Spoiler alert! If you haven't been reading DARK NIGHTS: METAL, get your butt to your local comic book store (or tablet-thingie!) because today I'll be talking about the thrilling conclusion—DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6!
Okay, still reading? Then let's get into it!
Dark Nights: Metal has taken us on a cosmic journey through space, time and heavy metal. The heaviest metal! Before we launch into what goes down in issue #6, I just have to plug an interview I got to do with Scott Snyder at WonderCon this year. That man is a damn treasure and you can just tell he had a blast writing on this series—if you couldn't already tell just by reading it. Check out the full interview on the DC YouTube Channel and let me know what you think!
So, let's dive right into what Scott called their "thank you to the fans, and an epic finale."
The issue begins with Wonder Woman and company trying to fight their way up the mountain that houses Barbatos. The Earth is submerged into the Dark Multiverse and the crew is desperately pummeling through Barbatos' creatures, including demon-like versions of themselves. This issue wastes no time with the fun character additions, as Plastic Man finally becomes de-egged and takes on the form of a crazy dinosaur/ bulldozer/shark hybrid! But whilst Princess Diana heads into a pit of Nth Metal to confront the now-monstrous Hawkman, we also get a visit from Batman, Cyborg, Flash…and oh man, Detective Chimp is in there too!
Did we forget about the Joker Dragons? Hell no, we didn't! In fact, one of them gives Kendra Saunders a monster blast of green flames just as she's starting to get through to Carter in his monstrous form. If this series gives us one permanent thing for the DCU, pretty please with an eight-string guitar solo on top, can it be the Joker Dragons?? I love them so much.
Anyways, things look pretty grim for the whole gang and Barbatos is delivering his Big Bad Worldender Speech, when BAM! ZAP! Who is that? It's Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but they're not the beat-as-hell looking versions that we've come to associate with Dark Knights: Metal—they're super slick and futuristic versions wearing armor made of…drumroll please...TENTH Metal!!! Cue amazing guitar solo, because this is the team's only hope.
Despite an absolutely epic page where Tenth Metal Batman decks a Joker Dragon right in his pointed clown honker, and then proceeds to RIDE the damn thing, Barbatos refuses to go down without a fight. But Tenth Metal, "the metal of pure possibility," is exactly what the team needs to get back on their feet, and now decked out with their armor courtesy of the always impressive Greg Capullo, they're ready to rock. At this point you can tell Snyder and Co. pulled out all the stops for this issue, because the list of cameos becomes too epic to even try to tally up. Pretty much every DC character you know and love shows up to the mountain to help kick some Barbatos ass.
In response to this new threat, Barbatos enacts maybe one of the most singularly metal moments of this entire series: an ear drum shattering "anti-music" shriek that I can only imagine sounds like a wail from King Diamond himself (at least, my parents would call that anti-music) in order to "sink the earth so low that it may never be raised."
Meanwhile, we're treated to the team up of the century: Batman, with the Joker, joined momentarily together to fight the Batman Who Laughs. An unexpected but delicious combination for sure, like french fries in a milkshake.
Even when we've been told that all roads lead to darkness time and time again, this comic somehow manages to give us the tiniest shred of hope. And what that looks like in issue #6 is a very literal manifestation. The team, after injuring Barbatos, decides the only course of action is to use the mysterious tenth metal to reach every being that's currently lost in the dark and under Barbatos' cruel spell. SO optimistic, you guys! This is the definitive point where the comic switches from brutal death or Norwegian black metal to some straight up fun as hell POWER METAL! Crank up that Dragonforce because things get AMAZING.
Now, if you're reading this and somehow, for some reason, still haven't read issue #6, I'm not going to explicitly spell out the ending for you. Just know that it's one that will make you feel good, both because it's a super satisfying conclusion, and because it's so clear what a labor of love this comic is from Scott and Greg to DC fans. You can tell that this work is an effort to bring together fan favorites and to really push the boundaries of what we know of the DC Universe.
I was absolutely tickled with this last issue and I cannot wait to see what this team does next and how the universe changes from this event! Let me know what metal records you're rocking out to and what you thought of this issue by tweeting to @TweetneyMoore, and until then...HAIL BARBATOS!!!