What's up DC fans, I'm your mistress of metal, Whitney Moore, here to take you on a journey through space, time and the mysteries of the universe as we navigate DARK NIGHTS: METAL together! Issue #2 is out now, so let's all put down the battle jackets we've been sewing patches on and hand-studding for a while and settle in!
If you're not already familiar with exactly what Dark Nights: Metal is about, then I'll fill you in before we get going. It's an all new DC event from the minds of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo that's set to change the course of what you know about the DC Universe forever. Yep, it's that big of a deal. In addition to being a historical event for the DCU, it's also just a rad as hell story with some deeply heavy metal vibes. In other words, this is the comic I've been waiting for and you probably have too even if you didn't know it at the time. Let's begin!
Before we jump into the events of issue #2, I'll offer a quick refresher in what happened in the first comic. Batman is beginning to discover a cosmic conspiracy against him that may have been brewing since the very beginning of the universe. We're reintroduced to Nth metal, a mysterious substance used by the Court of Owls to forge Talons that would make the wearer immortal, but of course with some very serious consequences. Batman's obsession with this metal and the four others he's come into contact with (which you may recognize from some of the New 52 story arcs) has turned him guarded and paranoid—more so than he usually is, anyway.
The rest of the Justice League is tracking Batman all over the world in an attempt to both save him from the dangers he's facing and keep him from endangering himself and the rest of the world. And (Spoiler here! Stop reading if you haven't read issue #1 yet!) the final panels of issue #1 bring us the appearance of Neil Gaiman’s classic Sandman character, Dream, whose presence in the DCU opens up a whole world of opportunities.
We begin issue #2 with the Justice League hot on the trail of Batman, who plans to take down the demon bat monster Barbatos by way of the Omega Sanction, which as you probably can guess is some kind of highly dangerous plan. His obsession with conquering the mystery of the Nth metal is not only putting him in some serious danger, it also could potentially rip apart the entire world as we know it. But before Supes and Wonder Woman are able to talk him out of using Darkseid's omega beams, we are introduced to the Strigydae—very creepy, very culty, and very bent on transforming Batman into a conduit for Barbatos to enter their universe.
What follows is an insanely creepy, psychedelically cool, and dare I say extremely metal horror scene where Bruce becomes the door and the Bat-God reaches the other side. It culminates in what we've all been waiting for: the reveal of the evil Batmen, and oh man, they look COOL! My favorite is easily the gender bent, steampunk goth Aquaman Batman. I'm really hoping to see some cosplays of her in the future!
Tonally, it would be an easy guess to think that issue #2 is full of grit. After all, some seriously heavy themes abound here. However, you might be pleasantly surprised to know that issue #2 of Dark Nights: Metal, as high as the stakes are, is just plain fun. It's like watching a great, self-aware horror movie with the added appeal of knowing that absolutely nothing is off the table, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.
The end of issue #2 reveals a pretty dire situation for Wonder Woman and Superman, and I have a feeling that the casualties are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. I'm also loving the entire backstory of Batman having a destiny that was prewritten before the universe even began. I'm so excited to see how Snyder and Capullo play with psychological horror and ideas of the beyond, and have my fingers crossed that they really lean into the cult aspect because I'm a sucker for those kinds of stories!
As with the last article, I have some listening recommendations for you to check out while you read issue #2. This issue needed something both evil and frantic, so some good old black metal by way of Watain's latest album “The Wild Hunt” fits the bill. Happy reading, everyone!