Three new titles this week: a surprisingly philosophical Detective Comics, part three of Dark Nights: Metal, and Wonder Woman.
Dark Nights: Metal #3
Oh, what can I say about this one? Even when it’s light, it’s dark. We begin in Smallville, with Bruce and Clark actually having fun, while their sons perform as a rock band. But this turns out to be a nightmare in which Superman is trapped, living life after life in which he battles Barbatos and loses every time. Wonder Woman pulls him out of it and we learn how much of the world has fallen already. The detail is quite horrifying.
As the remaining superheroes gather to talk about what to do next, Green Arrow reveals that Nth metal can kill the minions of Barbatos. Most are in favour of searching out what is left of the Nth metal; Superman believes Batman is the key and wants to rescue him from wherever he is in the dark multiverse. He believes Bruce sent him a message.
As if this story needed more darkness, it’s pretty clear that the superheroes are very far from a united force at this point. Many feel they need to be defending loved ones. Some are scared enough to be freaking out. Even those who agree are ambivalent about it. And more and more are lost.
Don’t get me wrong. I like dark.
Detective Comics #966: A Lonely Place of Living (Part 2)
Tim Drake (Red Robin) comes face to face with his future self who is Batman, having taken on the cowl after the death of Bruce Wayne. Their conversation is punctuated by action as they battle Doomsday, but frankly the battle is irrelevant. While Detective Comics has dealt with some deep issues since Rebirth, from Clayface’s quest for redemption to Spoiler’s grief and PTSD, it hasn’t been this philosophical before. Robin!Tim can’t accept there are any circumstances in which he would become Batman, while Batman!Tim patiently explains that he will do it, because he did. He had no choice.
For all his talk of predestination, the issue ends with Batman!Tim believing his own past can be changed, and we learn he blames Batwoman for the situation in which he was forced to take the cowl. This ties in nicely with the recent issue of Batwoman set in a future Gotham, but I wonder if it’s that straightforward. We don’t see much of the Gotham Tim & Tim return to, but with most other main titles tying into Metal at the moment, I wonder if they are in the “real” Gotham at all. To be answered in two weeks, I guess.
Wonder Woman #32: Children of the Gods (Part 2)
The cover (above) of this issue sums up everything I’m afraid this arc will deliver. Wonder Woman as Hercules, dressed in a lion skin, bloody sword in hand as she stands over the dead hydra. Isn’t that a lovely image of the ambassador of truth, love and peace?
The issue opens with Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor and (I really want to call them the Howling Commandos. The other three characters from the Wonder Woman movie, I mean) his crew battling parademons. Then we flash back to learn that they are there because ARGUS is tracking Apokolips energy signatures and there was a spike where Hercules died (turns out he’s not the only one – they have a room full of dead bodies) and the next is detected while they are discussing that, so naturally our heroes flew in to investigate.
After the battle, Wonder Woman spends some time with the lawyer (who still looks distractingly like Hercule Poirot) while he shows her Hercules’ property which she has inherited. She talks a bit about the myth of Hercules and how he was a pretty awful person. She reads a letter from him in which he confirms this, but adds that he is ashamed of his past and proud of Diana, the sister he has never met. He then reveals that she has a twin brother, smuggled off Themiscyra as a baby and raised by one of the Argonauts. He gives her a location where she can begin her search.
The issue ends with her coming face to face with this mysterious brother. And so I must wait another two weeks to find out if I’m going to buy in to this. I’m unconvinced.