See all reviews of Dark Nights: Metal (4)

“All hope turns to ash.”

There’s part of me that wants to succumb to the urge to just tear things down out of pure frustration.  It’s part of the wider cultural zeitgeist, I think.  We set ourselves up for impossibly high expectations and our perfect scenario of how things should go to make everything right, and there’s just no possible way any creator could ever live up to what we’ve created in our own minds.  I have struggled through Dark Nights: Metal #4 for the past four days and I have put down my frustration, my unreasonable expectations, and my ideas for where things should be going.  I hope I have not made a grave mistake.

I’ve joked from the beginning that the general theme of Dark Nights: Metal and its various tie-ins has been “You think that’s dark?  Hold my beer.”  I honestly thought that issue #3 was rock bottom when Superman was (predictably) duped into rushing to the Dark Universe to save his BFF Batman and was instead (predictably) captured and used as some cosmic battery for our literal big bad, Barbatos, to bust his way into our universe and spread death, destruction, murder-Robins, etc.  I thought that somehow at least one group of the varied A, B and C-team heroes scattered around the world and the galaxy would succeed even partially at their respective quests to bring some bit of the mysterious Nth — or ninth — metal back to Earth.  I thought maybe even Kendra Saunders would find a way to be Hawkgirl again.  I was wrong in so many ways.

By the end of the book, I was just confused.  Where did the giant reveal on the final page even come from?  How did Sandman come into play?  Why does Kendra have a brain in her pocket?  Why are Batman and Superman suddenly 30 years older?  I got some of my answers from looking back at the previous issues and prequels, but others I just have to let go and hold on, trusting that resolution is on the horizon.  That’s a bit frustrating when there are so many things happening at once.  I can’t quite keep a hold on all of the disparate plot lines on different planes of existence.  Should I be paying attention to Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate and Kendra?  How about Aquaman and Deathstroke?  Why is Plastic Man in a Silly Putty Egg again?  Why is Starro a) alive and b) talking like a complete douche?  Again, I’m hanging on, hoping for answers.

There are some very good moments in the book, however, even if all seems doom and gloom.  Seeing the former Hawkgirl literally split apart as some demon version of herself rises from the gore is pretty sweet.  Batman realizing that his kids are his happy place is really cathartic after so many, many years of him not having a family to pass his legacy too.  The art, as in all the Metal books is top notch with some outstanding panels, including the appearance of Lady Blackhawk.

I’m not giving up on Dark Nights: Metal, certainly.  I will be taking each issue slowly, though, making sure that I’m clear who I’m following down which dark rabbit hole.  I want to see where this is going, but I am concerned that the two remaining issues just won’t be enough space to tell the story that they’ve set up.  I hope I’m wrong.

Dark Nights: Metal #4
Is it good?
I want to see where this is going, but I am concerned that the two remaining issues just won't be enough space to tell the story that they've set up.  I hope I'm wrong.
Pros
Art is killer
Consistently dark storylines
Cons
Too much going on at times to keep things straight
Huge gap in issue releases makes it tough to follow
Unexplained events and threads with little evident vision forward
6
Average

  • DCFan4Life

    most, if not all of the things you brought up were from previous issues…have you been reading? which are the things you think were unexplained after looking back?

    • Brian Clements

      I’m not sure why Kendra exploded into Lady Blackhawk, a clearly Dark Multiverse character rather than her DM doppleganger showing up. I don’t know how Bats & Supes aged 30 years. I don’t know why evil Supermen got less than a page before being completely dissolved by Batman. Why is Starro alive and sounding like a bratty tween? Why, if a dozen different groups seemed fully aware of the potential danger from this previously unknown multiverse, did no one think to warn Batman?

      It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t want to feel like I just watched Lost Season 4 again.

      • Hans Skylander

        That’s exactly what this is like!!! It looks pretty but I have no idea where it’s going.

        • DCFan4Life

          which issues have you read?

          • Hans Skylander

            I read every issue so far, including the tie ins, so far it has not been a very cohesive story, honestly readers should be able to just read the main series.

          • DCFan4Life

            But you did read the casting and the forge?

          • Hans Skylander

            Yes, but the simple fact is they are way too many side books and randomly added moments to make this a cohesive story. Black Adam’s first appearance was this issue.

          • DCFan4Life

            That is like saying any issue where a character first shows up is bad…he is part of the Immortals and has a connection to the rock of Eternity. People do show up in books. Look at something like infinite crisis, every issue had people just showing up.

            Doomsday Clock started with a set bunch of characters…are you not expecting more characters to show?

          • DCFan4Life

            Forge, Casting and Batman lost are major books. The Gotham resistance, bats out of hell and dark knights tie-ins are just to give more info on nightmare batmen

      • DCFan4Life

        The Kendra bit is a reveal and new, bats and supes aged 30 years from their years being sucked out by the Dark tower, evil superman dissolved when superman woke up and Batman and him were saved by Dream, Starro has been alive in this continuity, Batman was tricked by the owls and Barbatos…kendra warned him, he was warned by Hawkman. He didn’t listen and got tricked…he didn’t listen!

        • Brian Clements

          I didn’t get the whole “Princess Bride Machine” vibe from the battery since Bruce said he had been there for 30 years.

          • DCFan4Life

            But, if you go with that, then that’s why he’s older! We saw Clark connected before when wonder woman disconnected him and it set up that in the machine, it feels like years go by. We were told the hero’s are being used as batteries. I guess I’m the only one who assumed that being a battery in a machine that makes you literally live nightmares over and over without any hope of winning would take a physical toll and also make you are those years you believe you are fighting through. Plus, this wasn’t the first issue we saw old Bruce, he was #3 cliffhanger

      • DCFan4Life

        You have read every issue, right? Which did u read?

      • DCFan4Life

        And Kendra turning into Lady Blackhawk (which she was called before) looked like part of the Immortals plan…she just showed up at the Rock of Eternity with the smuggled brain of the anti-monitor which was what the Immortals wanted to do to destroy the Dark Multiverse at the very beginning. The problem is that Batman and Superman are in the DM right now

        • Brian Clements

          The line LB says just after literally exploding out of Kendra’s body (All roads lead back to darkness) is the same as pretty much anyone from the DM. I can buy that it’s part of Black Adam/Vandal Savage’s plan, it’s just a bit muddy there. The main Immortals plan seemed sound, even with Supes and Bats in the DM. But they knew WW would never sacrifice them.

          • DCFan4Life

            exactly, that’s why she snuck the brain