Dark Nights: Metal has not held back in presenting the DC Universe heroes with an impossible threat to overcome. That impossible threat comes in the form of darker versions of Batman has made this even even more compelling. The recent tie-in, “Gotham Resistance,” helped further drive home how bad things have gotten in the DC Universe. Now that some time has passed and all the remaining heroes, including the Justice League, have been fighting for their lives it is time to see how things will end up getting worse before they get better. At least that is most likely the case since we are still early on in the story. Will the DCU heroes at least discover something to help them against the Dark Knights of the Multiverse? Let’s find out with Dark Nights: Metal #3.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Smallville, Kansas Clark, Lois, Bruce and Diana watch Damian and Jon practicing their music. Bruce suddenly starts bleeding, with the blood on his chest turning into a Batsymbol.
Barbatos pops out of Bruce’s chest and instantly kills everyone while the other Dark Knights burn the city down.
On Earth-Prime, Wonder Woman is able to free Superman from his captivity in Metropolis by using the Lasso of Truth to bring him back.
While they fly through the city Wonder Woman reveals to Superman that Barbatos and the Dark Knights turned everyone, including Lois and Jimmy, into monstrous soldiers for them, though Jon is safe somewhere.
Superman, in his weakend state, can’t stand what he is seeing and flies towards the mountain Barbatos is stationed.
As Superman gets closer to Barbatos he is attacked by the Dark Knight known as Devastator. Batman Who Laughs shows up as well to mock Superman, and is soon joined by the other Dark Kngihts. Superman is confused at how they all can be Bruce Wayne but don’t have some sense of good in them.
Devastator jumps Superman again and starts pounding on Superman. Flash ends up showing up and saves Superman by taking him into Doctor Fate’s special sanctum, the Oblivion Bar.
In the Oblivion Bar Superman learns that Doctor Fate, Steel and Mr. Terrific created the place using their connection and knowledge of Nth Metal. Nightwing goes on to reveal that he recently led a team to try to save Gotham City but they lost and they ended up having to retreat, leaving their friends including the Teen Titans behind.
Superman is shocked by all he is hearing. Kendra tells everyone that this is no time to sulk and reminds them that if they listened to her from the beginning about handing over Batman they would’ve been able to stop Barbatos.
Green Arrow and Robin bring up how they can still use Nth Metal to create weapons that could kill Barbatos and the Dark Knights. Doctor Fate and Mr. Terriffic use their connection to Nth Metal to detect the connection between the remaining Nth Metal and Reactive Metals on Earth. They go in further to find out that the locations of these links are in Deep Space, Beneath Atlantis and at the Rock of Eternity.
Wonder Woman tries to get everyone to split up to find these links but Aquaman and Green Lantern end up arguing about how dangerous this is with Atlantis’ current state.
Mr. Terrific finds more coordinates that point to the Dark Multiverse. Superman says it must be Batman and that during his many battles with Barbatos in all his lives he discovered that Batman was trying to tell him something. Kendra and Wonder Woman tell Superman that they can’t risk going into the unknown of the Dark Multiverse.
Nightwing says that he sensed Batman to and believes that they must stand there to fight. Robin does not want to give up on his dad but Nightwing says they must do what Batman would want and that is fight right now.
Before they can argue more one of the Dark Robins shows up. Deathstroke quickly takes out the Dark Robin and asks for payment.
Superman gets everyone back on track and says he understands that Batman, with how he has been filled with the Metals, is possibly the key power source Barbatos is using to fully active the dark towers. He then says a way into the Dark Multiverse and can get their with Flash’s help.
Not wasting anymore time Doctor Fate, Mr. Terrific and Steel use their powers to teleport everyone to their specific locations for their respective missions. As he does that the Batman Who Laughs and more Dark Robins show up in the Oblivion Bar.
Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate and Kendra arrive at the Sands of Bialya, Green Lantern and Mr. Terrific fly through deep space and Aquaman and Deathstroke swim towards Atlantis.
Meanwhile at the Fortress of Solitude, Superman reveals that they can use the antenna the Anti-Monitor used along with the Phantom Zone portal gun to gain access to the Dark Multiverse. Superman and Flash start running around the antenna while Steel uses his connection to Nth Metal to activate the antenna.
The portal to the Dark Multiverse opens and Superman absorbs the energy to turn into a golden state before entering the portal.
At the Oblivion Bar all of the Dark Knights are enjoying burning the place down while having a few drinks.
Elsewhere, Superman finally breaks through and is able to make it into the Dark Multiverse. As soon as he finds the main dark tower he is attacked by various zombie versions of himself.
In the midst of fighting them off he finds an aged Batman in the tower. Batman says he tried to actually warn Superman that he was the real battery source that Barbatos needed. Superman is then suddenly struck by dark energy that begins to rip his skin from his bones. End of issue.
The Good: Dark Nights: Metal #3 pushes how hopeless things have gotten for the DC Universe with the invasion of the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse. Through that hopelessness Scott Snyder shows us how there is nowhere for the remaining heroes of the DCU to run. In doing so he creates a compelling conflict that has multiple layers to it.
There is nothing about Dark Nights: Metal #3 that is light. The entire issue has a dark edge to it as the Justice League and a number of other heroes have been forced into hiding after several days of fighting. That sense of darkness surrounding all of DC’s heroes made all the interactions we see take place in Doctor Fate’s secret home have an even greater impact.
In that surrounding darkness Scott Snyder shows us how the remaining heroes have not lost their will to fight. What they have lost is there sense of unity as each character has a different idea of how and what they should be fighting for in trying to take their world back from the vicious Dark Knights. The difference in the various characters mentality led to some surprising dialogue sequences as we get to see how much of a toll this invasion has taken on everyone.
At the same time Snyder never showed the remaining heroes as losing their will to fight. As much as each hero that gathered in Doctor Fate’s Sanctum have gone through they all are not ready to call in game over. That makes the battle with the Dark Knights even more interesting as each hero has a different idea of what they should be doing to save everyone on Earth.
Nightwing and Robin’s interaction with each other in particular stood out as the best example of this. In their quick argument we got to see how each one brings a different sense of fighting spirit in terms of how they should approach taking on the Dark Knights. From Nightwing’s perspective we get the idea of the harden general who is looking forward rather than back. Robin on the other hand shows that they also need to have faith in Batman as he could still be alive. That quick back and forth helped show how tense things are at the moment.
That brother dynamic between the two complimented how backed into a corner the Justice League are feeling at the moment. Though we see that the Justice League more or less survived the encounter with the Dark Knights they were definitely hit hard morally. Green Lantern, Aquaman and Flash in particular look to have taken it the hardest with how they lost their cities. Wonder Woman being the one to keep everyone in line was nicely done as Snyder showed how she is the one taking up the leadership charge by keeping everyone focus on what they should do.
Superman sort of separating himself from the group by being determined to find their Batman was an interesting move. Snyder did a good job showing how Superman won’t just be able to fly in to save the day. Even though it wasn’t directly said Snyder was able to get across that the Dark Knights were able severely weaken Superman and make it so he can’t regain his powers easily since the Sun is blocked out. This fact makes how the DCU heroes can save the day an even bigger question, especially after Superman was captured and revealed to be who Barbatos was actually after.
With all of this going on it will be very interesting to see how all the heroes can buy time for themselves in their respective journeys. We already saw that the Dark Knights were able to quickly find and break into Doctor Fate’s secret Sanctum and burn it down fairly quickly. That helps create a greater sense of urgency in whatever the Justice League and other heroes do moving forward without a minute to spare.
This also furthers how dangerous these new Dark Knight characters are. The opening scene drove home how terrifying these characters are with how they attack unannounced. The rapid way they go about seemingly taking over worlds does make the questions as how they could be possibly be stopped even bigger.
Through the Dark Knights development and how the meeting of the heroes went down Snyder made sure that even though he did not appear until the end that our Batman had a presence throughout this issue. Batman is still the driving force behind this event. And it is in fact all the character flaws and strengths that is what caused all of this to happen.
Robin bringing up how the Dark Knights all represent his dad in some way was a good way to keep Batman’s presence alive. This isn’t the first time that we see this be mentioned about the Dark Knights and how they relate to our Batman. That in turn helped keep us wondering what happened to our Batman throughout this issue, helping the ending be a much more impactful conclusion to this issue.
What still could be the wild card in all of this is Hawkman and Hawkwoman’s role in the story. Though Kendra ended up being pushed to the background for most of Dark Nights: Metal #3 she still made her presence known. Snyder is doing a good job in having Kendra try to assert her authority by reminding everyone that she has lived many lives and has the most experience. This turn makes her come off as an important part to what the Justice League are doing, while also keeping whatever Hawkman is up to hovering over the story.
Greg Capullo continues to deliver big with his artwork in Dark Nights: Metal #3. Capullo makes sure to pack each panel with a lot of detail but never makes things to busy to follow. With how many different characters he has to draw he is providing the cohesion to Snyder’s story that is needed. And when the time calls for it, Capullo shows how chaotic things are getting whenever the Dark Knights show up to wreck shop.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Dark Nights: #3 is another compelling chapter in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s big DC Universe event. Snyder does not hold back in how he has pushed the Justice League and other DCU heroes into a corner. Through all the chaos that the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse have created Snyder is able to maintain a sense that our heroes have not given up on saving the DCU. That makes what happens next with what the Dark Knights were able to accomplish by the end of this issue even more highly anticipated.