Written by Scott Snyder and with art by Greg Capullo, this collection brings together the core six-issue mini-series of the recently concluded DC cross-over event. This ‘deluxe’ hard back edition, with a nice metallic embossed logo, has all the variant covers reproduced in the back.
The story revolves around Batman’s discovery of a dark multiverse that exists beneath the existing DC multiverse. It is revealed that both multiverses are connected through a mysterious metal known as the Nth metal – something the caped crusader has encountered on several occasions over the years. His investigations eventually result in the release of evil incarnations of himself (The Dark Knights) from the dark multiverse, led by the dark god Barbatos, who plans to unleash darkness across the DC multiverse.
Expectations were rightly sky high for this series as it saw the celebrated paring of Capullo and Snyder re-unite for the first time since the conclusion of their critically acclaimed New 52 Batman run. This revered, creative duo has proved itself adept at creating excellent, sprawling stories set in the world of the Dark Knight and it’s great to finally see them let loose on the wider DC roster.
The creation of the warped dark universe is a master stroke that proves to be a fertile breeding ground for an exciting planet/dimension hopping tale that has some genuinely bonkers, madcap, ‘metal’ inspired moments (Batman riding a Joker headed dragon is a particular highlight). As fans of Capullo have come to expect the artwork is a joy to behold and the colour work by PCO Plascencia is excellent.
The entire book, for which Snyder started planting the seeds for as far back as ‘Court of Owls’, is littered with references (including Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’) and throw-backs. Akin to the addition of The Watchmen in Rebirth, the reintroduction of characters from The Sandman into the DC Universe, is a further attempt by DC to weave its properties in one cohesive, consistent (and highly ambitious and exciting) narrative universe.
While thoroughly enjoyable the book does suffer from certain issues; firstly, the sheer volume of references, story sub arcs and characters results in an impressive, yet flawed tale that will probably require additional reads to fully grasp. Secondly, while the first half of the story is both intriguing and well-paced, the conclusion feels rushed. However, for the reader looking for some additional ‘meat on the bone’ there are a plethora of tie-in titles (as is the de rigueur with these comics events) that both complement and expand the core 6-issue arc.
Dark Nights: Metal is a highly ambitious, imaginative and an enjoyable read that could prove to have huge lasting consequences for the DC comic verse.
DARK NIGHTS - METAL DELUXE EDITION / AUTHOR: SCOTT SNYDER / ARTIST: GREG CAPULLO / PUBLISHER: DC COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW