When Dark Nights: Metal was first announced, it was said that it would change The DC Comics Multiverse forever. Granted, that usually gets said every time a massive event book comes out, but the pedigree of the creators involved lent the claims some credence. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo had already done much to redefine the mythology built around Batman and their run on Batman was considered one of the few successes of The New 52 initiative.
With this final chapter, Dark Nights: Metal makes good on its promise, but not in the way anyone suspected. The earlier chapters built upon Snyder’s Batman stories and the unique properties of certain special metals in the DC Comics Universe, whose super-normal origins Snyder revealed. While Snyder does a fair bit to codify the DC Universe’s Periodic Table, that is not the most revolutionary aspect of this story. Nor is it the creation of The Dark Multiverse – a realm of nightmares made flesh, born of every time the heroes might not have saved the day.
What Dark Nights: Metal #6 does is set the stage for multiple tales to come that will further allow DC Comics to be reborn. Ironically, it does this by restoring many elements of the universe to “how they should be.”
Case in point: the issue concludes with Bruce Wayne throwing a victory party at Wayne Manor. No costumes. No uniforms. Just allies in arms celebrating life. If nothing else symbolizes the change to the DC Comics Universe in recent memory than a Batman free of paranoia willing to bring his fellow superheroes into his home, I can’t think of it. Nor can I think of any more fitting image than the final one this issue offers to indicate a true return to form.
This does not mean that there is nothing but bright skies ahead. Indeed, the issue closes with more portents of trouble on the horizon that it does reasons to he hopeful. A dream journal written by a recently recovered Carter Hall hints at the damage done to the universe at large and things that will be explored in the upcoming Sandman Universe series as well as the upcoming Flash War event and Snyder’s own Justice League series, No Justice. Still, it is called the “never-ending battle for Truth and Justice” for a reason…
While some may argue that Dark Nights: Metal did little in the end but set-up other stories, it cannot be denied that the artwork is fantastic. Taking inspiration from classic progressive rock, Greg Capullo crafted some truly inspired designs, creating a book that looked more appropriate to Heavy Metal Magazine/Metal Hurlant than the usual Western superhero fare. Jonathan Glapion’s inks, FCO Plascencia’s colors and Steve Wands’ letters provided the perfect finishes.
The cover for the issue says it all – if you can’t take joy in an armor-clad Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman riding a Joker-faced dragon, this is not the book for you. For many of us, Dark Nights: Metal was the prog-rock epic turned comic we never knew we’d wanted and this final chapter proves the perfect rocking finale!