Dark Nights: Metal has so far delivered what fans have come to expect from a big event from DC Comics. Scott Snyder has done a great job building up a credible threat in the Dark Knights of the Multiverse, led by Barbatos and the Batman Who Laughs. These Dark Knights have pushed the entire DC Universe to the edge and now there really is no turning back for the Justice League and their allies. Now with the final battle against the Dark Knights upon them can the heroes of the DC Universe save everyone from becoming consumed by the Dark Multiverse threats? Let’s find out with Dark Nights: Metal #6.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo, Mikel Janin and Alvaro Martinez
Inker: Raul Fernandez, Jonathan Glapion and Mikel Janin
Colorist: June Chung and FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Barbatos watches as the Dark Knights of the Multiverse have taken out Aquaman, Deathstroke, Green Lantern, Mr. Terrific and Plastic Man.
On the battlefield Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl have fought Barbatos Multiverse forces for hours but have not made it close enough to fight Barbatos. Right when Wonder Woman looks like she is about to collapse she regains her strength and fights off the villains that surround her. Wonder Woman then calls for the Justice League to assemble.
Aquaman, Deathstroke, Green Lantern, Mr. Terrific and Plastic Man all hear this and are able to recover and join Wonder Woman in on fighting Barbatos’ forces. Mr. Terrific asks Plastic Man to turn into various things to help out in the fight. Plastic Man decides to use all of Mr. Terrific’s suggestions and transforms into them all.
With there allies help Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl find an opening to reach the portal Barbatos’ forces are coming out of. Wonder Woman gives Hawkgirl the end of her lasso. Hawkgirl tells Wonder Woman that she has rallied her allies and has never given up on anyone so she knows Wonder Woman can bring Batman, Superman and Hawkman back from where they are. With that Wonder Woman heads into the portal while holding on to her lasso.
Inside Wonder Woman comes face to face with the giant Hawkman dragon. Hawkgirl calls out to Carter Hall to try to help Hawkman regain control of himself.
As she does this Cyborg and Raven appear with some back-up: an army of Batmen from the Multiverse.
With all of this going on Wonder Woman finds an opening to enter the Forge lava pit that Hawkman was previously guarding for Barbatos.
As that happens Hawkgirl talks to Hawkman to try to remember who he is, which starts working as the dragon form he took on while under Barbatos control is weakening.
As that is going on Barbatos forces start to overwhelm Aquaman, Green Lantern and the other heroes.
Suddenly Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman appear in new silver armor made out material in the Forge.
After contacting their allies Batman reveals he still has some of the Tenth Metal and calls for Cyborg to help him use it to raise the Earth.
Barbatos sees what the Justice League is planning and sends his Joker dragons after the Trinity. Batman is able to punch of the Joker dragons and starts riding it so he can follow Wonder Woman and Superman in flying over to their allies.
They first reach Aquaman and Green Lantern. Batman is able to use a batarang to give Aquaman and Green Lantern armor similar to his, Wonder Woman and Superman’s. This gives the two the strength to start overpowering the Dark Knights of the Multiverse.
Elsewhere Doctor Fate is able to help release the Teen Titans and other allies from their confinement while Green Arrow and Nightwing rally their forces to help out with the battle against Barbatos.
Hawkman, still in his previous form, has regained control of himself and smashes Barbatos with his hammer.
Underground the Batman Who Laughs starts implementing their plan to unleashe the Over-Monitor by using the Anti-Monitor.
Before he can implement the plan Batman, without his special armor, arrives and quickly takes out the Jokerized Robins. Batman and Batman Who Laugh (who I will call “Who Laughs” moving forward) start brawling, with the latter being able to stab the former in order to get the upper hand. When Who Laughs is about to kill Batman the Joker appears to stop him.
Batman and the Joker suddenly team-up against Who Laughs and easily overwhelm him. Who Laughs tries to reach the Over-Monitor machine to activate it but gets his fingers cut off by the Joker.
Back above on the battlefield the Justice League have been able to overpower the Dark Knights of the Multiverse. At the same time Barbatos is able to take Hawkman’s hammer and ground him. Before he can kill Hawkman, Hawkgirl flies straight through Barbatos from behind.
Underground, while Joker and Who Laughs continue fighting Batman takes Anti-Monitor and takes him above ground.
After regrouping, Anti-Monitor tells the Justice League that they have enough metal between them to raise the Earth by reaching out to everyone lost to the Dark Multiverse. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Aquaman join hands and start channeling their metal to reach everyone lost to the Dark Multiverse. By doing so they are able to bring the Earth back to the way it was before. During the process the five Justice Leaguers see various visions including the Source Wall and a hand made of light reaching out to them.
Sometime later Alfred welcomes the Justice League, all wearing tuxedos and dresses without any masks, to the Wayne Mansion. Bruce thanks everyone for helping overcome the Dark Knights and restoring the Earth while returning the Challengers Mountain back to where it should be. He also mentions that thanks to everyone’s efforts their allies from the Multiverse are rebuilding and preparing for when new worlds appear.
He then turns things over to Kendra to talk about what is next. Kendra mentions that Carter is recovering on Blackhawk Island though before passing out he wrote things in his journal about what he saw during his time in the Forge. She mentions that the things he wrote showed him that new forms of energies have been unleashed within the Multiverse, including the appearance of the Immortal Men and other new beings. On top of that Carter saw things like the Darkstars, the fall of Atlantis and Flash War among other future threats coming to them.
Bruce then reveals that in talking to the Gods of New Genesis that he can confirm what they saw was the Source Wall and that the boundary to the known Multiverse has been broken wide open and now they don’t have the protection from whatever it was holding back from them. Bruce says because of that Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl will be joining the Justice League as full-time members.
Hal questions if that all of this is just the beginning. Bruce says he is not sure but they can deal with that tomorrow because tonight they will be together for some fun. Bruce then leads the Justice League into the ballroom where the Titans, Teen Titans, Birds of Prey and others are already partying.
As everyone is dancing Bruce takes Clark and Diana to his office. When he opens the door to the office Bruce shows Clark and Diana that he already has plans finalized for the Hall of Justice. End of issue.
The Good: Dark Nights: Metal #6 does exactly what you hope all final issues of an event does as Scott Snyder ends the story in a way that leaves the door open for many possibilities. All of the possibilities that are opened by Metal #6’s ending make for an exciting future across the entire DC Universe. At the same time, Metal #6 delivers an ending that serves everyone that has been involved in this event well.
One thing that Scott Snyder never loses track on throughout Dark Nights: Metal is portraying Barbatos and the Dark Knights of the Multiverse as terrifying threats. That continues in this final issue even as the Justice League finally found a way to turn the tables against the villains. Even when the Justice League found a power source to help them win Snyder made sure to show us that there was possibility our heroes would lose. That possibility was kept open by showing how Barbatos was still able to take down Hawkman and the Justice League were still outnumbered.
All of that made the moment when Batman was able to get the Anti-Monitor to the Justice League an even more impactful moment. With both sides evenly matched Snyder put it in the reader’s mind that the Justice League were going for broke with their plan to pull all the strength of the Tenth Metal together in the only brief opening they had. That opening was only made possible because of the most extreme circumstances, like the unlikely alliance between Batman and the Joker. By doing so it makes it so that Barbatos and the Dark Knights of the Multiverse do not lose their credibility as villains. And in maintaining their credibility it will make the next time their next appearance will have the same level of impact that it carried during Metal.
This last chance opportunity also provided a greater sense of importance to what the five members of the Justice League saw within the Source Wall. For long time DC Comics fans the Source Wall is a well known location as they know the significance of that. Taking that into account Snyder was able to highlight how important the Source Wall is in the following scene to inform newer readers on why it is so significant. Establishing that significance makes it so that all forms of readers of Dark Nights: Metal are able to get excited for what comes next without feeling completely lost to what is going on.
The vision of the Source Wall makes the reason why Batman pitches the expansion of the Justice League be the necessary step forward for the entire DC Universe. The Justice League Unlimited direction further builds on the idea that the heroes of the DCU must be more united than they have ever been before. Adding in the Hall of Justice as the location were everyone will be based out of also helps ground the Justice League to be protectors of the world rather than Gods above the world on a satellite.
While the future is built up well it was a lot of fun to see Snyder end the issue by having Bruce throw a party with the entire Justice League and their allies. This was an unexpected ending that added a sense of lighthearted fun that we haven’t gotten from Dark Nights: Metal. Just seeing everyone party together made this feel like a nice reward for everyone that help defeat Barbatos. In addition, this helped spotlight Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl’s inclusion as a special occasion since it also acted as their welcome party to the Justice League.
The party was just one example of how many great moments that Dark Nights: Metal #6 delivered so many highlights for various characters. The biggest one for Batman fans will obviously be seeing Batman and Joker team-up to fight the Batman Who Laughs. This was easily the most surprising things we saw in all of Dark Nights: Metal. It does emphasize how big of a threat that Batman Who Laughs was that the two had to team up to defeat. And it was interesting to note that we did not see what happened to Joker and Batman Who Laughs since they were still fighting when Batman left with Anti-Monitor. What that means for the next time Joker appears even more intriguing since we don’t know what form he will be in.
In addition to that moment, it was great to see Wonder Woman get such a big spotlight in Dark Nights: Metal #6. Having Wonder Woman lead the final charge against Barbatos show everyone why she is such an inspirational leader in the DC Universe. Even when she was on the brink of exhaustion Wonder Woman found a way to keep fighting and even motivate Hawkgirl not to give up on fighting. That leadership made the moment she appeared with Batman and Superman in their new armor even bigger. Now with the Trinity at full power that hope Wonder Woman was able to maintain before was able to shine even brighter when they had a way to turn the tide of the battle.
Wonder Woman’s leadership made Hawkgirl’s big moment in helping Hawkman regain his senses an even better character moment. Up until now we have seen how everything that has gone on in Dark Nights: Metal has beaten Hawkgirl down as her confidence shown at the beginning of the event was shaken. But once she was able to talk Hawkman out of his mind controlled state we saw that confidence return. And that in turn made her flying through Barbatos to save Hawkman an even cooler moment for her as she showed why she’ll be part of the Justice League moving forward.
Snyder’s story was made even stronger by the combined artwork of Greg Capullo, Mikel Janin and Alvaro Martinez. The three handled their respective assignments extremely well. With Capullo, he delivered some of his best work to date as he was able to capture all the big moments of the final battle between the Justice League and the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse perfectly. The scale was what you came to expect from the event with Capullo being able to keep things clear for the reader so they didn’t get lost amongst the chaos going on everywhere.
For the party ending, Janin was able to deliver on how much fun of a scene this was. With everyone wearing tuxedos and dress Janin was able get across how much of a celebration of a big battle the ending was for everyone involved. That was nicely combined with Martinez’s artwork for all the future stories that we saw brief parts on. Each moment in the splash pages gave interesting teases that will hype the fan bases for those stories.
The Bad: As I’ve mentioned in past reviews of this event, Hawkman has not looked particularly strong during this story and Dark Nights: Metal #6 does nothing to change that. While he is the one that helps us see what some of the future holds he ended up being a hollow character. All we get from the character is being told about how important he is. But when it came time to show it Hawkman turned out to be character that could’ve been taken out of the story and things could’ve turned out mostly the same because Hawkgirl did so much of the heavy lifting on the character development standpoint. In the end this did not set up Hawkman as an interesting character since he was only a catalyst for things to happen rather than a fully fleshed out character like others in this event were shown to be.
While it did not hamper my enjoyment of the issue I will say that the Joker’s appearance in Dark Nights: Metal #6 will be head scratching for readers who did not read the prelude tie-ins to the event. Before his appearance there was no big clue to expect this to happen in the previous five issues. His appearance is extremely sudden since you would only have that context if you read the prelude tie-in issues Snyder wrote.
On a similar note, while it was a cool moment, seeing Cyborg and Raven appear with various version of Batman did not deliver the way it should have. While a cool visual to see it was something that did not impact the story whatsoever. As soon as all the Batmen appeared we saw them all easily taken out. They did absolutely nothing to further the story which is unfortunate given how many fans of all these versions of Batman there are. Instead it would have been better if the page used for their introduction was used to explain how Cyborg’s Multiverse machine factored into how the Justice League saved the day.
Overall: Scott Snyder does an excellent job delivering an exciting finish to his big event with Dark Nights: Metal #6. Outside of a few minor complaints, Scott Snyder paid off all of the storylines he built up throughout the course of Dark Nights: Metal in a satisfying way. The characters involved, both on the hero and villain side, came away from this event looking stronger than they did when Dark Nights: Metal started. Snyder’s ending does an effective job in building excitement for the future of the entire DC Universe. If you are a fan of big events than Dark Nights: Metal is one comic you should pick up when it’s hardcover collection is released.