The Justice League and their allies have been taken by the Nightmare Batmen. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl are wading through an army from the Dark Multiverse. Diana and Kendra manage to use their metal to awaken the League, and they soon find the demonic Hawkman keeping the Forge of Worlds dark.
Soon Cyborg and Flash return with help of their own, and Superman and Batman arrive with new weapons to ward off the dark. However, Barbatos is far from beaten, and the Batman Who Laughs is close to completing the final stage of their plan.
As you can likely glean, this final issue is something of a plot explosion, and it can be difficult to keep track of all the moving parts. Despite the swollen plot and a handful of other problems, Dark Nights: Metal #6 triumphs on the merit of its sheer unadulterated fun and genuine love for the characters.
Despite emphasis on dark in both the story and art, Metal #6 is an unabashed celebration of the DC Universe, the Justice League, and, of course, Batman specifically. It plays like a party, with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo throwing every wild idea at the wall and seeing what sticks.
That same celebratory and devil-may-care story construction is what leads the story to being bloated. There are numerous plot threads that come to minimal fruition or are outright dropped.
That “help” which Flash and Cyborg bring is shown once and never referenced again. I understand it’s mostly there as a cool reference to Elseworld stories, but it really contributes nothing in a story that already has a plot chimera under the hood.
The Batman Who Laughs noticeably disappears without a trace, and the rest of the Nightmare Batmen are given especially ambiguous fates except for the Drowned and arguably the Murder Machine.
Despite these otherwise fatal issues, Metal is just too damn much fun to dislike. The climactic battle between our Batman and the Batman Who Laughs has a delightful twist. The climax and epilogue are both so unabashedly optimistic and in love with DC Comics that I can’t help but smile along with the characters and, implicitly, Snyder and Capullo while they crafted this comic.
The epilogue is a feel-good post-mortem on the story with the Justice League team from Snyder’s upcoming JL title. It foreshadows stories No Justice, Snyder’s Justice League, Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch’s Hawkman, and stories from the solo titles of the League members.
Greg Capullo’s artwork finishes mostly quite strong. Like the narrative, it works very well when it does work. However, also like the narrative, it is very cluttered. There are several massive battle scenes that look good on the surface but are quite cluttered on closer examination. That said, the more focused scenes look great. Jonathan Glapion’s inking works quite well in many scenes, and he doesn’t seem to be at fault for the cluttered scenes given Capullo’s normally greatly-appreciated propensity for great amounts of line work. FCO Plascencia’s color art is the right mixture of bleak and wild to balance the tones of this story.
The epilogue, co-written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, contains art from Mikel Janin, Alvaro Martinez, and Raul Fernandez, and they all put in great work. June Chung and Brad Anderson do solid work on the color art of the epilogue too.
Dark Nights: Metal #6 is a messy, extravagant, and highly entertaining finale to this miniseries from Snyder, Capullo, and company. It is flawed, but its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. I had a lot of fun reading it, and most with even a passing appreciation of DC Comics will too. This one gets a recommendation. Give it a read.
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