Dark Nights Metal #6
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Clapion
Variant Cover Artists: Tony S. Daniel, Jim Lee, and Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Stacy Dooks
Nearly two months have gone by and we finally get to see Dark Nights Metal #6, the epic conclusion to the event comic that challenged the preconceived notions of event comics. . .and then lived up to those selfsame preconceived notions all at the same time. Did the grand experiment work? Does Dark Nights Metal #6 thrash out the power chords or should it be booed off the stage?
Picking up where things left off (in January), the epic final battle between the demonic Barbatos and his legion of alternate Evil Batmen has come to a head. He’s sunk the DC Earth proper into the depths of the Dark Multiverse and is but a hair’s breadth away from consigning all of the multiverse to darkness forevermore (where everyone presumably will be forced to reread Watchmen, The Killing Joke, and The Dark Knight Returns—ad infinitum) unless our heroes can band together and save the day with the aid of Hawkman’s mace and the mythical tenth metal. A number of guns hung on the wall from previous issues are set off with a very loud series of bangs, and as the dust settles our heroes face a universe they may not fully recognize anymore, one that might require an entirely new approach to its protection. . .
Before I get into this let me state for the record that Snyder, Capullo, and Clapion deserve all the respect and admiration in the world for taking the oh so very tired concept of the event comic and going completely coo-coo flippin’ bananas with it. Dark Nights Metal is, if nothing else, ambitious as hell and just goes for broke at every twist and turn. The story itself is well-crafted, the art is great, and the ending. . .well, we’ll get to my nitpicks momentarily but I will say that this ending provides a chance for the creators to do a bit of a soft retcon that makes a few changes but definitely paves the way for future stories without beating the reader over the head with the This Is So Very Important Pay Attention stick.
Despite all this, there are some elements of the story that did rankle me a bit, chief among them the swath of delays which basically took my interest from a fever pitch to mild interest upon arrival. Also, while I understood that the Batman Who Laughs and the Dawnbreaker were largely irredeemable, I couldn’t help but hope that some of the other Batmen could have been redeemed somehow. Also, the fact that certain heroes. . .dispatch. . .these evil Batmen was a bit jarring to say the least. But I’m an old school superhero comics fan and I generally like to see the villains defeated and not killed. An individual reader’s mileage may vary. The ending brings things up a bit short: one minute we’re bringing the main plot to a close, the next it’s a gathering at Wayne Manor. Oh. . .kay. Not going to address any of the fallout of finding out an entire multiverse of universes where things have gone wrong exists? Maybe use it as a setup for a team of anti-heroes seeking redemption, leaping from world to world trying to put right that which has gone wrong? No? Okay then, good game I guess. . .
The Verdict: Buy it.
For all my grumbling here and there I will say Dark Nights Metal #6 is a (mostly) satisfactory conclusion to the epic that was Dark Nights Metal: it’s fun; it’s insane; it goes for it where other event comics would have played it safe, and if it occasionally hits the odd sour note, it still rocks pretty hard. Recommended.