Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV / Artists: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr / DC Comics
If you could sum up this Metal event that feels like it barreling down on us (in a good way) like a freight train with one word, I’d say: ambitious. Ambitious as all hell (felt better with four words). If this is the prelude to Metal, then my gawd, what are we actually going to witness in Metal itself? Last month, as we talked comics among the BNP writers (as we do) one of us finally mentioned “so, did any of you read The Forge #1.” As if it had been some secret, many of us immediatly pounced saying, “dude, did you see that shit, I mean, what is even happening right now?!?!” Needless to say, this is the most excited I (or many of us) have been for big DC event in a long time. Casting #1 continues where the Forge left off: Batman scouring the world to find out what the hell is up with this metal craziness that feels like imminent doom, but also, Hal Jordan and Duke trying to figure out what the hell is up with the Joker having is own private prison in the Batcave. Yeah, sorry if you didn’t read the Forge, but shit is all the way real now fam.
The story this time around is smartly narrated by Carter Hall aka Hawkman as it allows a way to show how this Metal has been around for eons, always a source of mystery and destruction. Hawkman is just one of many, many characters that crop up unexpectedly in this book, which truly shows the scope of this event. This will effect the entire DC universe.
As an aside, I feel that DC Comics is in this conundrum where there are plenty of fans that have Batman fatigue, as so much seems to revolve around him across various properties. But the reality is, you’ve got some of the best writers trying the most ambitious stories with Batman at the center, so they truly are DC’s best stories right now.
This book on its own is very strong with tons of twists and revelations given, but is also packed to the gills with essential information that might deserve more room given to them. We get a crazy revelation (or clarification) regarding Batman and the Joker from the Endgame storyline. Lots about Duke. The Guardians involvement. There’s so much here.
If I have any issues with the book, its that the numerous writers and artists involves does show at times. While its necessary to the story, having the Joker give so much exposition did feel out of character, especially as he has to be coherent and straightforward for that to work (which isn’t the Joker we love). On the pencils, the art is mostly good, often feeling very reminiscent of All-Star Batman’s first arc (with Romita, Jr of course). But at times the pages just aren’t consistent and it can be distracting at times. None of the art is bad, but it doesn’t always feel connected.
Still, these aren’t huge gripes and ultimately, the story has so much meat on the bone that could exist in our outside of this story. Its fair to say that Metal could have big repercussions on the DC universe, more so than Convergence or even Rebirth has had for that matter. Personally, Metal #1 can not get here quick enough.