By Dustin Cabeal
I finally figured out what’s familiar and ultimately not very good about Dark Nights Metal, and all of these tie-ins that have become redundant and predictable. Remember Marvel’s Original Sin? Remember that shit? Where they just started handing out hammers to the Marvel U, both villains and heroes and basically everyone was a Thor? There were a billion tie-ins were each jabroni takes a one-shot to get their hammer and then, “Tune in for the main title to see them use it!”
That is what’s happening here. Batman versions of the entire Justice League. Each one-shot sets up each member and this issue is Wonder Woman plus Batman equal really big dick head. Before I even get to the boredom that is this issue, let’s talk about how there’s no possible way that the main story of “Metal” will actually be rewarding. It’s typical Scott Snyder in that it starts big, has a lot of hype and excitement, but then it falls on its face in the end.
I say this because each of these dead world Batmen have all beaten the shit out of their own Justice League and now have their evil Justice League formed with a leader that’s more badass than them. Each of these fuckers alone has been able to do massive amounts of damage, and they’re not even working together yet. Explain to me how the hell I’m supposed to believe that the regular Justice League can stop them? You’ve overhyped them like a newbie wrestler that hasn’t lost a match but then put them up against the champ. No one believes that they can actually win so how exactly is this worthwhile to read? You’re not going to let BatWonder do anything crazy even though you’ve built him up to be insanely powerful… more than likely Snyder is going to try and pull a Johns and kill a bunch of characters, but the New 52/Rebirth is still too fresh to do that and have it be compelling and believable.
As for The Merciless, it’s okay for about a page. After that it becomes predictable. Batman and Wonder Woman are an item, and that was the only part I liked because it’s honestly something they should do in the DCU. After that, it just shows BatWonder wrecking shit, looking all cool and stuff. There’s a twist to the story because there’s always a twist, but it wasn’t shocking or surprising because it was so boring to get there. That and Tomasi tries to slip it past the reader almost as if he doesn’t want people to pick up on it or focus on it which is deflating.
The art is good. I wouldn’t say great, but it was good. It boils down to the way that Manapul has colored the issue, blowing out a lot of the linework. It has this layered hue look on several of the pages as if it were normally colored and then some transparent fills were stacked on top of it. The backgrounds are all CG looking and rarely look good with the rest of the page. It’s the equivalent of seeing CGI horses in Attack on Titan, it’s a style that doesn’t match, and it became distracting to look at.
By no means is this a bad issue, but it’s so painfully average that it’s hard to even remotely enjoy the “cool idea bro” elements that are here. That and there’s been one of these a week for over a month now. Maybe three a week would have been better, but at this point, we understand the formula because if you picked up any of the other titles, you got the gist instantly. It’s the same here, world ending, Batman plus another hero, now they’re upset and on earth 0. Yay… or something. Pick your favorite combo and check that out, but there’s no reason to read all of these just to find some shallow character backstory that will likely be repeated over and over again every time they appear anywhere else. That and if I have to read the word “Barbatos” one more damn time in my head… fucking Barbatos, what is this The Simpsons? El Barbatos.
Batman: The Merciless #1