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Comics 411: Thoughts on the DC Dark Nights: Metal Event

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Dark Nights: Metal

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Runaways #1, Wolfenstein #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we Remembered the late, great Len Wein!! Here’s what some of you had to say:

The Whole F’n Truth: “Lein was one of the first to add diversity in comics and set the tone for the future of X-Men. He will be missed by many.”

Captain Mcgloo: “His entire Hulk run is great, Hulk 182 and 189 are two of the best Hulk stories and his Batman stuff was awesome. I met him twice, once at his table at artists alley and then once after a nerdist comics panel live taping at a con and he was super awesome both times. He just sat there (I think the second time he was getting around the con via scooter and had a hard time walking) talking with fans for a while. He really loved this stuff.”

Al Lobama: “When discussing his influence on the All-New, All Different X-Men, don’t forget that Len Wein was the one who hand-picked Chris Claremont to take over as writer when the series went back to monthly. Wein had worked with Claremont on Giant Sized Fantastic Four #4 (the first appearance of Jamie Madrox, another character Wein created), and was impressed enough with his work ethic to trust him with this new series.Take that decision out of the history books, and the comic industry is already a much different place.

As I mentioned in the comments section of the article that announced his death, Len Wein was also responsible for the DC “British Invasion” of the early eighties, which saw a great number of UK creators get their first work in the United States. One of the guys Wein hand picked was Alan Moore. Imagine that for just a second. Len Wein created Swamp Thing, and he personally hires the writer to revamp/retcon his own creation. That takes a great level of hubris that most people do not possess.

So without Len Wein, the nineteen year sales juggernaut that is Uncanny X-Men never happens. There’s no John Stewart Green Lantern, no Watchmen, no Sandman, ostensibly no Vertigo, and probably no Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was the George Bailey of the Comic Book Industry!

On a side note, I just read that Wein made more money in royalties for creating Lucius Fox than he did for creating Wolverine. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.”

SashaBanks-GOAT: “He created one of my favorites superheros and my favorite X-men, Storm.

Thank you, sir. You will be missed”

To read ALL the comments from last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we are give our…

Thoughts on DC’s Metal Event!

With everything going on I’ve been slow to check out DC’s Metal event going on. I finally dipped my toes in and I’m still trying to decide if it’s epic awesomeness or just another event that will only disappoint me in the end. The team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunite for a trip to the newly discovered Dark Multiverse and, shocker, they say it will change the face of the DCU for years to come.

Yes, Metal promises to reshape the nature of the DC Multiverse and impact many of its books in ways that you’ll be talking about for years to come. Forgive me if I’m a little cautious going in as I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that before. Several times actually.

So what’s the deal with Metal? I’ve read a couple of the one-shots like The Forge and The Casting and Dark Nights: Metal #1 and I’ll admit that it’s different. I’m not completely sold on the idea that they had to introduce a whole other Dark Multiverse but it works in the confines of the event. Yes, they introduce a slew of new characters that may confuse some people out there.

Luckily Snyder has been giving plenty of interviews to give us some idea of what’s going on. The first chapters are important to set the stage of what follows, beginning with the journals of Hawkman Carter Hall, who chronicles the origins of it all thousands of years in the past. He’s trying to solve the same mystery that Batman is working on in the present, which is to “pierce the veil” between the DC Universe and the source of Earth’s magical metals. That’s when it all goes wrong. According to Snyder, the door Bruce opened is what gets the ball rolling for Metal. Snyder says, “So the story is really simple. The Justice League discovers the Dark Multiverse. They also discover that because of something Batman did it’s invading right now after thousands of years of waiting. And if they don’t find more Nth Metal – which is one of the rarest things in the universe – to stop it, they’re completely screwed.”

During a press event at San Diego Comic-Con, Snyder shared, “We know about the Multiverse: 52 Universes, it’s our whole cosmology. And just like scientists recently discovered that there’s dark matter, dark energy, and it comprises a majority of our universe and we’re unable to perceive it, this idea was almost like, ‘Well, what if the same holds true for the DCU? And there’s this roiling, volatile, oceanic, subconscious realm to the DCU that we don’t know and is completely unexplored?’

Snyder gave us an idea of the far reaching impact it would have saying, “A mystery that would come through metals, and these things that exist at the far end of the Periodic Table… and connect all of these strange DCU elements: Nth Metal, Radium, all of this stuff that we don’t really know how it works, we created this whole mythology.

If you read Batman #51 again, the last one that [Snyder & Capullo] did, there is a ton of terms and clues that all lead to this. So this is essentially the culmination of everything we did on Batman, but the fun of it is that we get to use the entire sandbox. Everybody from Plastic Man all the way to Doctor Fate. We go from Skartaris to the Source Wall, to the Dark Multiverse. It’s an incredibly fun tour of the entire DCU from House of Mystery, Cain and Abel, Shazam… we’re all over the place.”

It’s quite ambitious and I’m on board with it so far. What about you? What are your thoughts on DC’s Metal?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!