Subway Shorts – Bat-Metal

After a couple of lead-in issues, DC Comics’ big summer event series kicked off this week, with a fairly epic set-up and a big guest star on the final page of Dark Nights: Metal 1.

Dark Nights: Metal 1
Written by Scott Snyder 
Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia

If you’ve missed Batman being portrayed as a complete dick to his teammates in the Justice League, treating them like morons while he would be the only one standing in between the world and complete Armageddon from a cosmic entity, it seems Metal would be the event series for you.

Scott Snyder’s epic New 52 Batman story culminates in this series about Bruce Wayne’s quest to find out more about the mysterious metallic properties that helped bring him and the Joker back to life. But the story quickly goes from metallurgy to mass hysteria. In the first issue of the miniseries, we get:

• The Justice League captured by Mongul on a War Moon and forced to do battle with machines created by the new, young Toyman, who built in a failsafe to help the League. The failsafe turns the individualized weapons attacking the League into a Voltron/MegaZord that takes Mongul down.

• The League returns to Earth to discover a giant mountain has appeared right smack in the middle of Gotham City. When the League investigates, they are confronted by Lady Blackhawk. She tells the League that Batman is foretold to be the bringing of destruction for the Multiverse. She also tells the League about a “Dark Multiverse” – which… wouldn’t that also be part of a larger multiverse? – where ancient evil lives.

Lady Blackhawk, by the way, is revealed to be Kendra Saunders, the pre-Flashpoint Hawkgirl, who largely refused Hawkman’s advances to be his soulmate, because she found the whole thing creepy.

• When the League gets attacked on Blackhawk Island by forces trying to stop Batman from destroying the Multiverse, the Caped Crusader escapes on a dinosaur and leaves the team to fight for him, heading back to the Batcave to analyze a sample of pure Nth Metal, which he stole. He also finds Hawkman’s journal, which details all of this.

And that’s when business picks up, because that’s when a member of the Endless pops in.

• Daniel – the Dream that replaced Morpheus at the end of Neil Gaiman‘s seminal series Sandman – makes his return to the DCU, after his first appearance being in 1998’s JLA 22-23 penned by Grant Morrison. How does The Endless – and Dream in particular – play into this story?

There was a whole lot jammed in to the first issue – not to mention The Forge and The Casting, the two one shot lead-ins – and from the look of the list of Metal books, there’s going to be a lot to take in overall. Right now, though, I’m only really intrigued by the inclusion of Dream. The final page is enough to get me to pick up the next installment, but the whole thing is on shaky ground otherwise, because I really have had enough of the “Batman is a dick” trope.

The limited series continues on Sept. 13, with the second issue AND a tie-in issue of Teen Titans.