Dark Nights: Metal’s reach continues to increase. After a failed strike at the core of the event in Gotham City our remaining heroes must now split up to try to find a way to defeat the Dark Knights. This time around the last group of heroes are led by the remaining members of the Justice League, who are down Batman and Superman. Though Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Aquaman are all powerful in their own right the Dark Knights have proven to be formidable foes for the entire DC Universe. Can our heroes find a way to turn things around? Let’s find out with The Flash #33
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
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: At the Fortress of Solitude Flash and Superman combine their speeds to open up a path for Superman to enter the Dark Multiverse. Flash gives Superman some of his Speed Force power to allow him to enter the Dark Multiverse successfully.
While Flash is confident Superman will find Batman though Steel isn’t to sure. Steel mentions how the metal in the Anti-Monitor device is calling to his hammer. Flash says he has felt the vibrations coming from the device before. Flash then calls the rest of the Justice League to inform them about Superman successfully entering the Dark Multiverse.
Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Aquaman are still searching for the Nth Metal in their respective mission zones. Cyborg is barely able to tell the rest of the Justice League that they have run out of time.
Suddenly the locations Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Aquaman’s strike teams are in are attacked by dark lightning. Before they can react all three teams disappear.
Flash tries to communicate to his team but is unsuccessful. Instead he and Steel are attacked by Murder Machine and Devastator. The two Dark Knights quickly take out Steel and break his hammer. Seeing that he is outnumbered Flash decides to run away after Devastator destroys the Anti-Monitor device Superman used to enter the Dark Multiverse.
Flash ends up in the destroyed remains of Central City where Iris and Wally (Kid Flash), along with most of the city’s citizens, have had most of their life drained. Flash suddenly falls through a hole after the ground crumbles beneath him. As he falls Flash gets glimpses of possible events in his future.
Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Wonder Woman all find themselves in the same type of dark zone. Cyborg is able to use all of his power remaining to tell the Justice League that they have been transported to Gotham City by Barbatos.
Once they are all able to see where they are Red Death, Dawnbreaker, Merciless and Drowned attack Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively. All while the Batman Who Laughs watches on from an unknown location. End of issue.
The Good: Taking note of the best elements from Gotham Resistance, The Flash #33 kicks off “Bats Out Of Hell” by not holding back in showing the ramifications of Dark Nights: Metal. In many ways Flash #33 actually comes of as reading more like Dark Nights: Metal #3.1 with the events that take place. And that does seem to be the direction “Bats Out Of Hell” is trying to take as it goes beyond just serving as a tie-in to a big event.
From the opening page Joshua Williamson gives a sense of importance to Flash #33 by opening with where Barry Allen and Steel was left by Superman in Dark Nights: Metal #3. Having Flash continue to be one of the characters that maintained hope was a good balance from characters like Steel and Cyborg who showed great concern with their situation. It highlighted how even though he has seen some horrible things Flash has always leaned more towards the lighter side of the hero spectrum.
Flash’s perspective that things will work out made the moment the Dark Knights struck a moment that made that final bit of hope feel as though it faded. That was especially the case with Devastator destroying the Anti-Monitor device that would help Superman and Batman escape the Dark Multiverse, if they could even break free for a moment. Without that Williamson made the entire situation Snyder has created for Superman and Batman to have a more hopeless turn.
What made that strike at the hope of the DC Universe even more effective was how quickly the Dark Knights acted. There wasn’t a wasted motion in how the Dark Knights took out the remaining Justice League members and their respective teams. That lack of taking time to explain what or why they are doing anything makes each member of the Dark Knights have a greater sense of danger. That sense of danger made the ending with the Justice League each taking on their Dark Knights counterpart to each be more highly anticipating fights.
Adding to all this was the quick visit to the current state of Central City. Seeing the state of the city gave a better idea of how far reaching the events of Dark Nights: Metal are as every inch of the DCU has been affected. Flash’s horror at how Iris and Wally had almost all their life energy drained added more weight to Flash finding a way to help the Justice League save the DCU. It was an added motivation that felt personal for Flash.
In the middle of all the Dark Nights: Metal development Williamson was able to further the greater narrative he is creating with the Flash ongoing series. The quick shots of what is to come for the future of the Flash family properly teased what is to come and create interest in reading this series past this Dark Nights: Metal tie-in. As someone who did fall off on reading the current Flash ongoing by Williamson I am now left with the desire to catch up and add the series back to my pull list.
It was also a pleasure to see Howard Porter draw the Justice League in action again with The Flash #33. Porter’s artwork is especially fitting for the Flash as he has a great knack for drawing the Barry in motion when he uses the full extent of the Speed Force. The flowing lighting bolts along with Flash movements made the action flow in speedy fashion. Porter also delivered on the big moments such as when Devastator destroyed the Anti-Monitor device.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: The Flash #33 does a fantastic job expanding on the ongoing story in Dark Nights: Metal. Joshua Williamson has a great sense of scale as we go from Flash showing strong optimism for things working out to his hope fading as he sees all the destruction the Dark Knights have caused. That along with what happens to the rest of the Justice League make The Flash #33 a strong start to the “Bats Out Of Hell” tie-in crossover.