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Dark Nights Metal #4 Review: Gorgeous, Interesting, but Not Especially Exciting

Batman has found Superman enslaved to the Dark Multiverse too, and the World's Finest must find a way to escape imprisonment and save their universe. In doing so, they find a powerful and mysterious entity.

Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate, and Kendra Saunders arrive at the Rock of Eternity to find it rejecting their presence.

Aquaman and Deathstroke find an even deeper mystery under Atlantis than Arthur himself suspected.

Mister Terrific and Green Lantern Hal Jordan find a dire situation and an old enemy on Thanagar Prime.

Dark Nights: Metal #4 cover by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia
Dark Nights: Metal #4 cover by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

As is often the case, I am riding behind the great Joe Glass on reviewing this one, so check out his review of Dark Nights: Metal #4, too.

This issue of Metal explains who and what Barbatos is, as well as his role in the multiverse. This brings some clarity to the story, even if it doesn't advance it very far.

We also learn more of Kendra Saunders and the plans of the Immortals she once served.

There is also a particularly touching moment between Superman and Batman that adds some emotional weight to the issue.

All of this does give some more context and promises for interesting turns in the issues ahead, but the pacing has ground to a halt with Metal #4. The entire plot could more-or-less be abbreviated to, "Things are even worse than we thought," and that has been the progression of the series as a whole thus far. As such, while Barbatos is a pretty interesting figure in the DC Multiverse, this comic doesn't do very much for the plot.

A fan favorite does show up to the table, as you may recognize from the cover. However, he's mostly there to be the god of exposition.

The plot twists at the end, are, as I said earlier, fairly exciting. But, again, they don't do much for the issue itself.

Dark Nights: Metal #4 art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia
Dark Nights: Metal #4 art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia do bring another gritty, textured, and all-around gorgeous issue in terms of visual aesthetic. Everything looks lived-in, and you can imagine how it would feel to the touch, which is a very impressive thing to accomplish. In terms of art, this comic knocks it out of the park again.

Dark Nights: Metal #4 isn't a bad issue, and it give some intriguing new angles to the plot. Plus, the artistic team is still quite good. However, it doesn't advance much, and it is, overall, a little underwhelming. I can recommend it to those who have been following this story (which I would imagine is the vast majority of people who would buy it anyway), but it isn't as exciting or gripping as the previous three issues.  

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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