Friday, December 29, 2017

REVIEW: Dark NightsL Metal #4 of 6 (2017)

DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4 (of 6) —
Regular cover by Greg Capullo & John
Glapion. One of four alternate covers.
©DC Comics
DC Comics, $3.99, 32pgs., cardstock cover
On-sale December 20, 2017

“[no title]”
22 pages, Read Time – 19:15

by Scott Snyder (story), Greg Capullo (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), FCO Plascencia (colors), and Steve Wands (letters). Edited by Rebecca Taylor.

 BOTTOM LINE: I’m not exactly lost, but with so much appearing to happen in other books between issues, I’m beginning to not care overmuch about what might as well be called, DARK NIGHTS: MacGUFFIN.

There’s an old adage in crafting fiction — show don’t tell. And while Snyder tells me everything I need to know to understand what’s going on, I get to see so little of it that I sort of lost interest.

This is typical of any big comic book event, where the story continues and develops in a host on crossovers, one-shots, and ancillary series. Frankly, I’ve suffered from “event fatigue” since at least FINAL NIGHT. And yet I always seem to come back for more, kicking myself afterwards for not having been strong enough to resists. Yes, when it comes to comic books, I rank somewhere below G’Nort on the willpower scale. It’s getting to the point where I not only have event fatigue, I’ve taken so many kicks to the wallet, I think I have PTEF — Post-Traumatic Event Fatigue.

So, what do we have here? Well, since Issue #3, Batman has grown old fighting the bat-metal demon, I guess, as has Superan, who shows up with several other-dimensional iterations of himself, who are there until they’re not. We then spend a couple of pages with each of the super-hero teams who were dispatched last issue to find pieces of Nth metal. But in each vignette there are questions. I mean, I still don’t have any idea why Plastic Man is some kind of inanimate egg. That must be something that happened in one of the zillion tie-ins. Here, he’s just there, accepted by the heroes for whatever it is he is, and taken along on one of the mission. We also get some convoluted explanation for were Thanagar exists in the galaxy, which I presume is meant to be some kind of reconny fix for one of the 1,001 previous times Hawkman’s convoluted continuity was fixed by some sort of retcon.

Then we go along with the World’s Finest team while they have a long chat with Daniel of the Endless. I honestly am not sure if this guy is the former Hector Hall, son of what I still think of as the Earth-2 Hawkman, or Dream of the Neil Gaiman SANDMAN series. Or maybe both. Possibly neither. Anyway, it’s a nice chat. Although all I can think throughout it is that “Barbatos” sounds more like Bruce Wayne’s pirate ancestor than a reality-devouring demon. The gist of Daniel’s monologue is that once upon a time stuff happened, but all that is about the change. Yay, new stuff! But we won’t let go of any of the old stuff. It’ll all get amalgamated into one new big, shiny ball of every-stuff.


Then it’s “Meanwhile . . . “ time on the Rock of Eternity with Wonder Woman’s team, where Kendra Saunders tries to destroy the Anti-Monitor’s brain. Which they brought with them, I guess? I remember from a previous issue that all the immortal characters of the DCU wanted Kendra to destroy the brain because it will either hasten or prevent the end of everything — I forget which. What I don’t remember is where the brain came from. That seems like kind of a big deal and not the sort of thing that would have been just kicking around all this time since the original Crisis.

Anyway, Kendra, who has been known not as Hawkgirl, or even Hawkwoman, but as Lady Blackhawk since I don’t know where or when, suddenly turns into an evil hawk avatar.

Because reasons.

Then Black Adam shows up, which makes marginally more sense.

But we don’t get to see what happens next, because we have to get hack to Bats and Supes, as they are confronted by the evil Hawkman at the end of all time, because, you see, it’s the end of the issue and time for the cliffhanger — which I’m sure will get resolved somewhere else, with no more than a helpful expositional explanation in the next issue of this series.



COVER: 7.25 | PLOT: 7.50 | SCRIPT: 8.50 | LAYOUT: 7.25 | ART: 8.50 | EDITS: 4.75

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