Dark Nights: Metal has so far delivered a story worth being contained in its own event comic book mini-series. Scott Snyder has nailed the end of the universe scenario that has readers concerned for everyone involved. The Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse have proven to be a threat that it is hard to figure out how the remaining Justice League members and their allies can overcome the villains. Adding in the fact that the previous issue revealed that several DC villains have sided with the Dark Knights and Barbatos turned Hawkman and Hawkwoman against the Justice League it is even harder to see how our heroes will end up saving the day. That mystery creates a lot of excitement for how things will go in Dark Nights: Metal #5. So with that said let’s see how things go with Dark Nights: Metal #5.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Over Gotham City Barbatos is concerned that Superman escaped the battery. Batman Who Laughs says Superman and Batman won’t be a problem and requests his master let out a wail that destroys the walls of the Multiverse.
At the Forge of the Worlds Batman and Superman are able to dodge the giant Hawkman’s strikes. They end up being cornered by Penguin, Two-Face and Killer Croc, who have sided with Barbatos. Batman does not let his three villains get in his way and he jumps to another cliff to continue the search for the metal that Dream of the Endless told them about.
Elsewhere, Aquaman and Deathstroke reach the center of the Earch and find a machine using Atlantean technology has encased some magma. Aquaman takes a closer look at the machine and notices it is a mix of Atlantean technology with something else. Deathstroke points out how he sense Nth Metal in the machine.
In the prisons of Thanagar Prime Green Lantern fails to use his ring due to Starro disrupting his concentration. Mr. Terrific mentions that he is concerned about his friend Plastic Man, whose body has become a superconductor for cosmic energy and has been suffering due to all of the dark energy around them.
Suddenly Martian Manhunter shows up. Martian Manhunter reveals he has been working on Thanagar Prime in secret but is there to help them save Plastic Man.
At the Rock of Eternity, Wonder Woman is forced to fight Black Adam while trying to get Hawkwoman back to her senses. Hawkwoman doesn’t listen and Wonder Woman gets blasted by Black Adam.
Back at the Forge of the Worlds Hawkman knocks Batman and Superman off a ledge. The fall injures Batman and Superman thinks they should retreat. Batman says he will not do so, speaking Carter’s words from his journal, to try to remind Hawkman who he is. Hawkman says Carter Hall is dead. Superman notices a light in the lava and mentions it to Batman.
Back at the Rock of Eternity Wonder Woman gets knocked through a wall. When Wonder Woman recovers she spots a crack on another wall and sees Hawkman’s mace inside the other room. Black Adam grabs Wonder Woman but she is able to take the mace and knocks Black Adam out.
Before Wonder Woman can celebrate she is shot by Batman Who Laughs with a bullet made out of the Eighth Metal. Batman Who Laughs takes the mace and mocks Wonder Woman about how every world falls eventually and that endings are always the loudest.
Back at the core of the Earth as Aquaman looks over the Nth Metal he and Deathstroke are stabbed by Black Manta. Black Manta reveals he is working with Barbatos after being promised some power within the new order. The Murder Machine, Drowner and Red Death Dark Knights then appear prepared to kill Aquaman and Deathstroke.
Over on Thanagar Prime Green Lantern, Mr. Terrific and Martian Manhunter overwhelm the Thanagarians and force Onimar Synn to hand over the egg he is holding.
When they take the egg to the Phoenix Cannon Mr. Terrific finds out that the polarity of the weapon has been reversed. The Devastator, Dawnbreaker and Merciless Dark Knights appear and reveal they are the ones that reversed the weapon’s polarity.
The Phoenix Cannon is then fired and strikes the special magma orb at the core of the Earth and Hawkman’s mace to release the armies of darkness on Earth.
At the Rock of Eternity Batman Who Laughs tells all that is happening to Wonder Woman and leaves her to be killed by Hawkwoman. Wonder Woman fights back by using her Lasso of Truth to bring Hawkwoman back to her senses.
Though back to normal Hawkwoman has given up hope. Wonder Woman says they can still win and jumps through the portal to Barbatos with Hawkwoman.
Wonder Woman and Hawkwoman are stunned to see all the evil versions of the Justice League and other multiverse villains gathered on Earth. Wonder Woman does not run away and instead leads Hawkwoman to fight the army of darkness that Barbatos has gathered.
At that same time Batman and Superman jump into the lava of the Forge of Worlds in hopes of finding what they need.
We then see the library Dream of the Endless showed Batman and Superman earlier burning down. End of issue.
The Good: Dark Nights: Metal #5 is a fine example of how the closer we get to the end the more the stakes can be raised. Scott Snyder finds the right balance of desperation and hope that by the end of Dark Nights: Metal #5 will leave you hanging as to what will happens next. That excitement created made even the surprises hit harder as they added to the hype train that is Dark Nights: Metal.
There is no other way to start than to say how incredible it is to see Martian Manhunter make his big return in Dark Nights: Metal #5. The surprise of seeing Martian Manhunter added to a burst of excitement to what was going on with Green Lantern and Mr. Terrific. Snyder did well in not letting that be the last of what we see from this corner of the Dark Nights: Metal by showing us that Martian Manhunter was able to turn the tide for Green Lantern and Mr. Terrific. That turning of the tide helped make the appearance of the Devastator, Merciless and Dawnbreaker Dark Knights have a greater impact. Because just as Martian Manhunter help spark some hope Snyder snatched it away by placing yet another wall in front of the three heroes.
That sense of wall after wall being placed in front of our heroes extended to both Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s segment. While his portion of the issue was shorter than the others it was good to see some progress made by Aquaman and his partner Deathstroke. Aquaman starting to figure things out on his end made the sudden appearance of Black Manta a nice surprise. Black Manta assisting Barbatos was not a big surprise but did add to how certain villains are siding with the Dark Knights of the Multiverse. This further showed how some villains are taking advantage of the situation to gain a degree of power in the new chaotic order of the universe.
With how much attention Batman and Superman had in the previous issue it was great to see a big spotlight placed on Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was by far shown have the biggest fight in her. Even when she was hit from behind by Black Adam she still was able to find a way to overcome the villain. Then when injured by the Batman Who Laughs we still saw Wonder Woman dig down deep and actually find a way to return Hawkwoman to her senses. All of this showed how Wonder Woman’s warrior instincts will not let her fall so easily. Those warrior instincts made the final page we saw her in even more powerful as she had her “Warrior Cry” moment.
These segments nicely complimented the mission Batman and Superman are on at the Forge of Worlds. It was a good move not to make this fight with monster Hawkman the main focal point of the issue. The reason it was a good choice was this made the pages we did get of this struggle have maximum impact as Snyder made sure to pack each panel of this segment of the issue with something big going on.
What was particularly interesting with this part of Dark Nights: Metal #5 was the role switch of Batman being the hopeful one against Superman who seemingly lost hope. Superman being the one to think they have been completely cornered added to how big of a threat the monster Hawkman should be perceived. It made Batman continuing to push forward to get the Nth Metal an even more desperate move. And since the issue ends with Batman and Superman falling in lava Snyder left you wondering what exactly will happen to these two heroes.
All of the chaos going on around the DC Universe further highlighted how big of a threat Barbatos and the Dark Knights of the Multiverse are. Every time we saw the Justice League members seemingly turn things to their favor the Dark Knights quickly steal any hope they have. Each move that the Dark Knights made, including having various villains side with them, had such an impact on the heroes that your left wondering how they could even be taken down. That mystery of how to overcome the Dark Knights and Barbatos is what has made this event by Snyder feel even more epic.
Adding to how great Dark Nights: Metal #5 is was Greg Capullo once again delivering the big set pieces when needed. With this issue being filled with action and betrayal Capullo had plenty of room to stretch his artistic muscles. Capullo especially did a great job showing Wonder Woman in action as he displayed the her grit as she continued to get up no matter how much the Dark Knights wanted to keep her down. It made her “Warrior Cry” moment as she and Hawkwoman dove into a sea of villains from the Multiverse be an even stronger scene.
The Bad: The one spot that Dark Night: Metal #5 falters is with making Hawkman a character we should care about. Though Snyder gave Carter Hall an intriguing backstory to start the event it did not help make his current status as a monsterous Hawkman forced to work for Barbatos something you sympathize with. Since Hawkman didn’t get any present day spotlight we don’t really have an understanding how much he is struggling internally. Instead it just looks like he is siding with Barbatos because he gave up hope, which makes him look weak compared to other characters development in this event.
Overall: Dark Nights: Metal #5 continues the trend started with the beginning of the event with Scott Snyder making sure he pushes our heroes to their breaking point. With the Justice League split off in various directions Snyder was able to focus just enough time on each character left standing in this conflict. That time spent is maximize to such a degree that as a reader you come away even more excited for what comes next.