Barbatos has held Superman in a mental prison, wherein he fights Barbatos again and again many times over. Thankfully, Wonder Woman and the Flash manage to save him, bringing the Man of Steel to their last holdout in the Oblivion Bar. The bar is run by Nightmaster and Detective Chimp. Kendra Saunders, Nightwing, Robin, Mister Terrific, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Doctor Fate, Steel, Green Arrow, and Deathstroke are all there waiting for him.
They split into teams, searching out locations with the types of metal which could bring down Barbatos and his Dark Knights. Hal, Mister Terrific, and the Plastic Man Egg go out into space. Aquaman and Deathstroke go under Atlantis. Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate, and Kendra go to the Rock of Eternity.
However, Superman, with the aid of Steel and the Flash, uses the Anti-Monitor's Tower to go into the Dark Universe to search for our universe's Batman. Is this the hope the heroes have been waiting for, or is it a trap for the Man of Tomorrow?
This is very much a plot-building issue, setting up the future of the story and, I imagine, tie-ins. Now, it's not as shameless in this regard as Secret Empire or many other Marvel stories. However, it does leave this issue a little underwhelming in terms of how it explains where the plot is going instead of really going there yet.
However, that is at least partially covered by the fact that this is a really good Superman comic. He's hopeful to a fault, he refuses to give up the fight or on Bruce Wayne, and he's just generally the Superman that he should be.
Also, Detective Chimp showing up is almost always a good thing.
Where the story is headed is does seem interesting though, and I'm always up for Mister Terrific, Doctor Fate, Steel, and Deathstroke having vital parts in a big crossover like this.
It doesn't exactly explain where Nightwing, Green Arrow, and Robin head from the Oblivion Bar. I would like to know where their part in this story heads next. Perhaps the next issue or yet another tie-in will tell.
There's a really sad moment where Superman implicitly recruits the Flash to aid his plan, and the Flash quietly mentions how he would rather help Iris, Wally, and Central City but just acquiesces to Superman in the same breath. It's very much Barry Allen, and it's actually pretty sad.
As always, Greg Capullo is completely in sync with Snyder's writing. His art looks phenomenal, and FCO Plascencia's color work adds the perfect level of macabre and foreboding to the already gritty and heavy art work of Capullo.
This was still a solid issue. It didn't have me as perpetually excited as Metal #2, but it is still really good. I recommend it and look forward to the next issue—which is two months for some reason. Hopefully the admittedly excellent one-shots will hold me off until then.
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