. The exposition here, however, is a bit more riveting for how it draws upon the past of the DC Comics Universe and forges connections where there had been none before.
Most of this occurs in the flashbacks, dictated by Carter “Hawkman” Hall in his journal, as he describes his efforts to unite the various immortals in common cause and investigation of the mysterious Nth metal. As in The Forge, these sequences are ably illustrated by Andy Kubert, in a classic pulp-fiction style. There’s a number of brilliant conceits here, including having Hawkman and Hawkwoman have a hand in establishing The Blackhawks and The Challengers of the Unknown. Where these revelations are going is unclear but the implications are fascinating.
Equally unclear but no less gripping is the subplot involving Batman’s efforts to investigate some secret that threatens the whole universe. This necessitates his acquiring various artifacts most would dub magical. This leads to his meeting with Wonder Woman to acquire the weapon of a Greek god!
For some reason, the continual shifting in art styles does not seem so severe or distracting here as it did in The Forge. This is a gorgeous book from start to finish and all the artists involved should be proud of their work here. I’m still not sure precisely what awaits us in Dark Knights: Metal but I’m more anxiously awaiting it now.