Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Pencils: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, & John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, & Danny Miki
Colors: Alex Sinclair with Jeremiah Skipper
It’s here, and it’s f***ing METAL
The Pre-Cursor to Dark Knights Metal is finally here and DC has kicked off this summer event with a huge issue with an even huger creative team. Not much has been known about the premise of Dark Knights Metal, other than the fact that it will be totally bad ass in a metal kind of way. So did Dark Days The Forge #1 kick things off with a bang? Or did it fall flat as a totally confusing mess? Read on to find out!
***Non-Spoilers and Score at the bottom***
We open up with a narrative from Carter Hall talking about how he’s lived many lives. And something is coming. Something great that is written in metal. We see him and his compatriots riding through the desert on horses Arabian Nights style as a giant alien ship flies over them.
We pick up in current times at the Bermuda Triangle where the scientist Dr. Madison is at his lab, which is located right on top of a currently active volcano. He’s talking into a recorder, saying that people need to know there’s something wrong with the Earth’s core, something in the metal. Just as he’s about to be totally engulfed by the flames and lava of the active volcano, Batman bursts out of a flaming lava wall wearing a giant mech suit. He scoops up Dr. Madison and they make their escape to a nearby beach, with the help of a gruff Aquaman. So far so good at this point of the book. There’s a lot happening, but I’m keeping up.
Then we jump on over to Mogo where the Guardian Ganthet is telling Hal Jordan that he has a top secret mission for Hal. He tells Hal that there’s a problem. “Rumblings in every corner of the universe. Whispers of a stirring in the dark”. Jeez Ganthet, could you be more vague? Sayd tells Hal where the source of the threat is, which takes us to our 3rd setting in 9 pages…
Hal heads on over to Wayne Manor to investigate what the problem is. He heads into the Batcave and is greeted with a kick to the face from Duke. Hal tosses Duke aside with ease and locates the source of the threat inside a wall of the Batcave. Hal somehow phases through the wall (maybe it’s not actually a wall, but a hologram of a wall) and Duke follows along. Still keeping up, but we’re moving around a lot so it’s becoming a struggle to stay interested here.
We see a place called The Campus underneath Philadelphia where Duke’s mother is being held captive. She’s VERY unwell and looks to be affected by Joker’s gas. We see The Imortal man talking to an unknown person about how Imortal Man offered Duke’s mom eternal life a long time ago, but she didn’t take it for some reason. Immortal Man tells his hooded buddy that a storms a’ comin’ and the heroes are gonna need help from The Importal Men if they’re gonna beat it.
Then we jump to a montage showing us Hawkman’s origin story. There’s not much new here. Hackman and his wife were affected by a ship made of Nth Metal a long time ago, and that’s what gave them immortality. But then Hawkman talks about a mystery behind the story of his and Hawkgirl’s lives. And we see a dystopian future with a skyscraper sized Batman Statue. And this picture is not pretty. There are a bunch of mutilated people tied to the legs of the Batman statue. Then we see Hawkman awake from his nightmare.
Hey! Batman is finally in his super secret moon bat cave that everyone seems to know about. I say everyone, because the most throwaway character ever has shown up there. Mr. Terrific! Apparently Batman and Mr. Terrific have been working on something, but I’m not sure what at this point. We do find out that Batman is about to take a journey and he’s going to need Mr. Terrific to let an unnamed person out of his or her box. Then they open up a room with some type of container in it that I have been told holds plastic man.
Seriously, I could type for days on this …
The rest of the story shows us Duke and Hal being lead through this secret chamber of the Batcave to a room at the end. Inside this room is The Joker. We also see Mr. Miracle meet up with Batman and Superman at The Fortress of Solitude. Apparently Batman locked something up there a long time ago. And he used a lock that no regular person could even get into. Batman gets into the room and finds The Monitors Vibrational Towers from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Whew! That was a lot of work! Was it worth it?
Meh. I don’t really know. I guess it depends on the reader. I know there’s a lot of history here. And they’re making a point to go all the way back to legacy stuff to write this story. We jumped around to countless locations over 32 pages. We jumped back and forth in the timeline. I guess what I’m trying to say here is, this isn’t a light read. But, is it worth it? I say, if you love DC Comics and you love the legacy of DC Comics, this one will probably be worth it for you. It reminded me a lot of the way that Crisis on Infinite Earths jumped around in time and space and wove a hugely complex story.
Sum it up!
This story is long and complex. It jumps around in time. It jumps from place to place. But at the core of all of it’s complexities is a pretty well crafted story (so far). If you like the legacy of DC Comics and you liked Crisis on Infinite Earths, you will probably enjoy this one.
Ben DuPey | NCR