Batman is clearly a crazy bastard and needs to be committed. That’s my biggest takeaway from the special Dark Days: The Casting, the second lead-in to the Metal story kicking off next month.
Dark Days: The Casting 1
Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Art by Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Danny Miki and Alex Sinclair
The Dark Knight continues the quest he started in last months The Forge and, yeah, look, nothing he’s doing sounds like a good idea. Batman gets the Sword of Apollo – the actual weapon of a god of Olympus – from Wonder Woman. He uses that special weapon, forged by Hephaestus to include the eighth iteration of Nth Metal, to find the ninth. And then he trades the Sword of Apollo to Talia al Ghul for a blade owned by the wizard SHAZAM.
Back at the Batcave, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and not-Robin Duke Thomas continue to spar with The Joker, who escaped the prison Batman forged for him deep in the bowels of the Batcave. The Clown Prince of Crime tries to convince the mismatched pair that he’s the good guy here – he’s trying to stop Batman from using a machine the Joker believes will destroy the universe. Of course, he does this by trying to beat on Duke with a crowbar, so he doesn’t show the best judgment. Batman had planned to use the machine to continuously clone himself so Gotham City always had a Batman, but it ended up making him whole again during Scott Snyder’s New 52 run of Batman. Honestly, I’m not sure Batman is showing the best judgment here, either.
Joker escapes – of course he does – and Batman comes back to the Batcave to see all the destruction. Jordan, rightly, accuses Batman of violating Justice League protocols (and committing human rights violations) by having The Joker jailed deep below the Batcave. Instead of taking the clearly crazy man into custody, Green Lantern allows Batman to keep going about his mission with a vague warning of reporting what he saw back to the Guardians.
It’s really hard to suspend my disbelief for a comic book story when the heroes are acting this ridiculous. And there’s a LOT of comic book story to come in the Batman: Metal story that starts next month. DC Comics recently released a list of books tying in to the event, which includes 25 books through February. I don’t know that I can keep doing this that long…
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching and Michael Atiyeh
This issue is the finale to the three-part ESCAPE FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE arc, that saw Supergirl dragged into the Kryptonian prison dimension along with her fellow CatCo intern Ben Rubel and a visiting Batgirl. They obviously had an eventful time in the Zone, defeating the Phantom King, who was trying to escape the Zone and destroy Kara in the process.
It was a fun and enjoyable story that shows promise in future Batgirl-Supergirl team-ups (though Batgirl is a 20-something hero and Supergirl is in high school, so the rapport they had pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths should probably still be built towards a bit more…), but the real intrigue in the story comes in the last panel, which sets up the next issue.
The Supergirl comic has smartly introduced elements of the Supergirl CW show – she lives in National City, she works with the DEO, her Earth parents are Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers and she is interning at CatCo, the media company owned by former Daily Planet gossip columnist Cat Grant. Kara has been slowly gaining Cat’s trust, so the last panel is a bit of a shock.
Did Cat Grant just shoot Supergirl with a Kryptonite bullet? I’m definitely tuning in next month!