We last left off with this series learning that the Metal title was in reference to at least the Nth Metal, and was connected to a substance know as Dark Matter from a Dark Multiverse. Batman being Batman decided to be all Batmany about it and rushed off on his own to try solve this crisis. (It’s DC, we might as well call it a crisis.)
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s epic, Metal, continued this week with issue #2. This issue continues the quick pace established in the first issue, weaving together action, exposition, and witty one-liners into another fantastic issue. Here’s what you need to know about, though you should know that Damian is totally winning in this issue.
- Batman has stolen some weapon, and the Justice League and others are trying to track him down. It’s complicated by the fact that the Bat family is disguised as Batman.
- All the Bat family members had a plant in their bags that is deadly to other plants. This draws out Swamp Thing to confront the Justice League.
- Damian is driving Batman in some armored vehicle until Superman flies in. Turns out, it’s really Clayface. But there was some explanation here about what Batman is going through with the “Mantling” and having been exposed to 4 of the 5 necessary metals.
- Electrum-In the Court of Owls labyrinth.
- Dionesium-When Batman fought the Joker to the death.
- Promethium-Batman’s final machine used to bring him back to life.
- Nth Metal-You, from this story.
- Kendra speaks with Vandal Savage and the Immortals at the “Legion of Doom” headquarters, in which she realizes Batman is heading somewhere terrible.
- Superman and Wonder Woman eventually find Batman in the tomb of Prince Khufu. There he reveals that his plan is to use baby Darkseid (ZOMG!!!) and its adorable Omega Sanction to send him back in time again, back to where it all started.
- Wait, Batman is not where he thought he was. He’s actually in the tomb of Hath Set, and this has all been a trap.
- Batman is hit with the last metal, Batmanium (why not?)opens up the portal to the Dark Multiverse, and disappears. Some crazy Robins come through, attacking the Court of Owls, and the Dark Batmen come through.
First off, I don’t know if Baby Darkseid had previously been hinted at since The Darkseid War, but I am really happy that this is a thing that exists. The thought that Baby Darkseid is a weapon that Batman would steal, because it is fully powered, is hilarious and fun. But, it ties into something else that I really like about this issue. Snyder is not just incorporating stories. The reference to the Omega Sanction and Batman being sent back in time, where he first interacted with Barbatos and the Judas Tribe, are from Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis and The Return of Bruce Wayne stories.
In borrowing elements from those stories, Snyder is not changing anything about those stories, but instead, giving them a larger impact than what was originally intended. I like this kind of stuff. What’s the point in existing in a larger universe if you’re not going to use anything from that universe? The isn’t required to have read those stories, as all of the necessary information is presented here, but it is a nice call back for those of us that have read those stories.
Also, there is a dark, demented, wonderful joke near the end. When the Dark Robins come through the portal, they say “crow” as they are attacking people. The don’t stop until The Batman Who Laughs says “bar.” Get it? “Crow” and “bar?” Crowbar? As in Joker killed Jason with a crowbar? Absolutely demented. But also kind of wonderful and subtle.
Lastly, it is interesting to see Batman fail, and he fails hard in this issue. He’s off on his own, because he thinks that he is the only one capable of stopping this disaster. Batman ignores the fact that he works with the greatest heroes on the planet. If he were to actually work with his friends, perhaps they could solve this together. Instead, he does his own thing, springs the trap, and doesn’t have an answer for it. I really want to know what happens next with Batman. Where did the portal take him?