Dark Days: The Casting

Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Artists: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr.
Colorists: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics

A review by Greg Brothers

In September of 2011 the DC universe went through a total reboot of their universe called The New 52. At the time, DC felt they needed to do something to bring in new readers and create a fresh start for everyone. The move was controversial as long-time readers felt that their characters and stories that they had loved were being stripped away from them. Despite the controversy, the New 52 overall did what it set out to do and brought in new characters and creators who could make their mark on some classic DC heroes and villains.

One of the most critically acclaimed runs was Scott Snyder and his run on the entire Batman series. People came to love the new take on Batman and the rouges gallery that Snyder created. And many people were disappointed when the new 52 ended because of this. Throughout Snyder’s run it felt as if the stories were always building into something bigger with more to them than what the reader was being given.

Once the New 52 ended and Rebirth began, Snyder took his talents and writing over to All-Star Batman. Although a different take, it again felt as if Snyder was building to something bigger than just telling good Batman stories. Dark Days: The Casting is the next step in that epic story building.

While other heroes seem to know about this possible dark evil coming down the road, Batman is the only one who is willing to do the dirty work and try as best he can to stop the impending doom. It is shown that Hawkman knew of the metal, and the possible power and evil it could release, long before anyone else. Meanwhile Batman is fighting his way to question the gods of their knowledge of this new metal.

Dealing with gods brings in Wonder Woman to help Batman on his journey as he searches for answers. She lays out a ominous warning for Batman, just as the fight between The Joker, Hal Jordan, and Duke continues below the Batcave. If you were not a fan of the New 52 run there are conversations in the fight that may go over your head and Joker throws back to several of the major events that happen in that run of Batman.

Dark Days: The Casting lays out a lot of information and puts all the pieces together for the “Metal” event that is set to start in August. Mysteries that have been hinted at going back to Snyder’s New 52 run are answered and explained, while characters embrace new roles. To be honest, it is a lot to take in even for someone who was an avid reader of the New 52 run. It felt like every page had a reveal or another bomb.

That being said, the buildup in Dark Days: The Casting was done perfectly. You could feel the tension build up as Batman, Green Lantern, and Duke work to prevent the Darkness from coming. Then just as we think all is right we find out the truth behind the whole event. Reading Dark Days: The Casting did feel like a great suspense movie as you yell at the pages “no don’t do that” when a decision is made that you know will lead to terrible things down the road.

With the lineup that we have on art in Dark Days: The Casting, you know I couldn’t say much bad about it. The action panels are flawless as you feel the characters move and fight each other as you read. The emotions and expressions fit the intended mark as anger, fear, and surprise jump off the pages. Colors, such as The Jokers hair, Green Lantern’s suit, and Duke’s yellow outfit are bright and stand out. Duke especially is done well as his role. If I had one complaint it would be about Romita Jr’s parts of the story as, even in All-Star Batman, I have not been a fan of his boxy look and feel of Batman’s costume and look in general. But again, that is a more personal preference than a slight against the art itself.

The Verdict
Buy it! 
Dark Day: The Casting is required reading if you are either a fan of the New 52 Batman series or if you plan on reading the Metal event. Many of the building blocks for those future stories will be found within these panels. Snyder shows he has not lost his touch when creating an epic and complicated tale. In a less capable writer’s hands this could have become a jumbled mess, but instead there is just enough tension and build as the story move forward.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

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